« ForrigeFortsæt »
A SERIES OF GRADUATED COURSES FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS.
The plan and principal characteristics of this series may be learned from the following exposition of the subject.
A knowledge of the globe we inhabit, whether considered in itself alone, or in its relations to man, the distribution of the races of men, and the civil divisions of its surface, is a subject of interest too varied, too direct, and too vital, not to command the attention, and excite the sympathy of the mind, at every period of life.
If Geography has been considered as a dry and often fruitless study, if, indeed, to teach it with success has been considered as one of the most difficult problems in education, there is reason to believe that the difficulty lies not in the subject, but in the method of teaching it.
In most manuals the accumulation of facts, and especially the want of arrangement of them, really corresponding to their connection in nature, render the study difficult, and overburdens the memory at the expense of a true and thorough understanding of the subject. Hence, there is confusion and want of clear and comprehensive views, and consequently a lack of interest for the pupil. For if the mind seeks to comprehend, it is only interested in what appears clear and well connected. To attain this end it is necessary
FIRST. To attempt a rigid selection of materials, and to reject from school instruction all details which have but a transient value, and, on the other hand, to render prominent, facts of permanent value; preferring, for instance, the details of Physical Geography and of Ethnography, to those of Statistics, which may be more fully dwelt upon subsequently.
SECOND. To distribute geographical instruction throughout the whole course of education, so as to divide the labour of learning, and to give at the same time to each period of life the nutriment most appropriate for its intellectual taste and capacity. To this end, the globe should be studied from different points of view successively, graduating each view to the capacity of different classes of pupils. At first, the fundamental outlines alone should be presented, and next, not only additional facts, but a deeper understanding of their connection, and so on; and thus, by a regular and natural path, a full and intelligent knowledge of the globe, in all its relations, will be finally attained.
THIRD. The comparative method, recently adopted with so much success in some of the best continental schools, should always he employed; for it is by the recognition of resemblances and differences that the mind seizes upon the true characters, and perceives the natural relations, and the admirable connection, of the different parts which form the grand whole; in a word, gains real knowledge.
The series hereby announced is designed to meet these wants. It will consist of three courses, adapted to the capacity of three different ages and periods of study. The first is intended for Elementary Schools, and for children from seven to ten years of age. The second is adapted for higher classes in Elementary Schools, and for young persons of from ten to fifteen years. The third is to be used as a scientific manual for higher schools or colleges, and for teachers.