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City Document— No. 7. 








FEBRUARY, 185 5 





Iw School Committee, JanBary 81, 1855. 

Dr. Morse presented the petition of Clark I. Gorham, and others, asking the 
Board to consider the expediency of abolishing the practice of requiring lessons 
to be studied by the scholars in out-of-school hours ; which was referred to 
Messrs. Morse and Waldock. 

February 28, 1855. 
Dr. Waldock, from the Committee, submitted the following Report, which 
was read, accepted, and ordered to be printed for the use of the Committee and 

JOSHUA SEAVER, Secretary, 


The Committee to whom was referred the petition rela- 
tive to " Out-of-School Study/' have to Report, — That, in 
order to learn, as far as possible, the facts in the case, and 
the views of the teachers on the subject, they addressed 
to the several principals of the High and Grammar Schools 
a note informing them of the preliminary action of the 
School Committee on the subject, and asking; of each 
teacher such information in regard to his own school as it 
might be in his power to give, and any views on the whole 
subject which he might be disposed to communicate to the 

From the replies of the teachers the following facts 
appear : — 

1st. That in the High School for Boys one daily lesson 
is assigned for out-of-school study, requiring, on an aver- 
age, from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half of 
study for its preparation. 

2d. That in the High School for Girls, at present, study 
at home to the amount of about two hours daily, on an 
average, is necessary for the accomplishment of the pre- 
scribed course of study. 

3d. That in all the Grammar Schools lessons are as- 
signed to the upper classes for " out-of-school study." 

4th. That the practice of the assistant teachers in these 
schools is not uniform ; some teachers requiring, and some 
not requiring, study at home. 

5th. That in none of these schools would the lessons 
assigned expressly for study at home require, on an aver- 
age, more than from thirty to sixty minutes' study for their 

6th. That no teacher says that he has heard any com- 
plaint on this subject from parents or guardians, and none 
say that they have riot. 

7th. That the teachers of the Grammar Schools differ 
in opinion as to the importance or necessity of " out-of- 
school study," and its influence upon the health of scholars. 
One teacher says — "I advise home study in order that the 
scholar may be sure to have perfect lessons. I am of opin- 
ion that as a general thing boys are not likely to be driven 
to study too hard." 

Another says — " I think there is but one opinion with 
the teachers in this school upon this subject, and that is, 
that scholars should be kept diligently at work during the 
time they are in school, without being required to perform 
much study out of school. This we lay down as a general 
proposition, though there may be many individual excep- 
tions to it." 

A third writes — "I consider the amount of ' out-of- 

school study ' required of the pupils of the School, 

as not only not injurious to the physical well-being of the 
pupils, but that it conduces to the acquirement of habits 
of diligence and foresight, and tends to equalize the results 
of the varying capacities to a degree that no other method 

8th. That no teacher recommends any special legisla- 
tion en the subject by this Board. 

In view of, and in connection with the above facts, your 
Committee are of opinion, — 

That in all the schools the programme of daily study 
should be so arranged, and the pupils be kept so actively 
employed, that the lessons assigned for study in school 

may be prepared in school, and not remain for preparation 
out of school; 

That in the High School for Boys, and in the upper 
classes of the Grammar Schools for Boys, the amount of 
" out-of-school study " required of the pupils is not injuri- 
ous to their health, and is wholesome in its influence upon 
their character and habits ; 

That in the High School for Girls a moderate amount of 
" out-of-school " labor may be necessary for the accomplish- 
ment of the prescribed course of study ; but that it should 
be, carefully limited, and that not more than one daily les- 
son or exercise should be left for preparation out of school ; 

That in the Grammar Schools for Girls no lessons ought 
to be assigned expressly for " out-of-school study." 

They, therefore, submit the following order to that effect : 

Ordered, That from and after the passage of this order, 
no lessons be assigned expressly to be prepared out of 
school, in the Grammar Schools for Girls. 

For the Committee,