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name of Thomas Arnold. He exhibited, in practice, all the excellent virtues of a faithful, accomplished, Christian teacher. He loved his profession. He understood its duties and responsibilities. He was earnest, persevering, decided, independent and highminded. Arnold trained young men not merely for the employments of earth, but for the service of Heaven. Every thought, word, and action of his, seemed to be baptized in a spirit of devotion. Every page of his biography rebukes the negligent, worldly and infidel teacher. Few teachers can read it without self-reproach. The silent page speaks to the conscience, with the directness, earnestness and authority of an impartial judge. Whoever reads his letters, will feel humbled on account of omitted duties, and quickened to renewed diligence. Since the days of Roger Aschan, England has not produced an instructor of youth like him. He has now gone to the great Teacher, and “ Judge of the quick and the dead," to receive his reward ; but his example yet lives; and thus," he being dead yet speaketh.”
“ Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime ;
PROFESSOR OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY AND ASTRONOMY IN YALE COLLEGE.
I HAVE sometimes endeavored to picture to my mind a beau ideal of the perfect teacher, as Cicero did of the perfect orator, and as St. Paul did of the perfect Christian. It is, indeed, easier to portray the image than to find the original ; far easier to form the conception, than to exhibit the reality ; and the most accomplished teacher will doubtless be obliged to contemplate, with much humility, the model which his own fancy may sketch, when he compares with it what he actually is. Still, the contemplation of such a model is not without its use. It is like the ideal standard which dwells in the mind of the painter or the sculptor, which, however the highest
efforts of art may fall short of actually reaching it, will still impart richer tints to the pencil of Titian, and softer graces to the chisel of Canova.
The portraiture of the perfect teacher which I propose now to attempt, will be of the most general
one that will apply, in its main features, to all whose profession it is to communicate knowledge, whether in the character of the teacher of a common school, the preceptor of an academy, or the professor in a University. We may contemplate the characteristics of the perfect teacher under five general heads: the knowledge he has of his own subject — his knowledge of kindred subjects — his intellectual qualities — his moral qualities — his manners and knowledge of the world. Let us inquire then,
1. What knowledge the teacher requires of the particular subject which is professionally his own.
The knowledge of any subject in which one undertakes to give instruction must have at least two qualities it must be accurate, and it must be extensive.
In the first place, his knowledge must be accurate. I do not refer so much to errors of opinion as to errors in matters of fact, — to what are properly called mistakes. Whatever indulgence may be conceded to instructors in regard to their peculiar prejudices or opinions, no allowance can be made for ignorance or carelessness. These are qualities which are wholly incompatible with the very idea of the instructor - a professed dispenser of truth. In arithmetic, algebra, or geometry, or in any of the exact sciences, he must
never commit a mistake, in either his statement of principles, or solution of problems. In matters of fact, also, whether pertaining to history, geography, statistics, or the news of the day, he must always be right; right in his statements, and correct in his answers to his pupils, whatever inquiries they may present to him, whether of little or of great importance. Accuracy must be the settled habit of his mind, a love of truth to a hair's breadth. Nothing else can become the professed disciple and dispenser of truth. Nothing else can command the unwavering confidence of the pupil. The character of the teacher is sullied by frequent mistakes, like that of a bookkeeper, or a banker. It is surprising to see how soon even the youngest learner will lose his confidence and respect for his teacher, when he has detected in him occasional mistakes. At every such discovery, he rises in his own estimation, and the teacher proportionally sinks. The very character of the pupil is injured by such an incident. He rapidly loses the docility and modesty so essential to the scholar, and becomes uplifted with pride and selfimportance. I have known an instructor, whose feeling of the importance of unerring accuracy to the character of the teacher, had become almost morbidly sensitive; so that he regarded a mistake on his part as sullying his character, almost like a lapse from female virtue, and an oversight comparatively trifling, would mortify and distress him for hours afterwards.
In the second place, the knowledge which the teacher has of his subject, must be extensive. I use
the word, however, in reference to the exigencies of each particular instructor. It is not necessary that the schoolmistress, who teaches merely spelling and reading, should be profound in geometry, or learned in history; but she must herself be an accurate speller and a good reader, and well acquainted with the rules for spelling and reading. The ground occupied by the teacher may be more or less extensive; but whatever it is, his attainments must be fully adequate to cover it. They must embrace not only a full and familiar acquaintance with the lesson, but a thorough knowledge of the subject itself. He must be able not only to solve any difficulty which the pupil may meet with in the lesson, but to answer any inquiries which may possibly suggest themselves to the mind of an inquisitive and ingenious pupil, without the immediate precincts of the lesson. Moreover, the respect of the pupil can hardly be secured, if he finds, when he has read his textbook, that he knows as much of the subject as his teacher, and that he has sounded the whole depth of his erudition. Those who are charged with the instruction of the more advanced class of students, in the higher branches of learning, have occasion for great attainments in their profession, reaching far beyond those which their pupils will make, in the ordinary course of their education. These, in our higher seminaries of learning, will generally be such as will require the best energies of a long life of study and reflection, confined to some single department of literature or science; since teachers of this class,