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clude this? The complete education of a female consists in a knowledge of reading, writing, and the elements of arithmetic; the art of cutting out garments, both linen and woollen; various kinds of needle-work; a knowledge of the domestic duties of servants; and a familiar acquaintance with the principles of Christianity. In giving this education to female youth, practice must be considered more than theory; but not to the exclusion of theory which has practice for its þasis.
I have not been much in the habit of attending to female education, till lately. I have not had much experience, but I have had enough to convince me, that the methods of teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, &c. which I have seen applied with so much success to boys, are equally applicable to girls. I recommend that, in schools for females, where learning and industry are combined, one part of the day should be entirely devoted to learning, without the interference of any other object. When one thing is pursued at a time, perfection is sooner obtained, and the attention is more unembarrassed, than when it is distracted by a diversity of objects. This applies not only to the scholars but to the teachers. When a schoolmistress has to teach some children to read, and others to work, at the same time, a number must be waiting in idleness, for directions how to proceed; but, if one half the day is entirely dedicated to work, and the other half
to learning, instead of mixing them indiscriminately together, each object is rendered much more simple, easy, and sooner attained. Another advantage is, that it admits of two systems of classification: one for learning, and another for industry. All the children who work at the same kind of work, may be classed together; and emulation may be created among them, who shall work best for precedency, and for a picture, or some trifling prize.
Two kinds of classes are needful: one for work, and one for learning; and yet, both systems of classification being totally different, cannot be in practice together, without interfering with each other. But this arrangement supersedes every
obstacle, and gives full effect to the united plans of learning and industry, without difficulty, and without confusion. If we wish to save thousands of female youth from ruin, it can only be done by training them in the knowledge of Christianity. In doing this, new sources of industry must be opened, and the question is, “How, and in what way, are these sources of industry to be found.”
There is one in particular I could recommend, which is, the colouring of botanical and other prints: an employment that naturally belongs to girls and women; and is already pursued by some females with success. It is a thing that might be taken up and pursued by the Ladies' Committee, 14
with much success. It is but for them to design a series of instructive prints on any subject; and, for these prints to be coloured by youth. If the designs and colouring are well executed, the demand would increase; and, at the same time, open and extend a branch of business well adapted to females. It might probably give employment to some hundreds, if not thousands of persons; as the article might, by improvement, become in demand for exportation.
It is obvious that many poor persons cannot afford to keep their children at school till their education is finished. One proper object for schools of industry is, to enable children to earn as much money as will remove the difficulty occasioned by the poverty of their parents. By this means they are enabled to keep their children at school till their education is finished until they have acquired habits of industry, which will follow them into future life; and, when they may be engaged in a variety of domestic or lawful pursuits. It seems
evident to me, that children in schools of industry - sometimes earn too much; and that desire of earn
ing money, is occasionally pursued to the neglect of other objects of far more consequence to the rising generation. When children earn much money, it should not be left to their own disposal, or the discretion of parents that would probably spend it at an ale-house; it would be better for a stipulated
sum to be given into the hands of each child weekly, or at any other specific time. The surplus of each child's earnings, however various, should be depo- + sited in proper security, for clothing, apprenticefees, marriage portions, or any other useful object. Thus, the design of these commendable institutions would be answered, and many of the evils now existing remedied,
Horticulture is another object well worthy the at- for tention of schools of industry. It requires but little capital. The returns are great. It qualifies the youth for gardening and field labour. It prepares the mind of youth of both sexes, to love rural, domestic life; and gives them a knowledge of cultivation, that will be of service in taking care of their own gardens, when grown up to maturity. Gardening affords agreeable and profitable employ- + ment to the peasant during his leisure hours, that would otherwise be spent in idleness.
It is a desirable thing, that all our peasantry had the means and the habit of thus employing all leisure time. Our female youth should understand how to make all their own clothes, and also those of men and boys-cutting out the garments at first, and finishing the work themselves. They should go through the routine of domestic labour, so as to know it, and be ready in the practice of it. Those who understand these things, cannot fail of becom
ing useful servants, or cottagers' wives. This would be a complete education; because, with the particulars before specified, it would completely qualify the children so taught, for active usefulness in life.
Having seen practical accounts of different experiments spoiled, by persons meddling, and interfering to alter them, as they imagine, for the better, I am willing to avoid the same error, and give the following letter to the public, verbatim, as I received it.
The only motive that induces me to insert it, is, that it relates to the means of employing 50,000 children, so that they may earn their livelihood, and pursue their studies in useful learning, at the same time.
To the Friends of the Female Poor.
“With pleasure I accept thç kind offer of my friend, Mr. Joseph Lancaster, to submit, through the medium of his book on education, my ideas on the subject of split straw, as furnishing to females a source of profitable employment. My friend may be said to deal in wholesale plans of education; I hope I shall prove equally şuccessful in providing them the means on which