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HEAD MASTER OF THE YORKSHIRE INSTITUTION FOR THE
DEAF AND DUMB, AUTHOR OF "A TEACHER'S LESSONS
"Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and
were created."-Book of the Revelation.
LONGMAN AND CO. PATERNOSTER ROW; SEELEYS, FLEET-
STREET; NISBET, BERNERS-STREET; HOULSTONS, PA-
NOTE.-The Author of a Teacher's Lessons is aware that two
little works on the subject of this small volume have been lately published. He was engaged on the subject ot the Creation before he knew of the “ Child's Book of the Creation" by Mr. Goodrich; and the subject matter of his lessons on the soul of man was written several years ago, long before he had seen Mr. Gallaudet's little work on the same subject. The merits of the latter work demand a most respectful notice: Mr. T. H. Gallaudet is personally unknown to the Author of these pages, but well known as a successful and eminent teacher of the deaf and dumb in America. The train of reasoning pursued in the following lessons is not dissimilar to that pursued in Mr. Gallaudet's small work. There is no doubt but that he fell into such a course of treating a very difficult subject while analyzing it for his deaf and dumb pupils; the Author of a Teacher's Lessons arrived at his end by similar means, and this may sufficiently account for a certain degree of similarity,
[ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL.]
Charles White, Printer, Baxter-gate, Doncaster.
Children begin to exercise their thinking and reasoning faculties at a very early age. Our daily experience shews us that they do so in all matters personally connected with themselves. A good opportunity for observing the extent to which children reason is, when they are busied among their toys: they do nothing without an object, as we should be clearly assured, if the little creatures had language with which to express their mental impulses. And it is truly wonderful, how soon we may begin to reason with infants ;-long before they begin to speak, they can understand what is said to them, and they shew forth their emotions at what they hear, in even a more expressive way than language could dictate. It is at this time that education should commence. In the first stage by shewing that we are interested in their little pleasures, and by leading them to draw correct conclusions: next by encouraging and assisting them to express their ideas in the simple language of infancy. As children advance in knowledge, and as their attention becomes more fixed on the lessons of the parent, supposing them at this period to have made considerable advancement in language, books may be called in to assist in the work of instruetion.
Children should not be wearied with the mechanical exercise of reading; at a tender age it is better to read to them: we should encourage their remarks, to elicit how far they understand what is read ; and we should simplify the subject by any details that may appear necessary.
If the education of infants is commenced in the way here hinted at, it is thought that at the age of four or five years, under ordinary auspices, books containing much information may be made useful in the course of instruction. The ba, be, bi, bo, bu ; bab, cab, dab, &c. with which too many nurseries are encumbered, to the great labour and dissatisfaction of the little pupils, ought to be abolished, and books containing really useful informatiou, ought to be supplied in their place.
To'go a stage higher than the b, a, bu, 8c. a popular spelling-book, which has passed through many editions, presents us with the following example of a first reading lesson—"ah me it is,"
There are many other examples of precisely the same nature as the one given, in the book alluded to, and there are very numerous popular spellingbooks of a similar description. Now, is there any thing in such lessons, to interest children ? any knowledge conveyed ? any sentiment expressed ? any idea calculated to call forth the better feelings of our nature? Instead of such unmeaning combinations, tell the little pupils, with the help of pictures, for want of real objects, that the elephant is a large animal, the kitten is small; they will understand such sentences, and such lessons will convey ideas to the mind.
It may be objected that elephant is a long, hard, word, and that lessons for children should consist of combinations of easy words; which objection leads to the consideration of what words are hard, and what are easy. Elephant expresses a sensible idea. Every thing that has dimensions, shape, colour, weight, is sensible, and belongs to the lowest class of sensible ideas, and can be the most easily explained and understood. Words are not difficult because they are long. Words are easy or difficult for children, as they express ideas easy or difficult of comprehension. If the books of first lessons which are generally given to children,