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this peculiarity in nouns is called gender in Latin. But there is no such peculiarity in English, and hence no propriety in the distinction. But are there no common nouns ?" “ No,”“ n0,"_" yes,"_" no.” “Silence."-" When the noun may apply to either a male or female being of the same class, is there any distinction of sex made ?” “ No.” “ Did the writer intend that we should know what the sex was ?” “He did not.” “ Is there any gender, then ?” “ There is not.” “But is it not the object of some sex?” “ It is, but the noun does not indicate what that sex is, and so there is no distinction of sex made.” “ Ah, yes ! that is it precisely.” After going through such a course of reasoning with them as the foregoing, then I would reverse the order, and ask them to tell me why there were only two genders. So I would proceed through all the points of grammar, making them reason out, as far as possible, the incorrectness of their own notions.
To illustrate further, the subject being tenses :-" Please to name the tenses.” “ There are six tenses, the present, imperfect”-“Ah! imperfect? What is an imperfect tense ?” “ An imperfect tense expresses what is past and finished.” “Another." “An imperfect tense expresses what was finished in some indefinite past time. Very well, is there anything imperfect in that ?"' There is not.” « When was the action performed ?” “ In past time.” “What tense should it be called, then ?” 6 The past tense.” “But why have so many grammarians called it the imperfect tense ?" No reply ; –“ Probably because the Latin has an imperfect tense somewhat resembling this.” “ But is it not improper to call it the imperfect tense in Latin ?” “ No, because in Latin it is an imperfect tense.” “ What does the imperfect tense in Latin denote ?” A Latin scholar replies, " It generally denotes what was taking place at the time referred to,-something that was unfinished at that time; the perfect indefinite in Latin corresponds more nearly to our past tense." But this will suffice to illustrate my plan. I have thus been over with all the technicalities of grammar, subject by subject, with the first class, explaining and discussing them freely. Now I connect analysis with parsing or constructing ; making analysis of the most importance ; perhaps I should say I make synthesis precede them both, for our lessons now are, writing sentences containing certain elements of a particular form and use, and then these sentences are analyzed and parsed.
The rules for construction we fix upon as occasion calls for them, or rather, I give out exercises which require a particular construction, and then we discuss and determine what rule is best for that particular form of construction. With the beginners I proceed somewhat differently, as their minds are not full of errors to be corrected. After having set clearly before them
the object of their study, I begin in a familiar conversation about things around us :-“What is this ?” “A pencil.” “ And this ?” “A desk," &c. 6 What are the words pencil and desk ?” “They are the names of those objects." "Have all objects names ?” “ They have.” Then I would go on and illustrate farther. “ Now these words which are the names of objects, we call nouns. What is a noun ?” “A noun is the name of an object.” “Is this desk a noun ?” “ Yes,"_" yes," _ no." "What is a noun ?” “A noun is a word which-." 6 What did you say a noun is ?” “A noun is a word." “ Not the thing itself, then ?” “No, sir ; but the word, which is the name of the thing." " Very well; how many can tell what a noun is ?” All hands up. “ You may take for your next lesson to write twenty nouns.”
When the next lesson comes the nouns are brought forward and read and discussed, and so on, until all get a clear idea of a noun. Some have proper nouns, which gives occasion to point out the distinction between common and proper nouns, and a lesson of proper nouns is assigned, and so of number and person. Thus we go on from one thing to another without any book, though I shall put a book of some kind into their hands by and by. The small class have most of them got the verb so that they can go through all the forms, moods, tenses, numbers, and persons, and without a book to learn it out of, too. In fact, I never saw a book which gave the verb correctly, according to my notion of it. But I will leave this point.
[To be continued in the next No.]
Resident Editors' Cable.
GEORGE ALLEN, Jr.,.... Boston, L om Tom / ELBRIDGE SMITH, Cambridge.
LETTER FROM OHIO. For the information of subscribers, we insert an extract from a letter of Dr. Lord, of Columbus, Ohio, to the President of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association, by whom it was read at the late meeting in New Bedford. After a few preliminary remarks, Dr. Lord proceeds as follows:
“Accept our hearty thanks for your kind invitation, and the many proofs of interest and sympathy for us, which we have received from you and your associates; and permit me to assure you that we rejoice in all the successes, and sympathize with the labors and trials of our brethren, in every part of the Union.
Our State Teachers' Asssociation was formed in December, 1847. At that time there were only four or five towns and cities in the State, in whieh anything like a system of classified schools existed ; and, generally speaking, the Public Schools in the larger towns and villages were in a worse condition than those of the country districts. We had no State Superintendents of Schools, (de facto no Board of Education, no agency for calling the Teachers together for personal and professional improvements, and, as might naturally be expected, young and inexperienced persons were mostly employed to teach, the compensation paid being too small to induce persons to qualify them. selves for teaching, or to continue in the employment if they were competent.
Immediately after the formation of the Association, arrangements were made for attending Teachers' Institutes in as many counties as possible, a Normal Class was formed, and every effort made to form a correct public sentiment in regard to the necessity of classified Schools, well-qualified, permanent teachers, good school-houses, etc.
The result of its labors (in part at least,) may be summarily stated : from 2000 to 3000 or 3,500 teachers have been annu. ally instructed in Teachers' Institutes; Union or Classified Schools are now in successful operation in nearly one hundred town and cities; a large number of good school-houses have been built; the wages of male teachers (principals) have been increased from $350 or $400 to $600, $800, or $1,000 per year, and of females, from $2 or $3 per week, to $200 or $250 per year, and the best qualified receive in many instances from $350 to $500 or $600.) Nearly two years since we employed an agent to devote himself entirely to conducting Institutes, and aiding in the organization of Union Schools, to whom was paid last year, by voluntary contributions, (from teachers, mainly,) about $1,000, and this year $1,200 or $1,500 will be raised. A year since, our “ Journal of Education” was commenced, which has more than paid its expenses, and will give us something toward the support of the agent, and the other plans of the Association.
Beside these direct results a much more correct and healthy public sentiment has been created, the active teachers are virtually recognized as a Profession, which is clearly shown by the facts that Superintendents of Public Schools and Principals of Union Schools, are now receiving a compensation fully equal to that paid to Presidents and Professors in Colleges, and that Boards of Education are accustomed to consult them in relation to the construction of school-houses and the organization of their school systems, and generally to leave to Superintendents the arrangement of the course of study, the classification of pupils, gra
dation of schools, &c., as fully as Trustees of Colleges entrust these things to the Faculty.
Our teachers have very generally become accustomed to give annually, as members of a profession, for the promotion of the interests of the cause of general education, with whose advancement they consider the continued improvement and elevation of their own calling to be inseparably connected. Yours, truly,
A. D. LORD.
ment they cone cause of generofession, for thaccustomed
SCHOOLS IN ST. LOUIS.
The following letter from Mr. J. H. Tice, Secretary of the Board of Public Schools in St. Louis, affords a clear and succinct account of those schools, and will be read with interest, we hope, by all persons engaged in education. The annexed report of a Special Committee of the Board in regard to the establishment of a High School, from the Missouri Republican, will, like good news from a far country, also prove acceptable, and may give an impetus to similar projects here in the East.
St. Louis, Nov. 12th, 1852. W. H. WELLS, Esq.,
Dear Sir ;-In compliance with a promise made you while here a few days ago, I send you the annexed statement of the School system in this city, together with such information as may be interesting to you, relative to its operations.
We have no connection with the State system, (?) receiving neither State nor County money, being cut off from both by the wisdom (?) of the State Legislature. The State has a fund of about $750,000 at interest, derived from her share of the United States deposit Act of 1836, and from the proceeds of saline lands donated by Congress for the purposes of a School and University fund. The interest on this fund is annually distributed amongst the counties of the State, and amounts to about forty cents per scholar reported. The Congressional town: ships have each a fund of its own, arising from the proceeds of the 16th section of land, which is appropriated by Congress, in each township, for a township school fund. Besides these, there is a County school fund, composed of all the fines imposed by our courts, and also forfeitures of recognizances, or bonds for keeping the peace, &c. From all benefit of these, the St. Louis city schools are escluded by law, as already stated.
The city, however, has a very rich fund of her own, and will derive a large income when the long leases expire, entered into while St Louis was but a village, and ground of but little value. This fund consists of lands donated by Congress by the Act of 1812; which gives to the old Spanish and French towns all the vacant lands, that is, lands not granted or ceded to individuals, by the French or Spanish Governors, or not occupied and cultivated by individuals, on and prior to the 20th of December, 1803, the day that the French authorities surrendered the possession to the American Government. The land now in possession of the School Board is worth nearly $1,000,000 : about another $1,000,000 worth is claimed by the Board ; and a suit is now pending before the Supreme Court, involving $500,000 worth of land, for which a decision is daily expected. These lands are leased by the Board, at present, upon perpetual leases, renewable every ten years, at 6 per cent. upon the value of the ground. Formerly the renewal was every fifty years. Owing to this, the most valuable parts of the lands were leased at low rates upon long leases. The income of the Board for rents is nearly $13,000 annually. There is also imposed by law, sanctioned by a vote of the people in June, 1849, a tax of one-tenth of one per centum on all taxable property within the limits of the city. This tax will amount to $29,000 the present year, and is increasing annually.
Our Board is an independent corporation, subject to no control or revision of the city corporation ; it manages its own funds, imposes its own taxes, employs its own agents, makes its own engagements, determines its own measures, and appropriates its own money, according to its will and pleasure, without any limit or restriction, except what it owes to public opinion. How such a school corporation would answer elsewhere, I cannot tell, but here the salvation of public instruction depended upon this independence of the Board.
We may date the actual and efficient commencement of our school system, to the date of "the importation, ” as it was then called, • of Massachusetts Teachers ” in 1848, when the Board sent an agent to employ teachers in Massachusetts. Some of our schools were very respectable before that time, but nothing to be compared to the high and elevated standard they have now attained. Our System is that which obtains in all cities, and is called in the country the Union School System, though perhaps our subdivision of labor is not so great as in some places. We have only the Primary and the Grammar School, but contemplate to add a High School the coming year. I believe it would add much to its efficiency if we had schools intermediate between the Primary and Grammar School. As it is,' we cannot make a very exact classification of pupils according to their attainments, nor devote sufficient time to classes in the various branches taught. An Intermediate School would reduce the number of classes in the Grammar Schools, and consequently give more time for instructing the more advanced classes, whose progress would be greater.
Our Schools are organized upon what I believe is sometimes called the double-headed system. Each building generally bas three stories appropriated to a Primary and two Grammar Male and Female schools. In each story there is a main room, in which all the scholars are seated, and in which the Principal teaches; he is assisted by two assistants, who bear their classes in separate class rooms. We have twenty-two schools now in operation, embracing about 3,000 pupils, and are just about completing two additional buildings, which will add six schools