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to the offender, in such a case, is doing as we would not be done by to every body else. Nay, if we look beyond the present deed, and the present hour, the kindest office we can perform for the offender, himself, is to expose, and thereby arrest him. With such arrest, there is great chance that he will be saved; without there is little.
Does any one still insist upon certain supposed evils incident to the practice of students giving information of each others' misconduct ? I reply, that the practice itself would save nine-tenths of the occasions for informing, and thus, the evils alledged to belong to the practice would be almost wholly suppressed by it.
But again; look at the parties that constitute a College. A Faculty is selected from the community at large, for their supposed competency for teaching and training youth. Youth are committed to their care, to be taught and trained. The two parties are now together, face to face the one ready and anxious to impart and to mould; the other in a receptive and growing condition. A case of offense, a case of moral delinquency,—no matter what,—occurs. It is the very point, the very juncture, where the wisdom, the experience, the parental regard of the one, should be brought, with all its healing influences, to bear upon the indiscretion, the rashness, or the wantonness of the other. The parties were brought into proximity for this identical purpose. Here is the casus fæderis. Why does not one of them supply the affectionate counsel, the preventive admonition, the heart-emanating and heart-penetrating reproof; perhaps even the salutary fear, which the other so much needs ;-needs now, needs to-day, needs at this very moment;-needs as much as the fainting nian needs a cordial, or a suffocating man air, or a drowning man a life-preserver. Why is not the anodyne, or the restorative, or the support given ? Skillful physician and desperate patient are close together. Why, then, at this most critical juncture, does not the living rescue the dying? Because a "friend," a pretended “FRIEND," holds it as a point of honor, that when his friend is sick, sick with a soul-disease, now curable, but in danger of soon becoming incurable, he ought to cover up his malady, and keep the ethical healer blind and far away!
Such is the whole philosophy of that miserable and wicked doctrine, that it is a Point of Honor not to “report,”—though from the most humane and Christian motives,—the misconduct of a fellow-student, to the Faculty that has legitimate jurisdiction over the case, and is bound by every obligation, of affection, of honor, and of religion, to exercise that jurisdiction, with a single eye to the good of the offender and of the community over which they preside.
VII. LETTERS TO A YOUNG TEACHER.
BY GIDEON F. TIA YER,
Late Principal of Chauncy-Hall School, Boston.
While I was deliberating as to what should be the main topic of this letter, I received the annexed circular, which settled the question at once :
“ TOLEDO, O., Oct. 15th, 1856. “ DEAR SIR: The undersigned having been appointed a Committee, by the Ohio State Teachers' Association, to report, at its meeting in December next, upon the best method of giving moral instruction in schools, would respectfully ask your opinions upon the following questions, with the liberty of making them public :
“What is the comparative importance of Moral Instruction in a system of Education ?
“Should special instruction be given in Morals in our Free Schools ? “What is the best method of giving Moral Instruction in School ?
“ You will do us a great favor by answering the above inquiries at your earliest convenience. “Please direct to John Eaton, Jr., Toledo, O. * Very respectfully, yours, &c., Join Eaton, Jun.,
M. F. COWDERY,
It is gratifying to those who believe that the great want in our community is a higher degree of practical morality, to find associations formed for the inculcation and dissemination of moral truth, established in our large towns and cities; public lay lecturers laboring in the same cause; school-masters insisting more perseveringly upon it; and, especially, to find it engaging the attention of an organized body of teachers in a large, intelligent, and powerful State, and adopting measures, like men in earnest, for the securing of the best results.
Most cordially will every true man lend his coöperation to the cause, in a well-founded confidence that, whatever he may be able to do, little or much, he becomes, on easy terms to himself, to such extent, a benefactor to society.
With no desire to claim, even in the humblest manner, any such distinction, but for my own gratification, I shall attempt to answer the interrogatories contained in the circular, to which I but very briefly replied at the time of receiving it. Too late though it be to subserve the special object of the committee who issued the circular, it may not be wholly useless in other directions.
1. “What is the comparative importance of Moral Instruction in a system of Education ?"
To this question, it seems to me, there can be but one reply; and that is : Moral Education is paramount to all other. The physical and intellectual nature should by no means be neglected; but if they are developed, exercised and trained, and the moral nature overlooked, or left to take care of itself, the hopes of humanity may sink in despair.
In the garden left uncultivated, the weeds soon overgrow, and choke the flowers and useful herbs. So with the human soul; if the flowers of virtue that spring spontaneously, — and I admit that such
- be not attended to and cherished, the tares of evil may soon overpower and crush them.
I do not intend to assert that man's nature is wholly depraved. As a question of theology, it may not be proper here either to affirm or deny it. I will only say that, in the masses of society, the common tendency seems rather to be more towards evil than towards good. Hence the indispensable necessity of exerting every practicable means of counteracting this tendency.
If the capacities of the mind and body receive the whole attention of the educator, the pupil's power for mischief will be all the more increased, and he may, and probably will, become so much the more accomplished a knave.
That talents may be “of worth” (or worthy) in the world, they must have this right direction given them; and this should be done in the school period of life. To delay it is unsafe, if not criminal and ruinous.
will venture the assertion that those ugly excrescences which darken the page of history in the lives of Nero, Caligula, Richard III., Napoleon I., Aaron Burr, and Benedict Arnold, did not enjoy that early moral training, instruction, and example, which
are needful to secure a career of purity, virtue, honor, and patriotism; while, in the examples of Alfred the Great, Constantine, Fenelon, Sir Thomas More, Howard, and Washington, we feel that an influence, potent and holy, was breathed into them, that helped to make them what they were.
All these individuals have their counterparts in all countries, and in almost every school-room, at the present day, - not as to place, power, and distinction, but as to disposition. They, hence, are growing up to crime, cruelty, profligacy, or perfidy; or to honor, usefulness, benevolence, or virtue; - advancing to positions in society, whence their evil deeds will consign to the grave their broken-hearted friends, and their own names to infamy; or from which a halo of light will surround their names, during their lives, for their good deeds, and grateful memory bless them after their departure.
Finally, national probity, honor, and virtue, constitute a State; the State is composed of men ; the men of the next generation are now school-boys. What it is desirable to have them become as men, they must be taught to be as boys. Nor is it safe to leave this work to be done by the pulpit or the fireside. Every proper means that can be brought to bear upon the young, should be put in requisition; and none is more appropriate than, and scarcely any so effective as, the well-applied, faithful, and persevering lessons of the school-room.
From what I have said in answer to the first interrogatory, my reply to the second will readily be anticipated.
2. “Should special instruction be given in Morals in our Free Schools ?”
I reply, unhesitatingly, in the affirmativé. That it may be found more difficult than instruction in literature and science, I am well aware; for, although there are persons of the nicest degree of moral perception and moral refinement among our fraternity, there are others who, perhaps, might be considered obtuse in the department of morals. There are many thousand teachers in the public schools of our land, who take the situations as temporary expedients, with no intention of becoming permanent in the profession, and who are engaged, only for the lack of better, for a period of a few months. Their qualifications often fall short of the moral department; from such, of course, it would be useless to expect much on this point, whatever the school committee might require.
But even this should not exonerate them from doing what they can. No person should be placed in charge of the young, who has not mastered the great principles of morality in theory, nor whose life does not evince a practical acquaintance with them. The services of better and better candidates should be secured, until those fully qualified can be found. Let committees or school supervisors insist on the moral qualification as the prominent, leading, and indispensable one, and the requisition will increase the supply, until, in time, the schools will, in most cases, be well provided.
The Legislature of Massachusetts, long ago, made it a matter of legal requisition that certain things should be taught in her public schools. The act on Public Instruction, Section 7, reads thus: “It shall be the duty of the president, professors, and tutors, of the university at Cambridge, and of the several colleges, and of all preceptors and teachers of academies, and all other instructors of youth, to exert their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and youth committed to their care and instruction, the principles of piety, justice, and a sacred regard to truth, love to their country, humanity, and universal benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality, chastity, moderation and temperance, and those other virtues which are the ornament of human society, and the basis upon which a republican constitution is founded; and it shall be the duty of such instructors to endeavor to lead their pupils, as their ages and capacities will admit, into a clear understanding of the tendency of the above-mentioned virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, and secure the blessings of liberty, as well as to promote their future happiness, and also to point out to them the evil tendency of the opposite vices.”
Thus it will be perceived that, as far as Massachusetts is concerned, no public teacher, of any grade, has it at his option to teach morality or not; but, as a loyal citizen, he must do it. Well would it be for every State in the confederacy to adopt a similar law.
Teachers are required “to exert their best endeavors” in this work. Consequently, it should be kept constantly in view, and not be left to chance for its exercise. A time should be set apart for it as regularly as for any of the studied lessons of the school; and at that time it should be invariably brought up.
3. “What is the best method of giving Moral Instruction in School ?"
This question it is not so easy to answer, for the reason that teachers of experience, with any degree of originality, must differ in modes, even, of arriving at like results. William B. Fowle, a veteran teacher, of great success in his vocation, alluding to his means of teaching, in the outline of his school plans, says that he teaches