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TEXT-BOOKS ON BOTANY,
BY PROFESSOR ASA GRAY,
OP HARVARD UNIVERSITY.
These books present the latest and most accurate principles and developments of the science, and have been recommended by almost every eminent Botanist in the country.
For comprehensiveness of scope, exactness and clearness of description, accurate and Ecientific analysis of plants, and beauty of illustrations, they have no equal.
THE SERIES CONSISTS OF
Containing a POPULAR FLORA, or an Arrangement and Description of Common Plante, both Wild and Cultivated. Illustrated by more than 500 Drawings from Nature.
This work is a simple, attractive, and beautifully illustrated BOTANY FOR YOUNG People, intended to teach them how to begin to read, with pleasure and profit, one large and easy chapter in the open Book of Nature.
Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology. Illustated by over 360 Woodcuts; to which is added a copious GLOSSARY, or Dictionary of Botanical Terms.
This book is intended for beginners, as well as for classes in the Higher Schools.
Manual of Botany. A comprehensive Flora of the Northern States east of the Mississippi, including Virginia and Kentucky, arranged acccrding to the NATURAL SYSTEM. To which is added GARDEN BOTANY, and Fourteen beautiful Plates, illustrating the Genera of Ferns, Grasses, etc.
Lessons and Manual. This work, in one volume, is the one most used as a complete Class-book, by students of Botany.
With this book in hand, the garden, the lawn, the field, the hill-side, the mountaintop, and valley, all become teachers, vocal with instruc'inn, vot curious merely, but useful and interesting.
Structural and Systematic Botany and Vegetable
Pysiology. Being a FIFTH REVISED edition of the “ Botanical Text-Book,” illus-rated by over 1,300 Woodcuts, to which is added a full Glossary, or Dictionary of Botanical Term 3.
Manual of Botany, with Mosses and Liverworts. With Twenty-two Plates, illustrating the Genera of Cryptogamia.
AB Liberal terms given on books furnished for examination or introduction.
IVISON, PHINNEY, BLAKEMAN & Co.,
48 and 50 Walkei street, New York. S. C. GRIGGS & Co.,
39 and 41 Lake street, Chicago, Ill.
[In his communication to superintendents, teachers and other friends of education, published in the October number of the Journal, Mr. Pickard signified his purpose to give some parting advice to the teachers of the State, which he fulfills in the following part of a letter communicated to Mr. McMynn, by his request, and inserted in his Report. In republishing it, we perform an act which will we think be quite acceptable to our readers.—EDR.]
Two words will express in brief the advice I would give teachers—AVOID
And yet I am hardly content to leave you with so short a text, for our views may differ as to what constitutes extremes in education and in discipline.
You have often had urged upon you the necessity of being what you would have your pupils become. The fact that your pupils will become what you are, gives force to this advice. In no other way does the teacher so impress himself
upon the pupils under his charge as by example. It becomes us then to give due attention to this matter of The Teacher's Personal Habits.
Avoid extremes in dress. Ragged clothing, carelessness of attire, a generally slouched appearance are no worse than fancy cravats, massive rings, dazzling chains, or tawdry ornaments. The one encourages neglect of the body, without demanding mental or moral culture ; the other gives undue prominence to the body, while it sacrifices both head and heart. Plain and neat attire best suits real men and real women.
Every movement of the teacher speaks. Intelligent and refined patrons will be satisfied with nothing short of refined manners. Not like the refinement of the spider's web, which has for its sole object the ensnaring of its victim; but like that of the silk-worm's web, which is made useful to others, though not at the outset as showy or attractive. This includes quiet and orderly deportment which allures and wins, and forbids all stormy raving, coapse and vulgar boorishness, and careless postures in the presence of pupils or others, on the one hand, and, upon the other extreme, all simpering, silly affectation.
Teachers often put extreme estimates upon their own abilities. Some are forever harping upon their own merits, and others with an equal lack of good sense, continually and persistently decry themselves. The former will fail through lack of co-operation denied by a disgusted people ; the latter will fail through lack of energy to dare and do.
There is no class of professional men who can make more outside show upon less capital than teachers. Almost constantly associated with inferiors, and accustomed to authority, it is easy for them to pass into that state of hallucination which will suffer them to glory in their own greatness, and to grow into a belief that they are the embodiment of wisdom. Again, employed by men who look more to outside evidences of progress than to real and substantial growth, and feeling assured that their popularity must depend upon pleasing such men and flattering vain parents, they spend much time in preparing for holiday parades, and soon assume pompous airs while leading forth their little host in review. The eclat gained at such entertainments provokes the teacher to the belief that he has achieved a merited success, and his self-conceit is fattened. His forte is ascertained, and he grows only in that direction. The temptations are strong, and many, who might have been mighty, have fallen before them.
The opposite extreme is not as ridiculous or blameworthy, but many a teacher failing to see immediate results is plunged at once into a slough of despond. He has mistaken his calling, and all labor therein becomes to him mere drudg. ery. A teacher of ordinary attainments, wishing to avoid these unhappy extremes, will modestly learn wisdom of others, and be calm in the persuasion that he is laboring faithfully toward a right end in the right way, and by use of the right means, he patiently awaits results. One may dig deep in our Western prairies, and find neither hazel nut nor acorn, and yet when fires are checked both oak and hazel bush appear. The true teacher well knows that when the fires of ignorance and superstition are kept off the cultivated mind, the seed planted there, though long and securely hidden, will germinate and grow to the blessing of mankind.
Intimately connected with the extreme views teachers take of their own ability will be found extreme views of the character of their work. But here the extremes all lie upon one side of what should be the golden mean. None can place too high an estimate upon the importance of this work. Many fail to appreciate its value. One runs into the mad chase after physical culture as the ne plus ultra of education, and would make a giant with neither brain to direct to a proper use of the power gained, nor heart to be moved by sympathy with, or love for the many worthy objects in whose behalf this giant power should be used. Others, neglecting both body and heart, fill the brain with
edge, which will be denied to all others, and make of its possessor a selfish and dyspeptic misanthrope. Others toil at the heart of the pupil until they awaken there sympathy and love for the right and hatred for evil, but there is neither muscular power nor brain power to do what the pupil so keenly feels ought to be done, and in despair at the hopeless misery and incurable vices of this world the victim of mis-education either becomes a recluse in this wicked world, or hastens himself to some other, which he faintly hopes may prove a better world. The proper and happy blending of these three extremes will bring a teacher back to his true position. President Hill defines a child to be “a will governing a body under the impulse of passion, and under the guidance of reason.” This definition suits my present purpose. From this it will appear that the passions (including the affections) and the will are of no less consequence than the reason, nor would either be of much worth except as connected with the body. The vessel propelled by wind needs both helm and master. The steamer with engine needs both pilot and rudder. Helm and master can be of little service to an unseaworthy ship. Engine, pilot and rudder may the sooner sink a rotten steamer. The body must be the first care of every sensible teacher. All exercises of the school-room must have due regard to the body, without whose healthy action all other powers must prove of less avail, whatever their degree of culture.
And yet physical training alone will not cultivate the mind nor save the soul. A complete master of Lewis' light gymnastics may be an ignoramus or a rake, or both. The grace and beauty this system most surely developes, will but make the fool less respected, and the profligate more dangerous. No sensible teacher will therefore make it the end of his work, but will use it as a very efficient means to a higher and holier end: the intellectual and moral culture of the being who dwells in the body, and makes it for himself a comfortable home.
The will must be trained, not broken. The child with a broken will is a steamer with an exploded boiler. The breaking of the will, as it is attempted, and sometimes accomplished, by the Squeers class of teachers, emasculates the child, and makes him an inoffensive and useless nobody. The will needs training
There is no passion to which the human heart is subject that has not its use. Anger, hatred and kindred passions are not necessarily malevolent. Their exercise may be an act of benevolence when brought to bear upon proper objects and in the right way. God, the embodiment of all goodness, is said to exercise hatred and anger. These passions need to be cultivated, not smothered. Much of the mischief of little children, and of the waywardness of older children, comes from an attempt on the part of the teacher to crush out of the child that which is a part of his nature.
Understanding the character of his work the teacher may still mistake the capacity of his pupils. Here are dangerous extremes to be avoided. In nothing connected with the teacher's work is there so much to call out the
exercise of common sense as in the estimate he places upon the capacity of his pupils. Precocious children are urged forward into an overgrown imbecility, while those of less mental vigor are chided into almost listless idiocy. “Crack scholars” and “ crack classes” are too often paraded before a wondering pi:blic by a teacher, when ambition gets the better of his sense. Pride, haughtiness and conceit are thus fostered. Those, whose only fault is that of a more natural development, whose minds grow slowly while the body is attaining its strength and vigor, are driven back into the shade from which they are never called forth to feel the sunlight of a smile, or the cheer of a kind word. They cannot, and of course will not try. One class burns out quickly, the other smoulders out, for in their deep retirement they are fanned by no breeze, and stirred by no ambition. Oft as I have seen a class sacrificed to the vain attempt to pull or push the majority into an even pace with the few marked ones, I have thought of the gardener, who, wishing to save time and expense, planted some sun-flower seeds with his pole beans, that the stalk might serve as a support to the climbing bean. True to its nature the bean coiled spirally about the stalk of perpendicular growth, and its reliance upon the sun-flower proved its ruin, for it had hardly fastened to its proud supporter before it was pulled up by the roots, and thus the more useful was sacrificed to the more showy.
While single individuals of any school may become great by the accident of station, the majority, and a very large majority, must be relatively small men. It is the wildest conceit in a teacher to see in every urchin before him a president or governor or congressman; and to be so possessed of this conceit as that his course shall be shaped toward a special fitting of these future magnates for their stations is the veriest folly. If, through fortune's freaks, any one of the whole number should be lifted into place and power, it is far better that his early training should have been such as to develop his goodness, his humility. The training of the child should have reference to the certainty of his manhood, rather than to the probability of his exaltation ; to his actual rather than to his possible wants. Nor will he display a greater common sense, who, knowing that the large majority must be trained for ordinary duties, selects the few who are to be honored of men, and impresses upon them the sense of their importance. The embryo president, in the end, may prove a hungry waiter upon the table of his less promising schoolmate. Fortune will make a mock of all foolish predictions.
The true teacher will know no prodigies to laud, no dunces to berate. Con. vinced that minds differ, he will neither overtax the moderate, nor delay the non-active, but he will curb the child whose brain outruns the body, while he encourages, or it may be, goads the one whose body saps the brain. There is one extreme to which I must call attention in this connection. The mental digestive organs of our children must be of enormous size and power, if they prove adequate to the task imposed upon them by many of our extremists, who