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Each candidate, before admission, is examined as to his knowledge of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, sacred history and geography, and in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and arithmetic. He must read fluently, spell correctly from dictation, write a good bold hand, be well practised in arithmetic, as far as the Rule of Three inclusive, and above all
, have a competent knowledge of the Holy Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.
If approved, the candidate is admitted a probationer for three months, on his paying, or giving adequate security for the payment of, the sum of 81. 3s. to the Society, for the quarter's board and washing, the instruction he may receive being gratuitous. But in case it is found before the end of this period that he discovers no fitness for the office of a teacher, or is otherwise incompetent, he is called upon to withdraw, and charged only for the number of the weeks he may have resided in the institution, at the rate of 321. 128. a-year.
Students who have left during the last Year. Fifty-two students left the institution during the year preceding my inspection, making a total of 138 schoolmasters trained in it, of whom 64 completed their course of instruction before it was placed in the hands of the National Society, and 74 have left it since. Of the 52 who have left during the past year, I have appended to this Report a list (Appendix B.), specifying the time during which each has been in the institution and the school of which he has been placed in charge.
The period nominally assigned to the course is twelve months. The above-mentioned 52 students had resided an average period of one year and three months.
The Officers of the Institution. The establishment consists of the Rev. Thomas Jackson, M.A., Principal; the Rev. John Hunter, Vice-principal; Mr. Thomas Tate, Mathematical Master; Mr. Taylor, Master of the Battersea Model School and of the Art of Teaching or Method; Mr. Linn, Industrial Master. Lectures on Geography are given statedly by Mr. Hughes; on Music, by Mr. Hullah and his assistants; on Gymnastics, by Mr. Cousins ; and on Writing, by Mr. Zurhorst.
By the recent appointment of Mr. M‘Leod, master of the village school, and lecturer on method, to the office of head master in the Royal Military Asylum at Chelsea, the institution has lost the services of a zealous and a skilful teacher, associated with it from its commencement. Mr. Taylor, one of the students, has been appointed to succeed him; and I trust that in his hands that important department of the institution which connects it with the village school will lose none of the efficiency it had acquired under the able direction of Mr. M Leod.
The subjects of Instruction. The following is a general statement of the subjects of instruction, each being pursued as far as may be practicable and expedient in a twelve-months' course,--the Doctrines of the Bible, as expounded by the Church of England; General Church History; the History of the English Church and Liturgy; Etymology; English Grammar; Commercial Arithmetic; English History; Pestalozzian Arithmetic ; Algebra ; Geometry; Mechanics ; Chemistry; Land Surveying; the Mulhauser Method of Writing; and especially the Art of Teaching. For this last most important purpose the Village School of Battersea is allowed by the Honourable and Reverend Robert Eden to continue, as formerly, the Model School of the institution ; and the students devote some hours a day, during the last four months of their term, to attendance at that school, having classes there assigned them, under the superintendence of Mr. Taylor. They also assist in gardening and household work, under the direction of Mr. Linn.
I have appended to this Report (Appendix C.) a copy of the existing time-table. In Scriptural knowledge the lectures for the last
have included the following subjects :-Old Testament Biography to the time of Elijah ; New Testament Biography, contained in the Gospels; the Epistle to the Hebrews; Prophecy, in its character and design; the Periods of Old Testament History; the Chief Predictions relative to the Messiah ; the Chief Types of our Saviour; the Principal Doctrines of Scripture.
This course of lectures is intrusted to the Rev. the Viceprincipal. The course on Church History is undertaken by the Rev. the Principal himself. It has included the following subjects ;
1. The first ten Articles.
3. A sketch of the prominent points in the History of the Church in this country, from its foundation to the beginning of the Reformation, including the reformation in Germany.
In English Grammar, the elementary treatise of Professor Latham has, in some particulars, served as a text-book; and the students have been taught the distinction and the classification of elementary vocal sounds, and the nature of the parts of speech ; the rules of syntax; prefixes and roots from Ross's outlines; the conventional application of derivations; etymological parsing; grammatical analysis; the structure of sentences; the transposition and paraphrase of sentences. This subject is taught by the Vice-principal, to whom is also intrusted the course in English History and the History of English Literature. The period reached in this course was that of Henry VIII.
The scientific course has not essentially differed from that given during the previous year, of which a syllabus was appended to my last Report. It has, however, been the object of Mr. Tate, more I believe than heretofore, to present every subject of scientific inquiry to the students under the double aspect of that which they are to learn and that which they are to teach.
The hours set apart for instruction in “ Method,” or the "Art of Teaching,” have been occupied by Mr. M.Leod entirely in critical remarks on the lessons given by the teachers in the village school. No special lectures have been given on method.
Great progress has, I am informed, been made in VOCAL Music during the last year. Mr. Sterndale Bennett, Professor of the Academy of Music, obligingly undertook, at this as at my last inspection, to conduct the examination in this subject; and I have appended to this Report a letter (Appendix E.), in which he has recorded his impressions in respect to it.
To MODEL DRAWING a larger share of attention has been directed than during any previous year, and much progress has been made. The solid models, drawn on tinted paper and shadowed, comprise the following :—The cube, the quadrangular pyramid ; the cube and pyramid combined; the hexagonal prism; the square frame, with the bars flat and the bars square; the square frame and cross combined; the cross; the pentagon; the octagon; the star; the cylinder; the globe; the hollow cube, &c.
It is greatly to be regretted that no more than one hour and three-quarters a-week can be devoted to this important department in the instruction of elementary schoolmasters. From the character of some of the drawings executed here it cannot, I think, be doubted that, if the requisite time could be allowed, a very high standard of proficiency would be attained.
Results of the Inspector's Examination. I have appended to this Report a copy of the questions placed before the students on the several days of my examination. (Appendix D.) The answers they have given, in writing, to those questions are now before me.
In Scriptural Knowledge they have acquitted themselves creditably. I have distinguished from the rest, the exercises of Biggs, G. H. Taylor, Thackeray, and Gawthorn, as particularly deserving of commendation.
In Ecclesiastical History the extent of their knowledge, if considered in reference to the circumstances under which it has been acquired, is remarkable.
It includes the principal events in the history of the three first centuries; a general knowledge of the questions of doctrine brought into discussion during that period, and of the prevalent heresies, and some particulars in the lives and writings of the most eminent of the Fathers.
In this subject the papers of Marriott, Reid, Biggs, Hulford, Hobley, Nixon, H. Williams and Watts are the most deserving of commendation.
Whilst bearing a willing testimony to the importance of ecclesiastical history as a part of the course of instruction proper to a Church training-school, I may perhaps be pardoned if I suggest it as worthy of consideration, whether, here, it does not enter in an undue proportion relatively to other subjects.
To the questions given to them on the Art of Teaching, the answers of the students are not generally so satisfactory as I could have desired. Among the best are those of Dakin, Marriott, and Woolley.
The questions in English History have been, on the whole, tolerably well answered, according to the text-book used, which appears, however, to be a mere outline of the subject. Anything better than such an outline of historical knowledge is perhaps impracticable in a course so limited in time as that of this institution, and so crowded with subjects. It is impossible, however, not to desire, in the instruction of elementary schoolmasters, something in history better adapted to the intelligence of children, having more relations with things familiar to their observation--and to their interest—than the
mere succession of sovereigns, or the detail of political events, removed by their very magnitude far beyond the sphere of the sympathies of children, if not of their comprehension. Among the best papers in history are those of Gawthorn, G. W. Taylor, and Jeffery.
I have been gratified at the evidence which the papers on Geography afford of the attention given here to the study of physical geography, and at the neatness and precision with which a map of the continent of Europe has been drawn from memory by some of the students. Among the best passages are those by Thackeray, G. W. Taylor, Jackson, Hobley, and Perkin.
In some of the exercises on English Grammar, I have observed a nice discrimination of grammatical forms and attempts at the critical discussion of disputed grammatical questions, which afford the evidence of superior teaching. In only two or three instances has, however, the meaning of a sentence which I requested them to paraphrase, been correctly given; and in no case have they parsed that sentence correctly. It may, it is true, be considered a somewhat difficult sentence to comprehend; but their intelligence of the idea thus conveyed under a complicated form of expression appears to me the
fairest test which I can apply to their knowledge of language, and the peculiar deficiencies exhibited by persons of their class in such matters seems to indicate that their instruction in language may take this direction with great advantage.
To the success with which the scientific course of this institution has been pursued, I can bear as heretofore a very decided testimony. Were a longer period allotted to it, I doubt not that a very high standard of attainment would be reached.
Two or three of the students have exhibited some knowledge of the Differential calculus, and several have advanced in Algebra as far as Cubic Equations. Among the best papers in Algebra are those of Buttery, Jeffery, Blackburn, Holland, Marriott, and Woolley. The improvement made in this respect is due in some degree to a little work which Mr. Tate has recently published on Algebra,* in which he appears to me, as in his other elementary works, to have succeeded eminently in bringing the first steps of exact science within the compass of the intelligence of children.
They are unable to devote that time to the study of Geometry which is necessary to any extensive acquisitions in it. I have found them, however, better versed in it than at any previous examination.
In Arithmetic and Mensuration, Pinder, Reid, Jeffery, Marriott, and Skelton, have acquitted themselves, I think, the best. Generally, however, the students have not succeeded so well in these subjects—and particularly in simplifying the questions they have worked, as from the opportunities here afforded them I should have expected.
Jeffery and Buttery have done well in Trigonometry, and I have been particularly pleased to find problems, involving the determination of heights and distance, solved by the method of geometrical construction, and the use of the scale and compasses by those students who are not sufficiently advanced to apply to them the formulæ of trigonometry. This method of working by geometrical construction, the class of problems in mensuration and mechanics usually solved by trigonometry, appears to me eminently applicable to the business of elementary schools. Scales and compasses may be purchased at a cheap rate, and there can be no reason why the more advanced children should not be made familiar with the use of them. Among the other expedients by which this use might be made at once interesting and instructive is, its application to the solution of the class of questions in the mensuration of heights and distances, and areas, and in inechanics, of which I have just spoken, usually reserved for trigonometrical calculation.
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