Article Title
Page Number
Article Type
Article Contents
A parent of one of the pupils attending the Collegiate School in this city has handed us a copy of curriculum of the 1st class, which we publish to give the taxpayers and the public generally an idea of the principles upon which that school is conducted. The programme of studies for the week is as follows: - Monday. – Latin, Geometry, Arithmetic, Botany and Spelling. Tuesday. – History, Algebra, Latin, English Literature and Grammar. Wednesday. – Geometry, Arithmetic, Latin, Geography, and Algebra. Thursday. – English literature, Geometry, Greek, French, and Grammar. Friday. – Arithmetic, Latin, French, Reading and History. This is worthy of analysis. An hour a week is devoted to each of the following studies: Geography, Botany, Reading, Spelling and Greek. Two hours a week to each of the following: - Grammar, History, English Literature and Algebra. Three hours a week to each of the following :- Geometry and Arithmetic. And four hours a week to Latin. We ask the parents of boys if this division of the week’s work is satisfactory to them. Boys enter this first class at quite an early age, yet they receive no instruction in writing, and in three such important branches of education as Geography, reading and spelling, all the instruction which each one gets is what he can receive in that portion of an hour which the teacher of thirty or forty pupils can devote to him. Can anything be more absurd than to give him more time to Latin than to Arithmetic, and as much as is devoted to Geography, Spelling, and Grammar, and to ignore Bookkeeping, Mechanics and English Composition ? This curriculum is framed expressly to slight studies of practical value, in order that prominence may be given to those which enable a youth to take a good standing at the University matriculation; but when it is remembered how small a portion of the boys who go to the Collegiate School enter the University it will be admitted that the principle upon which the time is apportioned between the studies is altogether wrong. Out of the twenty-five hours, supposed to be devoted each week to instruction, fourteen are occupied with subjects of not the slightest practical utility to the majority of the pupils. We do not object to some attention being given in this class to Latin, Algebra and Geometry, but we claim it is a great mistake to make them the most prominent studies; and we regard the time given to Greek, French, and English literature as practically thrown away, or worse than thrown away. For pupils who do not attend to go through college the study of Greek is merely work wasted, and French, as it is taught in the schools, is of no practical utility. A careful examination of the above programme of studies will convince anyone that more than one half the time spent by the great majority of boys in the first class at the Collegiate School is lost, in order that the half dozen or so who go up to the University may take high marks at their first examination. The result of such a system of teaching is to turn out upon the community a lot of youths, well-grounded in nothing, writing an execrable hand, and deficient in every practical branch of education. Another matter has been brought under our notice. Pupils go to the Collegiate School at 9 o’clock. At 11 o’clock they are dismissed for a twenty minute recess, resuming their work at 11.20, and sometimes not until 11.30, and being dismissed for dinner at sharp noon. That is to say the morning session is from two hours and thirty minutes to two hours and forty minutes long. The afternoon session begins after a recess of two hours and lasts for two hours. A twenty minutes or a half hour recess in a three hours session is preposterous, and it practically unfits the minds of the pupils for the remainder of the morning session, so that in point of fact the morning session may be said to only be two hours long. It is high time that this Collegiate School was made the subject of a thorough investigation, and of such changes as will make it, what it is not now, an efficient and valuable feature of our city school system.