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6. It teaches children to be observing. A thousand objects before unnoticed press upon their view; their imagination and taste are awakened, and called into vigorous and healthful exercise in discriminating the aspects of objects. Their minds once put upon the search to discover what is beautiful and rich in the mineral kingdom, are led to examine other parts of this wide creation; and wherever they go, or whatever they see, they find something to admire, and to convey to their minds, entertainment and instruction.

7. It leads to useful discoveries. Wherever the science of geology has been introduced into schools, or to the attention of other young people, valuable discoveries have been made to enrich the treasures of science, or to furnish new sources of industry and of wealth, both to individuals and the nation. If once introduced into all our schools, the whole country would be put under the most minute and rigid examination, and compelled to yield up its treasures, now buried beneath the surface of the earth. In New-England, alone, from one to two hundred thousand, young, but ardent and efficient surveyors might be induced to afford their gratuitous and cheerful services, to explore our resources in the mineral kingdom; and while they amused and instructed themselves, they would make important accessions to the public treasures of science and of wealth.

8. As the adoption of geology as a branch of common education uniformly leads to a thorough examination of the natural features of the country, it would prepare the way for obtaining maps of all the towns where it should be introduced. Considering the trifling expense at which lithographic prints of town maps can be procured, and the important vehicles they would be to convey a minute and accurate knowledge of the character and resources of our country to the minds of its inhabitants, few subjects better deserve the immediate attention of every town.*

9. No science is more practical. It acquaints farmers with the nature of their soils, and the best methods of improving them civil engineers with the materials for constructing roads, canals, railways, wharfs, dams, &c., and the proper method of combining them artists with the origin and nature of paints, and other substances in common use, and the miner when and

* Mr. Pendleton, of Boston, offers to execute lithographic prints of town maps at a very moderate price, after manuscript drafts are furnished for the purpose. We mention this fact as particularly important to Lyceums.

how to extend his researches, pointing him to a reward for his labours, and guarding him against abortive attempts.

Agriculture, internal improvements, manufactures, and the various useful arts, occupy, at present, so large a place in public atiention, as to render every method which can be adopted to advance them worthy of public and private patronage.

10. The introduction of geology into schools, would tend to promote moral improvement among the young. Perhaps there are not two more unfortunate circumstances attending our system of popular education, than that the exercises of children in the school room are irksome, and those for recreation are dissipating to the mind. If school houses could be rendered places of pleasant resort, and amusements sources of useful instruction, the great work of reform in cultivating intellectual and moral taste would be fairly begun. The more innocent and useful amusements, are scattered around the young, the less time and disposition will there be to pursue those which are pernicious or useless. No subject, perhaps, is better fitted to answer the double purpose of amusement and instruction, than geology. And few are better fitted to show the power and wisdom of Him, 'who weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.'

11. It is easily acquired. The features of this science are not only striking and grand, but they are few and simple, and exactly fitted to entertain and expand the juvenile mind. By the aid of specimens, with appropriate descriptions, its general principles are more easily and readily understood, than those of any other science which is taught. Nothing is more easy than to introduce it into every district and private school in the country; and to acquaint every child with the names, ingredients and uses, of the rocks he daily observes in his walks, and with the prominent geological features of our country.

12. It is necessary. Without it, gazetteers and journals of travels cannot be understood. In some places, a knowledge of the great geological features of the earth, is as common and familiar, as of the continents and oceans: and consequently, without this knowleege, a person is liable to find himself ignorant of the most common and familiar topics of conversation, in the society he will frequently meet. To be destitute of a branch of science so important and accessible is to be unprovided with a great source of mental occupation and entertainment for early life, and in the case of teachers, the want of it is the want of powerful and happy means of influencing the youthful mind.

Few teachers perhaps are at present acquainted to any extent with this important department of knowledge. But none need long remain so, who are in the neighbourhood of a Lyceum. The farther extension of this useful institution will, it is to be hoped, offer opportunities to every instructer of acquiring at least a good knowledge of local geology.

ART. VIII.-Apparatus for the Instruction of Children.

THE eye is a most powerful and efficient inlet of knowledge. On many subjects, a mere glance of that organ will do more than a course of reading and study for weeks or even months. Το young minds possessed of but few ideas to use for acquiring others, visible illustrations are indispensable. Without them, their progress in learning, will be merely collecting words without ideas. Nor can it be doubted, that wherever the nature of the case admits of it, representations to the eye ought to precede a description from the book or the teacher. As the uniform and distinguished success of infant schools has demonstrated the truth of these remarks, they are not presented in the form of theories, but of facts; and of course do not require words to prove them.

Although the importance of apparatus for the instruction of children, must appear manifest from a moment's reflection, and has been fully demonstrated by experiment, the sentiment still prevails too extensively that study is necessary before it can be used to advantage.

An erroneous sentiment obtains, not only in relation to apparatus for the use of children, but respecting the subjects most easy and natural for them to comprehend, and most useful for them to learn. The most unfortunate impression exists to a great extent, that the learning of letters, spelling, reading, writing, &c., are the most important, if not the only important subjects to occupy the attention of young children; and that the sciences, or the laws and works of nature, are above their comprehension, and not fitted for their use.

The order in which those subjects should be taught to children, whether considered in relation to their easiness of comprehension or their practical utility, most certainly ought to be

reversed. Every child, in his earliest infancy, is a natural philosopher. He experiences the most intense delight, in his endless and endlessly varied experiments to ascertain the nature or properties of objects around him, and of the laws which govern them. The whole circle of the sciences is examined and relished, to some extent, by children; and the examination is commenced at a very early period. The experiments tried by them, in chemistry, mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, optics, botany, mineralogy, &c., are innumerable, and all calculated to give them the knowledge which they most need, and which they constantly use in their daily pursuits in life.

If one science is commenced by infants earlier than any other, and more than any other, lies at the foundation of an intellectual and practical education, that science is geometry. It is evident that one of the first impressions made upon the mind of an infant, when he opens his eyes upon the light of heaven, is the shape or figure of objects around him. He commences the study of figure or geometry by the eye, and after a few weeks, brings to its aid, the hand. It is by seeing and feeling the various objects around us, that we learn their shape and are enabled to compare one with another. By this examination and comparison we learn the nature and properties of all figures, both of surfaces and solids and the relations that exist between them. The properties and relations of figures are nothing more nor less than the science of geometry.

Although children commence almost with their existence, the study of geometry, chemistry, natural philosophy, and almost the whole circle of the natural sciences, and pursue them with the greatest ardour and delight, and greatly to their advantage in their future avocations, (whatever these may be,)-both the delight and the advantage of these studies might be greatly aided by facilities which parents and teachers can put into their hands. It adds much to the pleasure and the practical utility to be derived from the natural sciences, to have the elementary principles clearly and familiarly understood. To understand the properties and relations of different shaped surfaces and solids, diagrams and models of solids are exceedingly desirable if not indispensable. The nature of circles, squares, triangles, spheres, cubes, cylinders, pyramids, cones, &c., and their resemblances and differences, will be better understood by a mere glance of the eye on the things themselves, than could be done by descriptions, however accurate, and however long continued. If these views are correct, a set of geometrical diagrams and

solids must be a valuable part of the furniture of every nursery and school room.

A small globe, merely to show the shape, motions, and a few of the great divisions of the earth, a simple representation of the solar system, a few cheap and simple articles to illustrate some of the most interesting and important principles of chemistry and natural philosophy, specimens in geology, sufficient to explain the rocks children pass in going to and from school, slips of the principal American forest trees, representing the bark, wood, and leaf, with a description and explanation given of each in a small tract, would be valuable appendages to a school room:

That these subjects would be interesting to children, and wholly within their comprehension, is triumphantly proved in infant schools, as well as by the course voluntarily and ardently taken by almost every child in his little, but ceaseless and healthful enterprizes of sport and mischief, as soon as he gains the power of locomotion. The whole of this will be explained, when the fact, too seldom realized, is understood, that almost every principle of science when divested of verbiage and technicalities, and presented in its native character, is remarkable for its simplicity, and its fitness to interest as well as to enlarge the minds of children. Surely a child need not be very old, to learn that if an iron rod is put into the fire it will be made longer, or after seeing a few experiments, to understand the general proposition that heat enlarges bodies.

It does not require great maturity of intellect to learn the fact, that glass is more brittle than lead, that gold may be beaten into thinner leaves than iron, or that iron is stronger and more apt to rust than gold; yet these facts all belong to the science of chemistry, and are fitted to amuse and instruct children, and put them in possession of knowledge which they will have occasion to use in almost every pursuit in life.

If any person will inquire for a moment through what organ impressions are made upon the minds of children, most rapidly, distinctly, permanently, and agreeably, what kind of knowledge they are in infancy most eager to obtain, and what they have the most frequent and important occasions to use in the daily and ordinary pursuits of life, he must be ready to acknowledge that apparatus, and specimens to explain the laws and the works of creation, are an essential appendage to every school room and every nursery.

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