The Illinois Teacher



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  • Title The Illinois Teacher 
    Short Title The Illinois Teacher 
    Author Illinois Education Association 
    Publisher Peoria, IL: Nason & Hill, 1857, 1858, 1859 
    Repository Internet Archive 
    Source ID S210 
    Text The Illinois Teacher is an annual compilation of proceedings, letters, papers and presentations of the Illinois Education Association. Riley Hoskinson is found in several volumes.

    In Vol. III - 1857 he recounts his struggle to become a teacher and presents his philosophy of teaching in three letters or Experiences to the editor. His letters convey a practical, disciplined approach combined with enthusiasm and a playfulness with his younger students. A digital copy of the complete book is available from American Libraries. The Media tab above contains photos of the relevant pages.

    Vol. IV - 1858 includes an encounter between a state agent of the Illinois Education Association, Riley and his students at the Sabbath-School Celebration in Rushville, IL. Riley is described as "long a teacher of this village", and the children as "brimming over with happiness". The volume also contains a report of the second meeting of the Schuyler County Teachers' Institute. The report was filed by Riley as Secretary for the Institute. He held this post for at least two years, because another of his reports from the Institute is found in Vol. V - 1859. A complete digital copy of Vol. IV is also available American Libraries. The Media tab again presents the relevant pages.

    Finally, in Vol. V - 1859, Riley as Secretary of the Schuyler County Teachers' Institute recounts some important issues resolved by the Institute:

    Resolved, That the sexes should be educated together.
    Resolved, That the plan of graded schools is preferable to our present system.
    Resolved, That females should be as liberally educated as males, and that the general interest of community demands it.

    The second resolution is interesting because it dates when schools in Schuyler County began to transition away from the traditional one room school approach to teaching specific curriculum for each year or "grade" in school.

    The first and third resolutions are very surprising in historical context. They resolve to provide equal opportunity for women in eduction at a time when women were just beginning to actively seek equal rights. The first U. S. Women's Rights Convention was convened in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Conventions were held annually through 1860 (except 1857) but accomplished little. In 1869, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, targeted at gaining women the right to vote. Fourteen years later, in 1893, Colorado became the first state to allow women voters. Other states followed, but it took another seventeen years until 1920 for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to grant women the right the vote nationally. Interestingly, it was not until Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that the 1859 resolutions of organizations like the Schuyler County Teachers' Institute were codified into national law. Almost 100 years later, Title IX forbade institutions receiving federal or state funding from discriminating based on sex.

    Again a complete digital copy of Vol. V is available from American Libraries. The Media tab provides copies of the relevant page.

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    Vol. III, p.157-158

    EXPERIENCE. — Number I.

    Mr. Editor : With your consent I will say a few words relative to my experience in the great subject of teaching. I have long delayed, hoping some one more able would lead off, and I might remain a listener. But to the subject.

    About thirteen years since I commenced trying to teach the young 'idea how to shoot', and a poor try it surely was. I thought I knew a good deal until I made a trial of my strength in the school-room, when, lo ! I had every thing to learn. I could not even teach the first principles of orthography, viz., the sounds of the letters. I was only a tolerable reader, and my arithmetical knowledge was confined within the lids of some five or six books treating upon the subject. In short, I had to begin, and study why and wherefore from the beginning. I had no system, and so imitated as near as I could what I saw others doing. I supposed it was best to keep my face in a continual frown, which I did for a time, but soon found " Like teacher, like school." I also soon found that more was needed to render school pleasant and profitable than mere book-knowledge. I thought it best to follow in the wake of my predecessors in the matter of exhibitions; so I had one, which took up the last six weeks of my school in preparatory exercises - such as foolish speeches, dialogues, songs, etc. The exhibition came off. My patrons were deceived; the children's time worse than wasted ; and I greeted with unmerited praise. This was my first and last exhibition. I have since attended quite a number, all of which resulted in a similar manner. I am much in favor of public examinations, provided they are properly conducted — that is, let the pupils know from the beginning that they will be subjected to a public investigation at the end of the term of all they have studied, and not a few picked questions for the purpose of deception. In my next I shall sketch my plan of teaching some of the different branches, etc.

    RILEY M. HOSKINSON.

    Rushville, Illinois.

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    p.275

    EXPERIENCE. - NUMBER II,

    Mr. Editor : In my last communication I promised to describe my manner of teaching some of the different branches. I shall commence with the letters of the alphabet. These I have printed in large type on a card which I can hang up in some prominent place where all can sec it. When I am ready to instruct my abecedarian class, I take the card in my hand and say something like the following: 'Come, children, don't you want some fun?' This excites their curiosity, and as they come around me, I say, 'Now I am going to point out some letters on this card, that I'll bet you can't name'. Some little fellow says, 'No you can't'. 'Well, we 'll see', I repeat. I now point out the first letter. ' That's A', says one, with an air of triumph. This they all repeat in an instant. I now say, ' Well, you have beaten me once, but I 'll try you again '. I now point out the second and third letters, with like results. I now hang up the card and say, 'After a little while I will call you again, and see if you don't forget those letters by that time'. Their attention is now fully fixed, and in the course of three or four days all the letters, large and small, are fully mastered. I now proceed to instruct them in the sounds of the several letters and combinations, which takes two or three days mere. I now set them to spelling and reading easy lessons, instructing them in the meaning of such words as they do not readily understand. Proceeding in this manner, I find no difficulty in the advancement of my pupils. My plan has been severely criticized, but, after a trial of several years, I am more fully convinced of its benefits. If properly managed, it is perfectly harmless.

    When I teach a class to read, I require it done as though they were parties, and telling each other something that had happened to themselves. This fixes attention, and produces that natural tone of voice so desirable in a reader. Some times I read the story and relate it to them, and let them criticize me (making mistakes on purpose). Then I cause some one of them to relate the same, and let the rest criticize him.

    This requires labor and patience, which none but the lover of the school-room can afford. But this is long enough; I will write again.

    RILEY M. HOSKINSON.

    Rushville, ILL

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    p. 305-306

    EXPERIENCE. — Number III.

    Mr. Editor : I now proceed to my manner of teaching arithmetic. In the first place I require all, without exception, to study Ray's Mental Arithmetics thoroughly, after which they are fitted to enter upon the more difficult problems of written arithmetic. I suffer no one to advance beyond notation and numeration till these are fully mastered. Thus I proceed, step by step, requiring each particular rule and principle to be fully demonstrated at the blackboard. (Ah! but, says one, what if you have none? Why, make one yourself rather than do without a single week.) I endeavor to teach my pupils the principles of science, not suffering them to rely alone on the book. To make them thorough, I proceed in this manner, e.g.: At 3 cts. a pound, what will 6 cwt. 1 qr. of raisins cost; and why? Answer, $18.75. If 6 cwt. 1 qr. of raisins cost $18.75, what will be the cost of one pound; and why? Answer, 35 cts. [should read Answer, 3 cts.] If one pound of raisins cost 3 cts., how much can be bought with $18.75; and why? Answer, 6 cwt. 1 qr.

    Thus I proceed with geography, grammar, philosophy, physiology, algebra, etc. Now if any of my fellow teachers know a better way than mine, I shall consider myself happy to become a learner.

    Rushville, ILL

    RILEY M. HOSKINSON.

    [Query. By what process of reasoning did the pupils obtain the above answers ?]

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    Vol. IV, p. 188

    SCHUYLER COUNTY TEACHERS' INSTITUTE

    The second session of this Association was held in Rushville, on the 6th and 7th of last month. The attendance was small, but the exercises are said to have been very interesting and profitable. The time was chiefly spent in the discussion of various educational questions. Essays were presented and read on Scraps of Experience; Homely Truths; Mystery Explained; and Reading.

    An excellent address was delivered on The School Law, by the Editor of the Schuyler Citizen.

    Resolutions were adopted commendatory of the Teacher; urging improvements in the constructing and furnishing of school-houses; hinting that teachers who look for employment in that county must attend the meetings of the Institute; and also the following:

    Resolved, That each member of this Institute be required to furnish an original essay on some educational topic, to be read at the next session.
    Resolved, That the Executive Committee be instructed to procure the services of Mr. S. Wright, or some other suitable person or persons, to attend the next annual session of the Institute.

    [Condensed from the report of the Secretary, R. M. Hoskinson.]

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    p. 353

    At Rushville I found the teachers willing to be taught and eager for improvement. Through the vigorous efforts of Rev. Mr. Wishard, who is making himself felt in that community as a friend of free schools, some preliminary work had been done. Rev. Mr. Smith also was on hand and an active friend of the Institute. R. M. Hoskinson has been long a teacher in this village. One of the pleasantest gatherings I have met for many a day I met here. It was called a Sabbath-School Celebration, and the 'little folks' seemed to be fairly brimming over with happiness. Schools with such children in them can hardly fail of being good ones. Long may Sabbath Schools prosper!

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    Vol V, p. 202-203

    The Schuyler County Teachers' Institute met at Rushville April 12th, and continued in session two days. Lectures were delivered by Wm. Ellis, Esq., and Wm. H. Haskell, President of the State Teachers' Association. Several teachers gave their experience in teaching, management, etc.; after which the following resolutions were discussed and unanimously adopted:

    Resolved, That the sexes should be educated together.
    Resolved, That the plan of graded schools is preferable to our present system.
    Resolved, That females should be as liberally educated as males, and that the general interest of community demands it.

    R. M. HOSKINSON, Secretary
     
    Linked to HOSKINSON, Riley M 

  • Documents
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 157
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 157
    Complete Book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 158
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 158
    Complete book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 275
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 275
    Complete book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 305
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 305
    Complete book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 306
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. III - 1857, p. 306
    Complete book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. IV - 1858, p. 188
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. IV - 1858, p. 188
    Complete Book available from American Libraries .
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. IV - 1858, p. 353
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. IV - 1858, p. 353
    Complete Book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. V - 1859, p. 202
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. V - 1859, p. 202
    Complete Book available from American Libraries.
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. V - 1859, p. 203
    The Illinois Teacher Vol. V - 1859, p. 203
    Complete Book available from American Libraries.