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40 > Page 40 of Addresses delivered at the inauguration of Rev. Lewis W. Green, D.D., as a president of Transylvania University and State Normal School, November 18, 1856

40 in the early stages of education. This is an absolutely unman- ageable evil. It meets, and thwarts, and laffles, and dis- htartens, at every point and in every department, the most en- thusiastic, energetic, and conscientious instructor. It is fast reducing us to be a nation of superficial sciolists and empty drivellers. It is a crack in the foundation which runs through the whole superstructure, mounts to the dome, and endangers all. We may plaister it over, ingeniously and skillfully, but the weakness remains. WORSE STILL, AND WORST OF ALL, the very attempt to hide the defect, recoils upon our moral nature, strikes in upon the inner man; and SHOWY PREmENSE BECOMES INEVITABLY MORAL TURPITUDE. Now the only remedy is a reform in the lower departments of instruction. This can be effected by the Normal School on- ly; by the stricter methods, and the more accurate acquire- ments which it is enabled to enforce; thence it may be ex- tended to the common school arid the academy; and return- ing to the University in the person of pupils formerly train- ed in the Normal School. may constitute, in every class, a nucleus of trained, and disciplined minds around which others may gather, as examples of thorough and successful culture. The great design of education is not merely to communicate knowledge, but to discipline and invigorate the faculties; to render the mind, not passively recipient, but re- productive. For this purpose, the method adopted in every well directed Normal School, is not merely the best, but the only possible, or conceivable method. Require the instant reproduction; never allow the pupil to consider a subject mastered, until all the facts, principles, trains of reasoning, the whole process of investigation, can be distinctly stated in language satisfactory to himself, and intelligible to others. This habit formed in the Normal School, and transferred to every department of the University would, of itself, suffice to revolutionize our system of education, and rais; up a new race of thinkers, and men.