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306
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
of civilization. The object of education should be to qualify each member of the community to act with vigor and effect in such a state of soci­ety. Every one. therefore, should be instructed in certain useful arts which are diffused among the people, and in all that knowledge which is necessary to enable him to form just opinions upon the great questions which arise in the action of life.
Reading, writing and arithmetic are of course indispensable. In these, every oik; should be an adept. Music and drawing ought also to be introduced into all our schools.*"
Among the higher branches of instruction I should include, 1. Geography—a special know­ledge of our native land, and a general know-
* The following statement, from Professor Stowe's Report on the Prussian Schools, corresponds with facts which the author has himself witnessed in European seminaries.
'i The universal success also and very beneficial results with which the arts of drawing and designing, vocal and instrumental music, have been introduced into schools, was another fact pecu­liarly interesting to me. I asked all the teachers with whom I conversed whether they did not sometimes find children who were actually incapable of learning to draw and to sing. I have had but one reply, and that was, that they found the same diversity of natural talent in regard to these as in regard to reading, writing, and the other branches of education; but they had never seen a child, who was capable of learning to read and write, who could not be taught to sing well and draw neatly, and that too without taking any time which would at all interfere with, indeed which would not actually promote his progress in other studies."
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