The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Volume 10, 1899, pg. 327
The second number of The Children's Quarterly, edited by the committee of the Reading Natural History Club, is now ready. Price 6½d. (pest free), and can be obtained from Mrs. S. Hayward, Hazlewood, Kendrick Road, Reading.
House of Education.--Ladies wishing for Probationer for the Summer Holidays should apply as soon as possible to the Secretary.
Report for 1898.
I visited the House of Education on the 1st of December, 1898. Several lessons were given in my presence both by students and by members of the staff. I notice with much satisfaction the continuous progress which is made from year to year. The lessons surpassed in variety, interest, and effectiveness all that I have previously heard in the House of Education.
The instruction which was given by the members of the staff served as specimens of the way in which the students are taught to deal with the various subjects which form a sound educational curriculum. Mdlle. Motta gave an excellent lesson (advanced), based upon the Gouin method, on Una promenade de Fénelon (Andrieux). The scholars were led to think and observe for themselves and to pay attention to the niceties of expression and grammatical instruction.
Vocal Music was treated on the Sol-fa system by Fräulein Diez. Miss Sumner gave a most suggestive lesson in Brush Drawing applied to Design.
Miss Hodgson's Object Lesson in Natural History was of the best type. The information was full and interesting and transparently clear. It was also thoroughly well illustrated by appropriate specimens.
The Nature Note Books containing drawings of natural objects done by the student's own hand form a specially valuable part of this instruction and must be seen to be fully appreciated.
Instruction in Theory of Education, Mathematics and Latin is given by Miss Williams, the Vice-Principal, and in Physiology by Miss Stirling. Cookery is taught by Miss Firth.
Manual Training is in charge of Miss Hodgson. The chief occupations are woodwork, brasswork, leatherwork, cardboard modelling, and a few others. They serve to cultivate precision, dexterity and accuracy of eye. Needlework is carefully taught.
From the students I heard seventeen lessons, all of which proved how much care is taken to help them to apply interesting and intelligent methods to the different subjects which they are undertaking to teach. In the History lesson, for example, the imagination of the children was stimulated by sketches and outline drawings on the blackboard as well as by reference to engravings. A lesson in Geography was illustrated in a similar manner. A capital lesson was given in Avoirdupois, in which the different weights up to one pound were handled and compared by lifting. I also heard a lesson on Simple Interest, and another on a proposition of Euclid.
An exceptionally valuable lesson was given in Drawing Drapery. A white sheet having been suitably arranged before the class, pictures were shown of studies in drapery by Fra Angelico and Burne Jones, and contrasts between their respective treatment were pointed out. After this followed an excellent lesson in observing and rendering the light and shade in the folds of the sheet which was hung before the class.
After witnessing these examples of the instruction which is given is Language, History, Geography, Mathematics, Natural History, Music, Drawing and Manual Training. I am thoroughly satisfied that the students are enthusiastic in their various studies, and that they spare no pains to acquire the subject-matter for their teaching and the best methods of imparting it. Dulness, monotony, and spiritlessness, which were the three spectres of the old-fashioned schoolroom, are banished by the new system. In place of a small amount of rote work acquired with a great deal of pains and weariness the opposite result is now secured. Much more is learned, owing to the fact that the element of pleasure in the acquisition of knowledge is not left out.
It only remains to add that a new feature has been added to the training during the year. Each student, in turn, takes entire charge of the Boarding House for the Girls in the "Practising School" for a week at a time, which, besides affording useful practice and experience, accustoms them to responsibility.
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Natural History Rambles.--Arrangements have been made for Outdoor Talks to Children, aged eight to sixteen, to be held by Mr. G. S. Hett. Tickets 10/- the course, or 2/- the single lecture, from Mrs. Franklin, 50 Porchester Terrace, W. Names should be sent in as soon as possible so that all arrangements may be made. Each family of children must be accompanied by an adult. The talks will last about an hour-and-a-half. As the railway journeys are so short, and the fares consequently so small, it is thought advisable that each party of children should take their own tickets. If wet the talks will be held in Mrs. Franklin's Studio, 42, Linden Gardens, W., at 3. For pond work the following are needed:--A net which will allow the water to pass freely through, and a jar with tightly fitting stopper; small tin boxes, and a vasculum are also useful. All trains should be verified by current time-tables. Syllabus:--
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