« PreviousContinue »
tion. This step was the appointment of a person to act as representative and agent of the society in the business of visiting schools, reporting on their condition, and making such suggestions as, in the circumstances, might seem desirable, in the opinion of the several committees, acting in concert with the agent. The person to whom the agency was proposed, having declined, on the ground of double occupation already incurred, in the daily duties of teaching and editing, the members of the society were unable to unite upon one on whose fitness for the office all could agree; and, as the agency proposed seemed to sum up the whole useful action proposed by the association, it was deemed preferable to dissolve it, rather than to incur the risk of issuing statements or proposals, through an authorized agent, which might be at variance with the opinions or the convictions of individual members. A dissolution accordingly took place. But, the many important facts and interesting discussions which had been brought out at the preliminary meetings of the embryo association, had made so deep an impression on the minds of several of the individuals concerned in the undertaking proposed, that these same persons took a prominent part in originating another association, designed for similar purposes to those of the former, and planted on a wider and securer ground plan. The new society was the American Institute of Instruction, which has since rendered so effectual service to the advancement of education, by its annual meetings and instructive lectures, and whose designation so happily foreshadows the recognition of the teacher's occupation as a liberal profession."
The meeting or convention which assembled in Columbian Hall, Boston, on the 15th of March, 1830, was called and held under the auspices of gentlemen actively engaged in the Lyceum movement.
The call was issued in the name of the "State Committee of Lyceums," and the objects as set forth in an editorial notice widely copied in the New England papers, was "to receive reports on the progress of yceums and the condition of common schools, and to acquire information as to the organization of infant schools, and the use of school and cheap scientific apparatus." The meeting was called to order by Josiah Holbrook, who stated the objects, among which was, "to acquire information on subjects connected with the office and duty of teachers." The meeting was organized by the appointment of Rev. J. Going, of Worcester, Chairman, and Rev. E. K. Newton, of Marlborough, and J. Wilder, of Watertown, as clerks, and a Committee of arrangements, of which Josiah Holbrook was chairman. Committees were appointed on school apparatus; on qualification of teachers; on school books; on infant school system; on meritorial schools, and on the appropriate branches of a system of popular education.
A portion of each day was devoted to visiting the public schools and humane institutions of Boston; to statements respecting the condition of schools, compensation of teachers, text books used in the different New England States; to an exhibition of the practical uses of Holbrook's school and lyceum apparatus; to discussions of the best mode of raising
the qualifications, compensation and social position of the teacher; as to the best mode of securing a uniformity of better text-books; to lectures on physical education; to an exposition of the infant school system and its incorporation into country district schools; to the advantages of employing monitors in the discipline and instruction of large schools; to the usefulness of county and town conventions of teachers; and to associations of teachers as branches of lyceums.
At the session held on the 18th, it having been voted "that it was expedient to form a permanent association of persons engaged and interested in the business of instruction," Messrs. Ebenezer Bailey, Benjamin D. Emerson, Abraham Andrews, George B. Emerson, and Gideon F. Thayer, of Boston, Henry K. Oliver, of Salem, and J. Wilder, of Watertown, were appointed a committee "to digest a plan, and prepare a constitution, for the proposed association," with instructions "to call a meeting for organization, when they should deem it expedient." This committee accordingly met at the house of the chairman, on the 17th of April, resolved to provide for a course of lectures at another meeting of teachers, to which the constitution should be reported. President Wayland, of Brown University, was chosen to deliver the Introductory Discourse, and important subjects were assigned to gentlemen eminent as teachers, or in professions, who had given to the subject, special attention; and Messrs. Ebenezer Bailey, and George B. Emerson, were appointed a sub-committee to supply any deficiency in the choice of lecturers, to fill vacancies, and to add such others as they might consider necessary, and to fill vacancies. Messrs. Andrews, Thayer, and Wilder were appointed a sub-committee to furnish materials for a constitution, and report at the next meeting. The next meeting of the committee was held on the 8th of May, and continued by adjournment at short intervals till July 3d, at which time, the draft of a constitution prepared mainly by Mr. Bailey, was accepted, and Messrs. Bailey, G. B. Emerson, and B. D. Emerson, were appointed a committee of arrangements for the first annual meeting of the proposed association, to be held on the 19th of August, of which, the following notice had already been given in the newspapers.
NOTICE TO TEACHERS.
At a convention, consisting of nearly three hundred teachers and other friends of popular education, from the several Eastern States, which was held in the city of Boston, March 18th, a vote was passed, recommending that a general association of persons, engaged and interested in the business of instruction, be formed; and Messrs. E. Bailey, B. D Emerson, A. Andrews, G. B. Emerson, and G. F. Thayer, of Boston, H. K. Oliver, of Šalem, and J. Wilder, of Watertown, were appointed a committee, to make the necessary arrangements, and prepare a constitution; with instructions to call a meeting for the purpose of organizing the association, at such time and place as they should think expedient.
The committee have attended to the duty assigned to them, and hereby give notice that the proposed convention will meet at the State House, in the city of Boston, on Thursday, Au. gust 19th, at 8 o'clock, A. M., the House of Representatives having liberally granted the use of their hall for the occasion. All teachers, either of common schools or in institutions of a higher order, and all gentlemen who have ever been engaged in the business of teaching, and who still take an interest in the subject of education, are respectfully invited to attend the meeting, and become members of the association, in whatever part of the country they may reside.
It is expected that the annual exhibition of the public schools for boys, in Boston, will take place the day before that designated for the meeting of the convention; and the Commencement at Harvard University will be on Wednesday of the following week. As those gentlemen who may come from a distance will probably wish to be present at both of these literary
anniversaries, the committee have thought that the in ermediate time may be both pleasantly and profitably occupied by a series of plain and practical lectures, on important subjects connected with education; and, they have the satisfaction of announcing the following arrange. ments for this purpose. As many lectures will be delivered daily as may be necessary to complete the course in the time specified above.
The public Introductory Address will be delivered by the Rev. Dr. Wayland, President of Brown University, Providence, R. I. Lectures on the following subjects will be given in such order, and at such times during the week, as the convenience of the several lecturers may require.
On Physical Education. By John C. Warren, M. D., of Boston.
On the construction and furnishing of school-houses, and on school-apparatus. By Mr. William J. Adams, of New York.
On school discipline. By Rev. Samuel R. Hall, of Concord, Vermont.
On the infant school system of education, and the extent to which it may be profitably applied to all primary schools. By Mr. William Russell, late editor of the Journal of Educa tion, of Milton, Mass.
On the advantages and defects of Monitorial instruction, and the expediency of introducing this method of teaching into common schools and academies. By Mr. H. K. Oliver, of Salem, Mass.
On the spelling of words, and a rational method of teaching their meaning. By Mr. G. F. Thayer, of Boston.
On Elocution, with a particular reference to the teaching of reading. By Rev. John Pier. pont, of Boston.
On a practical method of teaching Rhetoric. By Professor Newman, of Bowdoin College, Maine.
On English Grammar. By Mr. E. Bailey, of Boston.
On teaching Geography. By James G. Carter, Esq., of Lancaster, Mass.
On teaching Arithmetic. By Warren Colburn, Esq., of Lowell, Mass.
On Geometry and Algebra, as important branches of education, with the manner of teach. ing them. By Mr. Francis J. Grund, of Boston.
On Linear Drawing, connected with Penmanship, as an elementary branch of education. By Mr. Walter R. Johnson, of Philadelphia.
On the culture and development of the several faculties of the human mind, in their proper order and degree. By Mr. G. B. Emerson, of Boston.
On Lyceums and Societies for the diffusion of useful knowledge. By Mr. N. Cleveland, of Newbury, Mass.
On the study of the learned languages, as a means of improving the intellectual powers, and fitting the mind for other pursuits. By Mr. C. C. Felton, of Cambridge, Mass. Although it is not expected that ladies will become members of the association, all such as are actually engaged in teaching, are respectfully invited to attend the lectures. By order of the Committee,
GEORGE B. EMERSON, Corresponding Secretary.
E. BAILEY Chairman.
The convention met on the 19th of August, 1830, at the State House, in the Hall of the House of Representatives, at Boston. It was composed of over two hundred persons, most of them actual teachers, from fifteen different States of the Union. It was organized by the choice of William B. Calhoun, of Springfield, as Chairman, and George B. Emerson and Dr. J. W. M'Kean, of Boston, as Secretaries. The Introductory Discourse was delivered by Rev. Francis Wayland, President of Brown University, "On the Object of Intellectual Education, and the manner in which that object is to be attained." The speaker opened and closed with these prophetic and pregnant sentences in reference to the
"In the long train of her joyous anniversaries, New England has yet beheld no one more illustrious than this. We have assembled to-day, not to proclaim how well our fathers have done, but to inquire how we may enable their sons to do better. We meet, not for the purposes of empty pageant, nor yet of national rejoicing; but, to deliberate upon the most successful means for cultivating, to its highest perfection, that invaluable amount of intellect which Divine Providence has committed to our hands. We have come up here to the city of the Pilgrims, to ask how we may render their children most worthy of their ancestors and most pleasing to their God. We meet to give to each other the right hand of fellowship in carrying forward this all-important work, and here to leave our professional pledge, that, if the succeeding generation do not act worthily, the guilt shall not rest upon those who are now the Instructors of New England.
Well am I aware that the occasion is worthy of the choicest effort of the high
est talent in the land. Sincerely do I wish, that upon such talent the duty of addressing you this day had devolved. Much do I regret that sudden indisposition has deprived me of the time which had. been set apart to meet the demands of the present occasion, and that I am only able to offer for your consideration such reflections as have been snatched from the most contracted leisure, and gleaned amid the hurried hours of languid convalescence. But, I bring, as an offering to the cause of Education, a mind deeply penetrated with a conviction of its surpassing importance, and enthusiastically ardent in anticipating the glory of its ultimate results. I know, then, that I may liberally presume upon your candor, while I rise to address those to many of whom it were far more beseeming that I quietly and humbly listened."
"To the members of this Convention, allow me to say, Gentlemen, you have chosen a noble profession. What, though it do not confer upon us wealth ?—it confers upon us a higher boon, the privilege of being useful. What, though it lead not to the falsely-named heights of political eminence ?-it leads us to what is far better, the sources of real power; for it renders intellectual ability necessary to our success. I do verily believe that nothing so cultivates the powers of a man's own mind as thorough, generous, liberal, and indefatigable teaching. But our profession has rewards, rich rewards, peculiar to itself. What can be more delightful to a philanthropic mind than to behold intellectual power increased a hundred fold by our exertions, talent developed by our assiduity, passions eradicated by our counsel, and a multitude of men pouring abroad over society the lustre of a virtuous example, and becoming meet to be inheritors with the saints in lightand all in consequence of the direction which we have given to them in youth? I ask again, what profession has any higher reward?
Again, we, at this day, are, in a manner, the pioneers in this work in this country. Education, as a science, has scarely yet been naturalized among us. Radical improvement in the means of education is an idea that seems but just to have entered into men's minds. It becomes us to act worthily of our station. Let us, by all the means in our power, second the efforts and wishes of the public. Let us see that the first steps in this course are taken wisely. This country ought to be the best educated on the face of the earth. By the blessing of Heaven, we can do much toward the making of it so. God helping us, then, let us make our mark on the rising generation."
The draft of a Constitution was reported by the Chairman of the Committee appointed at the meeting held in March, which, after a prolonged discussion of the several articles, and, after a few alterations. was unanimously adopted as the —
CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.
Preamble.--We, whose names are hereunto subjoined, pledging our zealous efforts to promote the cause of popular education, agree to adopt the following Constitution, and to obey the By-Laws made in conformity thereto.
Article 1-Name and Object.—The Society shall be known by the title of the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION. Its object shall be the diffusion of useful knowledge in regard to education.
Article II-Members-1. Any gentleman of good moral character, interested in the subject of education, may become a member of this Institute, by signing this Constitution, and paying, at the time of his admission, a fee of one dollar.
2. An annual assessment of one dollar shall be laid upon each member; by neglecting to pay which for more than one year after due notice from the Treasurer, he shall cease to be a member of the society.
3. Any gentleman, by paying at one time the sum of twenty dollars, shall become a member of the Institute for life, and be exempted from all future assessments.
4. Honorary members may be elected by the Institute, at the recommendation of twothirds of the Directors present at any stated meeting of that Board.
5. For dishonorable or immoral conduct, a member may be dismissed from the society, by
a vote of two-thirds of the members present, at any regular meeting.
6. Ladies, engaged in the business of instruction, shall be invited to hear the annual address, lectures, and reports of committees on subjects of education.
Article III-Meetings.-1. The annual meeting of the Institute shall be held at Boston, on the Thursday next preceding the last Wednesday in August, at such place and hour as the Board of Directors shall order.
2. Special meetings may be called by the Directors.
3. Due notice of the meetings of the society shall be given in the public journals. Article IV-Officers.-1. The officers of the society shall be a President, Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary, two Corresponding Secretaries, a Treasurer, three Curators, three Censors, and twelve Counselors, who shall constitute a Board of Directors.
2. The officers shall be elected annually, in August, by ballot.
Article V-Duties of Officers.-1. The President, or, in his absence, one of the Vice-Presidents, or, in their absence, a President pro tempore, shall preside at the meetings of the Institute.
2. The Recording Secretary shall notify all meetings of the society, and of the Board of Directors; and he shall keep a record of their transactions.
3. The Corresponding Secretaries, subject to the order of the Board of Directors, shall be the organs of communication with other societies, and with individuals.
4. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys of the Institute, and shall render an accurate statement of all his receipts and payments, annually, and whenever called upon by the Board of Directors; to whom, he shall give such bonds for the faithful performance of his duty as they shall require. He shall make no payment, except by their order
5. To the Board of Directors shall be entrusted the general interests of the society, with authority to devise and carry into execution such measures as may promote its objects. It shall be their duty to appoint some suitable person to deliver an address before the Institute, at their annual meeting; to select competent persons to serve on Standing Committees, or to deliver lectures on such subjects relating to education as they may deem expedient and useful; to collect such facts as may promote the general objects of the society; and to provide convenient accommodations for the meetings. They shall, at the annual meeting, exhibit their records, and report to the Institute.
They shall have power to fill all vacancies in their Board from members of the society, and make By-Laws for its government.
6. It shall be the particular duty of the Curators to select books, and to take charge of the Library of the Institute.
7. The Censors shall have authority to procure for publication the annual address and lectures. It shall be their duty to examine the annual reports of the Standing Committees, and all other communications made to the society; and, to publish such of them as, in their estimation, may tend to throw light on the subject of education, and aid the faithful instructor in the discharge of his duty.
8. It shall be the duty of the President, the Vice-Presidents, and Counselors, severally, to recommend to the consideration of the Board of Directors, such subjects of inquiry, as, in their opinion, may best advance the great objects of the Institute.
Stated meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at Boston, on the first Wednes day in January; on the last Wednesday in May; and, on the day next preceding that of the annual meeting of the Institute in August
Article VI-By-Laws and Amendments.-1. By-Laws, not repugnant to this Constitution, may be adopted at any regular meeting.
2. This Constitution may be altered or amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at the annual meeting, provided two-thirds of the Directors, present at a stated meeting, shall agree to recommend the proposed alteration or amendment.
The Committee had proposed to call the society The New England Association of Teachers; but, as several of the Middle, Southern, and Western States, were represented in the Convention, and many persons, not teachers, were desirous of belonging to the society, a more comprehensive name and plan on the motion of the Rev. John Pierpont, was adopted.
The Constitution has been slightly modified from time to time, so as to relieve members of all annual payments, after paying the admission fee of one dollar, and leaving the time and place of the annual meeting, both of the Institute and of the Directors, to be fixed by the Directors.
The Institute was organized, on the 23d of August, by the election of the following board of officers, from 1830 to 1831, whose names it was directed to be published, without titles.
OFFICERS OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION FOR THE YEARS 1830-31.
Recording Secretary-Gideon F. Thayer, Boston, Mass.
Corresponding Secretaries.-Solomoù P. Miles, Boston, Mass.; Wm. C. Woodbridge, Hartford, Ct. Treasurer.-Benjamin D, Emerson, Boston, Mass.
Curators.-Abraham Andrews, Josiah Holbrook, Boston, Mass.; William Russell, Milton,
Censors-Ebenezer Bailey, Jacob Abbot, George B. Emerson, Boston, Mass.
Counselors.-Wm. J. Adams, New York; James G. Carter, Lancaster, Mass.; Joseph Emerson, Wethersfield. Ct.; C. C. Feltou, Cambridge, Mass.; Wm. Forrest, New York, N.Y.; Walter R. Johnson. Philadelphia, Penn.; J. Kingsbury, Providence, R. I.; Samuel P. New. man, Professor in Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me.; Henry K. Oliver, Salem, Mass.; Asa Rand, Boston, Mass.; O. A. Shaw, Richmond, Va.; Elipha White, John's Island, S. C.