The Project Gutenberg EBook of Reflections on the Operation of the Present
System of Education, 1853, by Christopher C. Andrews

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org


Title: Reflections on the Operation of the Present System of Education, 1853

Author: Christopher C. Andrews

Release Date: March 15, 2009 [EBook #28330]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDUCATION, 1853 ***




Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Tamise Totterdell and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)






[1]

REFLECTIONS

ON

THE OPERATION

OF THE

PRESENT SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.

BY


CHRISTOPHER C. ANDREWS,

COUNSELLOR AT LAW.


"TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO; AND, WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT."


BOSTON:

CROSBY, NICHOLS, AND COMPANY,

111, Washington Street.

1853.

[2]

BOSTON:
PRINTED BY JOHN WILSON AND SON,
22, School Street.

[3]

PREFATORY NOTE.


The increasing importance of the subject treated of has led the author to revise an article, published nearly two years ago in a monthly journal, and to present it in the following pages. His object is to call attention to what he regards a defect in the operation of our present system of education, and to propose some suggestions for its remedy. That defect consists in the want of moral instruction in our schools. Its existence, he believes, may be attributed to the state of public opinion, rather than to any imperfection in the system itself. For this reason, he is of opinion that remarks on the subject are more necessary, and therefore worthier of the consideration and indulgence of the public.

35, Court Street, Boston,
May, 1853.

[4]

[5]

THE

INCOMPLETE OPERATION

OF OUR

PRESENT SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.


The duty of bringing up the young in the way of usefulness has ever been acknowledged as of utmost importance to the well-being and safety of a State. So imperative was this obligation considered by Solon, the Athenian lawgiver, that he excused children from maintaining their parents, when old and feeble, if they had neglected to qualify them for some useful art or profession. Although this principle has universally prevailed in every civilized age, yet the success of its practical operation depends entirely upon what is understood by necessary knowledge and useful employment. If, as among the Lacedemonians and many other nations of antiquity, a useful art consisted chiefly in the exploits of war,—in being able to undergo privations and hardships, and in wielding [6] successfully the heavy instruments of bloodshed,—such an education as would conduce to the acquirement of that art must be estimated on different grounds from that system whose object is to develop the moral and intellectual faculties.

From the distant past, traditions have come down, evincing in many instances exemplary care in the culture of youth; but the conspicuous record made of them by the historian and poet refutes the idea that they were common. With the lapse of centuries, revolutions in the arts and sciences have been effected, important in themselves, but more so for the changes they have produced both in social and political affairs. Like hunters who discover in their forest-wanderings a valuable mine which shapes anew their course of life, the people of the old world, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were allured from their incessant conflicts by the more profitable arts of peace. Till then the interests of learning had been crushed by the superstition and bigotry of the times. In the fourteenth century even, the most celebrated university in Europe, that of Bologna, bestowed its chief honors upon the professorship of astrology. But these grand developments in art and science gave a new impulse to social life. Thenceforward the interests of education began to thrive. The patronage given to popular [7] instruction by many of the rulers of European States has imparted a lustre to their annals, which will almost atone for their heartless perversion of human rights. For whether we consider the coercive system of Prussia, which not yet exhibits very happy practical results; or the Austrian system, which indirectly operates coercively by denying employment to those unprovided with school-diplomas; or the Bavarian, which makes a certificate of six years' schooling necessary to the contracting of a valid marriage or apprenticeship; or, indeed, the systems of many other Continental countries,—we find much to excite cheering anticipations.

This country—this Commonwealth especially—has ever been distinguished for being foremost in the maintenance of a benevolent and comprehensive system of education. That system is, we believe, in the judgment of foreigners, one of the most original things which America has produced. Fortunately for the prosperity of the people who derive their support on this rugged soil, their fathers were a class of men deeply imbued with moral sentiment,—lovers of freedom and of knowledge; men who sought that security of their principles in the spread of moral intelligence, which the sword alone would in vain attempt to procure. "The hands that wielded the axe [8] or guided the canoe in the morning opened the page of history and philosophy in the evening;" and it cannot be a matter of surprise, that, counting their greatest wealth in their own industry and resolution, they should at an early period turn their attention to the important subject of education; and that they even denied themselves many of the comforts of life, in order to secure the blessings which might evolve therefrom.

The peculiarity of our system of government is, that it invests the sovereignty in the people; and, as it has always been the policy of every nation claiming to be civilized to educate those who were designed to govern, it might naturally enough be inferred, that, in this country, means would be provided whereby the whole people might receive an education. And thus it is. The true object, therefore, of such a system of instruction as the government supports, it must be conceded by all, consists in qualifying the young to become good citizens,—in teaching them not only what their duties are, but making them ready and willing to perform them. We should discriminate between the object of common schools and the object of colleges; between an institution intended to inform every one of what every one should know, and one designed to fit persons for particular spheres of life, [9] by a course of instruction which it is impracticable for all to pursue. A very large majority of those who enter our colleges are desirous of acquiring that knowledge, as well as discipline, which will prepare them most thoroughly for some one of the learned professions: it is a course preparatory to one still higher,—a gateway by which the industrious and sagacious may with greater ease traverse the long and winding avenues of science. Of a more general nature is the object of that instruction provided by the State for all, because it is designed to fit them for a greater variety of duties, and the chief of these duties is that of living justly. If we regarded physical resources as the chief elements of prosperity, or intellectual superiority the principal source of national greatness; if we followed the theory of the Persian legislator, Zoroaster, who thought that to plant a tree, to cultivate a field, and to have a family, were the great duties of man, we might be content with that instruction which would sharpen the intellect, and furnish us with acute and skilful men of business. But an enlightened public sentiment rejects such a theory as narrow and unsafe. It is surely of great importance that children should be made familiar with the common branches of knowledge; that their minds should receive as thorough discipline as is practicable; but [10] of what transcendent importance is it that they should have impressed upon their minds the principles of truth and justice, and the true value of resolute, earnest industry; that they should grow up in the love of virtue and honor, and be taught to know and govern themselves! Education of the heart, as well as education of the mind, should be promoted. The State should make men before it makes artisans; citizens before it makes statesmen. And this in theory it proposes to do. The highest praise that can be bestowed upon our system of education, here in Massachusetts, is that the leading object it contemplates is the moral instruction of the young. This is its grand and peculiar feature. Those who have been and are now at the head of our educational interests, have sought, by timely word and deed, to carry this purpose into active operation. In so doing, they have attempted to give effect to the law which expressly ordains that "all instructors of youth shall 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 [11] 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." (Rev. Stat. chap. 23, 7.)

Nobody, probably, at this day believes, that, in cherishing principles of this nature, the law which creates this system is visionary or impracticable. All are ready to admit, that the human heart needs the influence of moral discipline. Yet such is the nature of our social existence that there is a great tendency to postpone its application,—to let it depend upon contingencies. When nearly all of the good or evil that we can possibly do has been done,—after temptations have been resisted or yielded to,—after our years begin to wane, we then think seriously of moral improvement. Preachers the most eloquent—for their eloquence commands the highest reward—we employ to exhort us to practise virtues, which, if we had been rightly educated, we should have practised from our earliest youth with as much facility as we read or write. If a child is to learn grammar, let him commence, every one will say, when young, while his memory is most retentive. If we are to teach him those principles which are to shape his destiny in life, [12] and have their home in the heart, should we wait till it is least susceptible of impression? It cannot be denied that too much indifference prevails on this subject. We are apt to shut our eyes to the evils which arise from imperfect education, so long as they do not affect our personal interest. Victims of depraved appetites and passions we take charge of, not out of regard for them, or the circumstances which have induced their guilt, but for our own protection. When a man sunk in crime is held up to public gaze, nearly the same feeling is excited which actuates boys who follow with noisy jests a drunken woman. Rarely do we stop to inquire, why, if wrong influences had been brought to bear upon our characters, we should not have been as bad. Unless such instruction be promoted, many who are now unconcerned for the misfortunes of others will themselves ask for compassion. "Surely there will come a time," says Dr. Johnson with truthful energy, "when he who laughs at wickedness in his companion shall start from it in his child."

Now, the only sure and legitimate way of reforming those evils which burden society is to prevent their acquiring any existence. It is a favorite notion with many, that, by checking vice here and there, our benevolent institutions are working a thorough cure. But [13] this is not so. While we furnish subsistence to those whom intemperance and idleness have brought to destitution,—while we erect asylums where reason may be restored to the shattered mind,—while we enlarge prisons in which to punish the violators of the law,—we should remember that some endeavors should be made to prevent others from requiring the same charities, and incurring the same penalties. Instead of standing merely by the fatal shoal to rescue the sinking crew, we should raise a warning signal to avert future shipwrecks.

All experience shows that, to operate successfully, this branch of education must be early attended to. True it is, that, just as 'the twig is bent, the tree's inclined;' and true it is, that on the discipline of childhood depends the moral character of manhood. The tree in the forest, after it has grown to a considerable height, may yet be bent from its natural course, and, by long-continued force, be made to grow in a different direction; but that change will not be permanent. When the power which turned its course is withdrawn, every breeze and every tempest that shake its branches will aid it in gradually assuming its original position, till hardly a trace of that power which attempted to guide its growth can be perceived. There may be some who would neglect that moral influence on the young [14] which is necessary, trusting in the delusive expectation, that the law will keep them in the right path; that the example of punishment, the terror of the gallows, the prison, or the penitentiary, will prevent the commission of crime. But let us not wait for the saving influence of these things; for they are but checks which often render the next outbreak more alarming. The force of punishment will be found to resemble the application of power in changing the growth of the tree: weeks, years of confinement, will not effect a complete reformation in the offender. His life may seem to be changed, his habits reformed; but, as he goes out to mingle again with the world, as one occasion after another presents itself to him, his former passions begin to revive, those early impressions take possession of him, and he becomes the same that he was originally, only that his degraded position renders him far less able to resist the temptation to do wrong. Impressions and habits acquired in youth are proverbially lasting. With characteristic eloquence and fervor has Lord Brougham illustrated the peculiar importance of early training. In a Speech delivered in the House of Lords in 1835 upon one of those measures which have conferred so much glory on his name as well as benefit upon his countrymen, he said, "If at a very early age a system of instruction is [15] pursued by which a certain degree of independent feeling is created in the child's mind, while all mutinous and perverse disposition is avoided,—if this system be followed up by a constant instruction in the principles of virtue, and a corresponding advancement in intellectual pursuits,—if, during the most critical years of his life, his understanding and his feelings are accustomed only to sound principles and pure and innocent impressions, it will become almost impossible that he should afterward take to vicious courses, because these will be utterly alien to the whole nature of his being. It will be as difficult for him to become criminal, because as foreign to his confirmed habits, as it would be for one of your lordships to go out and rob on the highway. Thus, to commence the education of youth at the tender age on which I have laid so much stress, will, I feel confident, be the same means of guarding society against crimes. I trust every thing to habit,—habit, upon which, in all ages, the lawgiver, as well as the schoolmaster, has mainly placed his reliance,—habit, which makes every thing easy, and casts all difficulties upon the deviation from the wonted course. Make sobriety a habit, and intemperance will be hateful and hard; make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will be as contrary to the nature of the child, grown an adult, as the most [16] atrocious crimes are to any of your lordships. Give a child the habit of sacredly regarding truth, of carefully respecting the property of others, of scrupulously abstaining from all acts of improvidence which can involve him in distress, and he will just as little think of lying or cheating or stealing, or running in debt, as of rushing into an element in which he cannot breathe."

The thought may strike some, however, that children can receive moral discipline at home; that parents are best enabled to understand the disposition of their children, and can consequently apply the requisite training with more success than any one else; and, most of all, because it is their especial duty so to do. So we might say, with almost as much reason, that parents could teach their children the elementary branches of knowledge; in the first place, because it is in their province to know the peculiar turn of mind possessed by their children, and also for the equally plausible reason, that they are under a great obligation to educate them. Now, there is much truth in the observation of Seneca's, that people carry their neighbors' faults in a bag before them, which are easily to be seen, and their own behind them unseen; and, without doing parents too much injustice, we may say that they are inclined to carry the failings of their [17] children tied up with their own. The fact is, generally speaking, parents are so confident that their children do not lack in honesty and integrity, at a time when these principles should be forcibly impressed upon them, that they let the occasion for moral training pass until bad habits are deeply rooted in their character. There are, we know, many cheering exceptions; yet, if moral instruction is neglected in the school, to a majority of the scholars that neglect will nowhere be provided for, until some bad results have ensued.

To carry out, then, the primal purpose of our system of education, instructors should seek to mould the character of their pupils. Supervisors and committee-men should require a faithful discharge of this trust. When they come to examine the school, if the standard of intellectual attainments is not so high as might be desirable, they should yet bear testimony to its advancement, if they find that those "virtues which adorn life" have been held up in all their attractiveness to the imitation of the pupil.

Thus have we seen that the system itself contemplates the culture of the heart as well as the mind; and that it is wise, practical, and just in doing so. We now propose to show that this object is generally disregarded, if not entirely lost sight of, in our common schools; and to illustrate, if possible, the means [18] whereby it can be more completely carried into operation. In the first place, the present state of society testifies to a neglect somewhere of inculcating habits of rectitude. There is a want of CONSCIENCE in the community. The prevalence of crime, as seen by the returns of public prosecutors and magistrates, is but a small part of the evidence of this fact. We might as well judge of a man's wealth by his dress, as to form an opinion on public morals by the number of punishable offences committed. And, indeed, the records of courts furnish but incomplete evidence of the number of punishable offences actually committed; for where one criminal is brought to the bar of justice, ten escape detection. We have the authority of a very eminent Judge for this remark. But there are wrongs which are not punishable by the law, being too small and undefinable for its cognizance. It is the bad faith which enters into contracts, and deceives the honest purchaser, or dupes the confiding vendor; the baseness which conspires to wink down credit; the avarice which greedily takes advantage of poverty, or the craft which converts it into a weapon of fraud; the scandal which sets neighbor against neighbor; the fretful harshness which clouds the domestic fireside; the ingratitude which spurns parental influence; the selfishness which would trade [19] in principles, and bargain away public measures for private gain,—these, and such as these, are the conclusive proofs of public vice. Even the deplorable appearances which penury exhibits are counterfeited, and we hesitate to give alms lest we should encourage an impostor. The benevolent man distrusts the beggar who asks for a night's lodging, and turns him away, fearful that he might prove an assassin or a robber; or he reluctantly calls him back, lest he should revenge himself by burning his barn. There are common symptoms which show a patient's sickness, though they do not indicate the particular nature of his disease. So this mutual distrust, which characterizes the dealings of men, indicates the debility of public morals, and points with unerring certainty to the neglect of early discipline.

But an inspection of the schools will afford us the most reliable evidence on this subject. From the system of instruction now pursued in our best common schools, a scholar of ordinary capacity is enabled to become a good reader, writer, and speller; to acquire a very good knowledge of geography and arithmetic, and a little insight into natural philosophy, physiology, grammar, and history, as well as to gain some habits of order and correct deportment. It is true also that in some schools considerable efforts are bestowed [20] on moral culture: this, however, depends upon the peculiar character of the teacher. Yet it cannot be denied, that intellectual improvement is treated as of paramount importance; and that, if any attempts are made at moral training, they are purely incidental; being considered collateral to the other lessons. Surely no one will think of reproaching teachers for this condition of things; for they are governed by the public opinion of the district or town they teach in, as much as the statesman is governed by the public opinion of the country. The voice of the district is silent on the subject. The committee who examined or engaged them did not allude to that part of their duty, or inquire into their qualifications for discharging it. If the teacher goes through the term in harmony, and succeeds in advancing his pupils in an ordinary degree in the common branches, he is acknowledged to have accomplished his entire duty.

In attempting to show the manner in which the right development of character may be blended with the development of the mental faculties, it might be proper to advert to the method a teacher could pursue with the greatest success. A very imperfect idea only of any policy can be given, inasmuch as the duty must be left to his own discretion. No set plan can be adhered to; neither could text-books be used to [21] advantage. He should not have an appointed time for such an exercise, nor resort to formal lectures, nor rely upon the studied maxims which moralists have framed in the closet, nor depend upon the stereotyped precepts of philosophers. As the sentiments he inculcates are addressed to the heart, so also from the heart should they spring. Every one knows that the events which transpire in and about the school-room furnish too frequent opportunities for this species of instruction. These acts of turpitude he should heed, and make the subject of his lessons. Report comes to him that some of his pupils have been guilty of insulting and ridiculing an aged and infirm person. He might give them time to reflect upon the nature of their act, and to decide themselves whether it was right or wrong. Then let him show the claims which age, combined with feebleness, has upon our respect and sympathy, and expose the cruelty and shame of that conduct which would increase its misfortunes. He learns, perhaps, that a pupil has used profane language during an intermission. As he requires the school to pause, let him speak in simple language of the omnipotence and omnipresence of the Creator; of the commandment which he has ordained, that none should take his name in vain. By referring to some of the faculties, mental and physical, with which [22] he has been endowed, let the teacher call forth the gratitude, not only of that pupil but the whole school, for the wonderful goodness of their Maker. By reminding them of his compassion and tenderness, his infinite wisdom and power, let him inspire them with love and reverence for his name. Envy and jealousy he will see prominent in the character of his fairest pupils: let him show that the heart was not made for such feelings; that, if they are nurtured there, no room will be found for noble and generous sentiments. Quarrels will occur in which blows will be dealt lustily: a few simple illustrations will prove that force is a dangerous and imperfect arbiter of justice. If unhappily falsehood prevails, let him make haste to supplant a habit, so fearful and pernicious, though every thing else be laid aside. Let him show the great inconvenience a man must experience in whose word no confidence can be reposed. The fable of the shepherd-boy who gave false alarms to the distant workmen of the approach of wolves, so that when the wolves really came his cries were in vain, will show that lying is unprofitable in the end. But his chief object should be to exhibit the moral turpitude of the habit,—the facility with which it leads to deeper guilt,—the manifold evils which it engenders in the community; and thus to impress upon the minds of his pupils a [23] sacred regard for truth. Such, it might seem, would be the course which a high-minded and zealous teacher would pursue in imparting moral instruction. But, whatever be his method, it is quite certain that a successful performance of his duty in this respect implies great capacity. Extensive learning will not be a sufficient qualification. An accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the sciences may have given vigor to his mind; he may be familiar with the classic pages of Thucydides and Homer, Horace and Livy; he may be versed in the philosophy of history, and yet lack in the essential elements of his art. He must possess native talent, a clear insight of human character, agreeable address, extemporaneous powers of speech. He must be a clear-thinking, conscientious, practical man; and it will be impossible for him to fail in his undertaking. Such a teacher will win the respect and esteem of his pupils: they will imitate his example, and cherish his counsel.

Now, the inquiry will naturally be made if the teachers of common schools have these qualifications. There are some who are thus qualified. They are those who in other professions would rise to eminence by the zeal and ability with which they now advance our youth in intellectual culture. But they are an exception to the common standard. The majority of [24] teachers, however, are quite young. They are preparing themselves for other duties, which they consider more important to their own interests, if not the interests of the public. Not experienced sufficiently in their art to excel in its ordinary labors, they do not stand far enough above their pupils to succeed in this higher and more difficult branch of instruction.

Before, then, moral education can be successfully promoted, the right kind of teachers must be employed. There is but one way of obtaining them, and that is by paying them liberal salaries. All are not philanthropists. Here and there, it is true, may be found persons disinterested enough to devote their energies to the public good, for their daily bread alone. But it is the height of absurdity to expect that men of talent and learning will continue in so arduous an occupation as that of teaching for small compensation, when in less laborious pursuits they can acquire opulence. The average pay received by male teachers throughout the Commonwealth, as appears from the last annual report of the learned Secretary of the Board of Education, is $37.26 per month. The average length of schools being seven months and a half, the yearly salary of the teacher would therefore be $279.45; out of which he must pay for his board and all other expenses. Hardly adequate to support one [25] man respectably, it entirely excludes the circumstance of his having a family, implying a self-denial of the common uses of social life. The natural presumption is, that a teacher is not exempt from the calamities that sometimes befall men; that he buys a few books and a little stationary; that he is as unwilling as any one to wear ragged clothes; and, uncertain of continued employment in one place, that he incurs some expense in changing his locality. But the standard price which he receives ignores any such presumption. In regard to the payment of female teachers, we might suppose that a different rule would prevail; that in a community where woman holds a high moral, social, and intellectual position,—where marked deference is paid to her character,—where the great superiority of her influence as a parent and a teacher is acknowledged,—one might indeed suppose that she would be liberally rewarded for her services, especially when those services are rendered in her peculiar sphere of duty,—that of teaching. Strange as it may appear, such is not the case; while her labor, apparently not so responsible, is often more wearing than the labor of the schoolmaster. It seems that the average pay of female teachers is $15.36 per month. When it is remembered that all the expenses of living are to be deducted from the amount paid at this rate, her [26] real income shrinks into the merest trifle. There is not an occupation in which intelligent young women can be employed that does not present greater pecuniary inducements. Under such circumstances it must be a matter of surprise that we have as good teachers, both male and female, as now have charge of our schools. Will any one, then, for a moment suppose that persons of greater ability than they will be induced to engage or continue in such an employment, when wealth and influence and happiness point in another direction? Laying aside suppositions, let us see what the facts are. With the majority of those now engaged in the business, teaching is a temporary employment. Some are teaching during their college vacations, intending, as soon as they graduate, to commence their professional studies;—they are perhaps our future judges, or clergymen, or sagacious merchants; others are already abandoning the business to enter upon mercantile pursuits. As soon as they have acquired experience, so that their services are truly valuable to the public, they find that their future prospects are to be sacrificed if they continue longer in the profession. Thus, instead of retaining persons in this most important of all professions, we drive them out of it to adorn and exalt other occupations. Many of the ablest men in each of our learned professions [27] were once school-teachers: if a proper reward had encouraged them to remain in that capacity, how visible at this day would be the influence which they would have exerted upon their pupils! It is clear, then, that the only means by which we can retain teachers who have the requisite talent and ability, is by paying them adequate salaries. Then our schools can furnish moral as well as intellectual instruction; and the object which our system of education contemplates can in a great degree be accomplished.

Fully aware that the people are peculiarly sensitive on the subject of taxation, especially when no tangible results are to follow its increase, we do not hesitate to say that the interests of education demand a far greater expenditure of money. The spirit which has characterized the people of the Commonwealth, in their past efforts to advance the cause, promises favorable action on the subject. In an age when astonishing improvements in every art and every science are being developed,—when nature, in her most regal and opposing state, bends to the energy of man,—when countless sums are lavished to gratify and satiate every sense, how mortifying and discreditable that a great moral cause should languish! Even if the contribution which would be required for this purpose could in any way be felt by the poorest citizen, it could not be [28] felt as a burden; for he might regard it as an investment the most profitable and secure,—the income of which would return to his own door full of blessings upon his declining days. When solicited to double the tax which he had formerly paid for school-purposes, regarding his own interest merely, and not that of the public, he might sincerely say, "Yes, out of my limited means I am content to pay freely for such an object. By paying the teacher more, am I not increasing his usefulness? Am I not doing something to bring up my children in knowledge and integrity? Will they not be a greater comfort to me, and more happy and prosperous themselves? Besides, in a few years, much mischief in the community may be diminished, and there will be a smaller tax on me and mine to support criminals and prisons. If all are taught to do their duty as citizens, I shall not suffer for their neglect of doing so." Though the correctness of his reasoning will be admitted, the argument in this behalf should be placed on higher grounds than individual prosperity. The benefits to be derived by the public as exhibited in the abatement of many social evils,—in the diffusion of rational happiness,—in the gains of honest industry, such should be the inducements to this worthy undertaking.

In conclusion, we submit that for reasons too apparent [29] to be alluded to, and too urgent to be disregarded, more attention should be devoted to the true aim and purpose of education,—to a more complete operation of the system. More than the past has needed, will the future require the benefits which it unfolds. Let the teacher's vocation be elevated, and advantages will accrue to the State, compared with which, exuberant harvests, a thriving commerce, and an overflowing treasury, will be but small resources. We should form a wise and generous precedent in this matter, below which indifference will not suffer us to fall. We should engage in the enterprise with a determination to carry it forward to the highest degree of success. It may be "absurd to expect, but it is not absurd to pursue, perfection."






End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Reflections on the Operation of the
Present System of Education, 1853, by Christopher C. Andrews

*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDUCATION, 1853 ***

***** This file should be named 28330-h.htm or 28330-h.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
        http://www.gutenberg.org/2/8/3/3/28330/

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Tamise Totterdell and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
redistribution.



*** START: FULL LICENSE ***

THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK

To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
http://gutenberg.org/license).


Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
States.

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.9.

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.org),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
that

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.

1.F.

1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

1.F.2.  LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees.  YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3.  YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGE.

1.F.3.  LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.


Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.


Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org.  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director
     gbnewby@pglaf.org


Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate


Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.


Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.


Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

     http://www.gutenberg.org

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.