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SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.
The following system of Education is in entire accordance with Mr. Girard's will; and is calculated to secure three prominent and important points, therein expressed, viz:
1st. TO MAKE COMPLETE FRENCH AND SPANISH
2nd. To AFFORD TO SUPERIOR TALENTS SUPERIOR
3rd. TO MAKE THOROUGH PRACTICAL AS WELL AS
The Pupils will be classified in the following manner, viz:
1st. Infant Department.
Children from 6 to 10 years of age, to be placed in the Infant Department, which shall be divided into two sections, located in situations separate from each other, and as far as possible from the College building.
The course to be pursued here, is legitimately a course of nature, and best adapted to nature's laws.
The first section will constitute the French Infant Class, into which the children will be first admitted, and in which they will spend two years.
The second section will constitute the Spanish Infant Class, into which they will be introduced from the first section, and in which they will spend a like term.
Complete French and Spanish families, with proper instructers, who shall always speak their respective languages, shall have charge of the children under such regulations as may be established. *
* At each establishment, sufficient ground for health and pleasure shall be fenced in, with well laid out gardens, planted with flowers, fruit trees, vegetables, &c. &c., to render the place gratifying to the eye, and at the same time to become subjects of conversation and instruction.
The same advantages may also be derived from the introduction of minerals, paints, drugs, fluids, metals, machines; and, to illustrate Natural History,
If children be admitted older than six, it may be found necessary to continue them in the Infant Department until their 12th or even 13th year, especially if they be near ten at the time of entrance.
a museum containing beasts, birds, fishes, and other animals ; all which, to be familiarly explained to the children by competent instructers, thereby giving at the same time, ideas of things as well as words to express those ideas in their respective languages.
The museum should be so located as to be of easy access to all the pupils of the institution.
At suitable times, the children may be taken to the college and shown the various apparatus, and other things, which will afford abundant subject for conversation, and some simple experiments may also be shown and explained to them. Occasional walks in the Botanic garden, and visits to the work shops may also be advantageously made.
This kind of instruction will be of incalculable advantage to children to awaken, and at the same time to gratify curiosity, so natural to them. Thus, much solid instruction may be imparted, which in their subsequent studies will be more scientifically considered and fully investigated.
Pupils may be introduced in the Infant Department every week. Better they should come one or two at a time than many.
This will more ef. fectually prevent any language being spoken except that belonging to the place.
When boys are first introduced, it may be well to fix on them some badge of distinction, to render them at once conspicuous, and thereby the more readily to prevent such from associating with those who speak English, from which they must be forbidden under suitable pains and penalties. A similar caution to be observed when they enter the Spanish Class. The great variety and gradation of classes, that will necessarily exist in the higher departments, will always open a place for them when prepared to leave the Infan Department.
Gymnastic exercises suitable to children may be taught, and such sports and amusements introduced as may render their situation desirable and happy.
The stream of water at the end of the lot may be directed into a bathing place, where the children may be taught to swim, and thus while they are acquiring an important art, they will have all the advantages of cleanliness so necessary to the enjoyment of health.
As each establishment will have several houses connected with it, forming
To put this plan in complete operation, it would be highly advantageous, and perhaps absolutely necessary to introduce from the most approved parts of France and Spain, for the first two years, fifteen or twenty children, of good families, from the age of 10 to 12, or older. *
The principal employment in school shall be, to learn to spell, read and write in these respective languages. Their sessions short, not to exceed two hours. Better to have three, or even four sessions a day of short continuance, than two, tediously protracted, as such have an unhappy influence on children.
It shall be the duty of the teachers, [Vice-president,t] carefully to watch any evidence of the children losing a facility in any language previously known, and when such evidence is manifested, to counteract the evil by placing them where they will recover a well balanced equilibrium in the languages.
For the purpose of maintaining the English by conversation, and also for primary instruction in spelling and reading in that language, a suitable English School, surrounded by a small enclosure for play-ground, shall be erected adjacent to the French and Spanish Classes.
something like a small town, it may be proper, in order to fix correct ideas in the mind, and the place thereby viewed with correct feelings, to call the one French and the other Spanish town, for such in reality they would be, though in America.
* These children according to stipulation, may be returned to their respective parents in two years, with certain remuneration, or to afford them an opportunity to learn the English language after three or four years, or if parents prefer it, after they have had a complete course through the college, as a compensation for their highly important services.
† See Philosophy of Education, page 234, § 19.
A Professor of the French and Spanish languages shall be at the head of their respective departments, and it shall be the duty of each, to pay parțicular attention to the evidences of talent in the children, and keep a proper record of the same, to be reported to the Inspector, [Vice-president,] on their leaving the Infant Department.
This is a highly interesting part of the institution. It is founded upon philosophic principles; and experience fully attests its practicability.*
• Volumes might be written to illustrate or to vindicate this plan of instruction in the French and Spanish languages. In attempting to establish its claims to universal approbation, a wide field of philosopliic research presents itself, in which the powers and faculties of the human mind, especially in infancy, would be duly considered, and the important peculiarities of the system to promote the full growth and development of those mental powers, would meet a thorough exposition. The peculiar adaptation of the infant state to acquire a knowledge of words, and the flexibility of the organs of speech to pronounce them, would also claim particular consideration.
There would be no difficulty to reduce it almost to the certainty of a mathematical demonstration, that the plan proposed would be attended with high intellectual improvement, and that under such discipline, a healthful vigour would be imparted to the mind, which no other system could effect in the very tender age under consideration.
The great advantages thus attained, in awakening the natural energies, will be of the highest importance to prepare the intellect, the more advantageously to pursue such a liberal course of study as will call into requisition all the powers of the human mind.
The Latin and Greek, but especially the former, will be studied with great facility, from its analogy to the Spanish, and a more thorough knowledge of the classics, will no doubt be obtained in a much less time, than, is ordinarily devoted to their study. But while the French and Spanish languages serve as auxiliaries to all these very important purposes, they will