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The building was substantially completed in 1860, and the classes were removed to it from the temporary quarters occupied in Bloomington. The University is provided with philosophical and chemical apparatus, and with books of reference. The museum and library of the Illinois Natural History Society are located in the University building.
President Hovey, the first Principal, remained in charge of the institution until 1862, when he resigned, and Richard Edwards, Principal of the St. Louis Normal School, was appointed to succeed him.
The University is under the control and supervision of the State Board of Education, which consists of the Governor of the State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and fourteen other persons appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
ADMISSION OF STUDENTS.
The requirements for admission are, that young men must be at least seventeen and young ladies sixteen years of age; all candidates must produce a certificate of good moral character, signed by some responsible person, and must also sign a declaration of their intention to devote themselves to school teaching in this State, in form as follows:-", hereby declare my intention to become a teacher in the schools of this State; and agree that, for three years after leaving the University, I will report in writing to the Principal thereof, in June and December of each year, where I have been, and in what employment." Candidates must also pass a satisfactory examination before the proper officers in reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, geography, and the elements of English grammar, in pursuance of the Normal University Act.
Each County within the State shall be entitled to gratuitous instruction for two pupils in said Normal University, and each Representative District shall be entitled to gratuitous instruction for a number of pupils equal to the number of representatives in said district, to be chosen in the following manner: The School Superintendent in each county shall receive and register the names of all applicants for admission to said Normal University, and shall present the same to the County Court, or in counties acting under township organization to the Board of Supervisors; which said County Court or Board of Supervisors, as the case may be, shall, together with the School Superintendent, examine the applicants so presented, in such manner as the Board of Education may direct, and from the number of such as shall be found to possess the requisite qualifications, such pupils shall be selected by lot; and in representative districts composed of more than one county, the School Superintendent and County Judge, or the School Superintendent and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in counties acting under township organization, as the case may be, of the seyeral counties composing such representative district, shall meet at the clerk's office of the County Court of the oldest county, and from the applicants so presented to the County Court or Board of Supervisors of the several counties represented, and found to possess the requisite qualifications, shall select by lot the number of pupils to which said district is entitled. The Board of Education shall have discretionary power, if any candidate does not sign and file with the Secretary of the Board a declaration that he or she will teach in the public schools within this State, in case that engagement can be secured by reasonable ettörts, to require such candidate to provide for the payment of such fees for tuition as the Board may prescribe.
If any county or representative district neglects to make appointments, the President of the University is, by a resolution adopted by the Board of Education, authorized to fill the vacancy by appointing any person of proper age and qualification. Every such person must pass, before the President, an examination similar to that required before the county superintendent in other cases.
COURSE OF STUDY.
The course of study occupies three years. Each year is divided into three terms, the first of fifteen, the second thirteen, and the third twelve weeks in length. The studies pursued are reading, spelling, English grammar and literature, rhetoric, criticism, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, geography; history, ancient and modern; natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, botany, physiology, book-keeping, writing, drawing, vocal music, metaphysics; and professional studies, including history and methods of education, school laws of Illinois, and the Constitution of the United States and of Illinois. The following are optional : Latin, Greek, algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, calculus, and zoology.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Principal of the University have recommended the erection of a boarding house for the accommodation of students. Board can be obtained in good families for about four dollars a week, exclusive of fuel, lights, and washing. A portion of the students board in clubs, and thus reduce the expense nearly one-half.
The Model School, which is in the same building with the Normal School, is furnished with all the appliances necessary for giving a thorough education, either as a preparation for college or for business. It has four grades, each under the charge of a separate, permanent teacher. Instruction is given in the elementary and higher English branches, and in Latin, Greek, French and German. Physical exercises are daily practiced by the entire school. The only requisites for admission are a small fee and good character. Pupils on being examined are classified according to their attainments.
The students of the Normal School, after attending two terms, have classes assigned them in the Model School. These classes have recitations at hours which do not interfere with the recitations in the Normal De. partment, so that the pupil-teachers do not lose their recitations in the Normal School while teaching in the Model School. The Model School is thought to be of important advantage to the Normal School. The connection has been mutually advantageous.
The number of students in the University in 1866–67 was as follows: - In the Normal Department: Senior class-Ladies 7, gentleman 6, total 13. Middle class-Ladies 32, gentlemen 26, total 58. Junior classLadies 167, gentlemen 89, total 256. Total in Normal Department, 327.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS.
Tue Normal School Law of Pennsylvania divides the State into twelve districts, in each of which a State Normal School may be established whenever private contributions make it practicable. NORMAL SCHOOL IN THE SECOND DISTRICT.
AT MILLERSVILLE. The school in the second district, at Millersville, was recognized as a State institution in 1859, and it has since received 3,754 students, of whom 2,490 were males, and 1,264 females. Seventy-two have graduated in the elementary course, twenty-two in the scientific course, and two in the classical course. In 1867, there were six hundred and fifty-two students in the Normal department, and one hundred and sixty in the Model school. The buildings and other property of the school cost over $70,000.
One-half of the members of the graduating class teach in the Model school during the fall and winter terms, and the others in the spring and summer terms. Those who are thus engaged in the Model school meet the principal upon two evenings each week for special instruction in the theory of teaching. At these meetings the principal reads from notes that he has taken while in the school during the day, comments upon them, and commends or disapproves as he thinks the circumstances require. The students state any difficulties that may have arisen during the day.
These, and the remedies, are freely discussed by teachers and students. The superintendent of the Model school also meets this class for a similar exercise one evening in each week.
The principal gives instruction to two classes each day in the Theory of Teaching." These classes use a text-book. Besides this, many of the members of the graduating class recite daily in mental science, in which recitation the proper methods of cultivating the faculties are familiarly discussed.
Of those who expect to receive aid from the State, but about one-half are especially interested in the theory and practice of teaching.
The school during the past year (1867) was prosperous. The graduating class consisted of twenty members, and passed a satisfactory examination. All the members are engaged in teaching, excepting two, and some of them are occupying positions of responsibility and honor.
The results of the system of training adopted are more than satisfactory—they are subjects for congratulation and pride. The pupils of this institution are among the most successful teachers in the State. They are sought after wherever good teaching can be appreciated or remunerated. They are found in common schools and high schools, as principals
of academies and seminaries, professors in normal schools and colleges, and as energetic and successful county superintendents. In whatever position they labor, they distinguish themselves as faithful and skillful workers. They seem to be imbued with the true spirit of the educator ; earnest, devoted, self-sacrificing, laboring for the success of the cause. They are punctual in their attendance upon educational meetings, ready to aid at institutes and associations, and are becoming an educational power in the commonwealth. These facts indicate the success of the system, and demonstrate the value of Normal schools to the State.
NORMAL SCHOOL IN THE TWELFTII DISTRICT.
The school in the twelfth district at Edinboro, was first chartered as an academy in 1856, then changed to a Normal school and recognized as a State institution in 1861. It has land, buildings, furniture, library, apparatus, and other property, valued at $36,750. The whole number of students received is 1,444, of whom 775 were males, and 669 females. Thirty have graduated. There were 425 in the Normal department in 1867, and 138 in the Model department.
In this school the instruction on the subject of professional knowledge, skill and experience in teaching, is communicated to the graduating class as well as to those who are receiving State aid, by lectures by the principal. The members of the graduating class hear lessons in th public school, which is taught in the Model school rooms, but which has no connection whatever with the institution.
NORMAL SCHOOL IN THE FIFTH DISTRICT.
The Normal school in the fifth district, at Mansfield, was first organized in 1854 as a Classical seminary, under the charge and patronage of the Methodist Episcopal church, but its founders, with a large liberality, offered it as a State Normal school, and it was accepted in December, 1862. The buildings, furniture, library, apparatus and other property, are valued at $49,000.
This institution is divided into two departments. One is called the Normal, or Teachers', and the other the Academic, or Business department. It not unfrequently happens that a large proportion of those entering the academic, or business course, change their minds, and commence making preparation for teaching.
The direct means employed in training teachers is, first, the regular daily drills upon the subject matter of teaching. In these exercises, no instruction in the branches is attempted to be given. Each pupil has a text-book upon the subject of teaching, and topics are assigned for the consideration of the class. The theoretical and practical, the possibles and impossibles, are here presented. The experiences and opinions of those who have taught are placed side by side with those who have not. The failures of youthful indiscretion are compared with more mature reflections of age.
The senior, or graduating class, in addition to the studies of the course, take up the theory of teaching as a study, and practice teaching in the Normal school forty-five minutes a day for one-half of the school year. This class meets twice a week with the principal, or some of the faculty, and the principal of the Model school, where the work of the experimental class is discussed, failures and success pointed out, and words of approval and encouragement given when and where needed.
The whole number of students received is 1,290, of whom 555 were males, and 735 females. Thirty-seven have graduated. There were 282 in the Normal department in 1867, and 123 in the Model school.
NORMAL SCHOOL IN THE THIRD DISTRICT.
The Keystone Normal school in the third district, at Kutztown, originated in the demand for better teachers and in the conviction that a Normal school was necessary to supply that want. Its buildings, furniture, library, apparatus, and other property, are valued at $55,000, of which $20,000 was contributed by the citizens of Kutztown and Maxatawny townships. The school was recognized by the State superintendent as a State institution, on the 13th September, 1866, and the building was formally dedicated on the 15th of the same month.
The faculty of instruction includes eleven professors and tutors, a larger number of gentlemen than either of the other Normal schools ; but the number of female instructors is less, it being but two in this school, and it is five or seven in the other schools. The Model school is under the superintendency of an experienced teacher who is employed by the Board of Trustees, and the teaching is principally done by students from the Normal school. These students first pass a year in studying the theory of teaching by means of text-books and lectures in the Normal school, and then practice at least three-fourths of an hour daily in teaching pupils in the classes of the Model school.
The number of students received the first year was 343, of whom 266 were males, and 77 females, being a larger proportion of male students than is reported from any other Normal school in this country.