An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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366 Old-time Schools and School-books
The study had been adopted in nearly all the schools by 1810, yet few teachers explained its in­tricacies or did more than make it a drill. The pupils understood little of what the books were in­tended to impart, and their interest
was always at the ebb. It is related of a Pennsylvania school,
about 1795, that some scholars, after a short experience with the new study, finding they could make nothing of it, got parental sympathy in their troubles and each came to the master with the report that: " Daddy says I needn't larn
grammar. It's no use." That particular master was a grammatical enthu­siast and would not let them off. He tried to give the science practical application, and for the purpose of correcting the boys' language while they were at play, he whittled a small piece of thin board into the shape of a paddle. Whenever a boy used a wrong
expression, he
had to step aside and take the paddle, and he could not play-again until he detected some other lad in a grammatical mistake. Then the badge of interdiction was transferred. As a result of this system the scholars became very critical and made marked improvement in their speech.
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