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ROBERT HEBERT. QUICK,
M.A. TRIN. COLL. CAM., LATE SECOND MASTER IN THE SURREY COUNTY SCHOOL,
'IT IS CLEAR that in whatever it is our duty to act, those matters also it is our duty to study. These words of Dr. Arnold's seem to me incontrovertible. So a sense of duty, as well as fondness for the subject, has led me to devote a period of leisure to the study of Education, in the practice of which I have been for some years engaged.
There are countries where it would be considered a truism that a teacher in order to exercise his profession intelligently should know something about the chief authorities in it. Here, however, I suppose such an assertion will seem paradoxical; but there is a good deal to be said in defence of it. De Quincey has pointed out that a man who takes up any pursuit without knowing what advances others have made in it works at a great disadvantage. He does not apply his strength in the right direction, he troubles himself about small matters and neglects great, he falls into errors that have long since been exploded. educator is, I think, liable to these dangers if he brings to his task no knowledge but that which he learnt for the tripos, and no skill but that which he
acquired in the cricket-ground or on the river. If his pupils are placed entirely in his hands, his work is one of great difficulty, with heavy penalties attached to all blundering in it; though here, as in the case of the ignorant doctor and careless architect, the penalties, unfortunately, are paid by his victims. If (as more commonly happens) he has simply to give a class prescribed instruction, his smaller scope of action limits proportionally the mischief that may ensue; but even then it is obviously desirable that his teaching should be as good as possible, and he is not likely to employ the best methods if he invents as he goes along, or simply falls back on his remembrance of how he was taught himself, perhaps in very different circumstances. I venture to think, therefore, that practical men in education, as in most other things, may derive benefit from the knowledge of what has already been said and done by the leading men engaged in it, both past and present.
All study of this kind, however, is very much impeded by want of books. 'Good books are in German,' says Professor Seeley. I have found that on the history of Education, not only good books but all books are in German, or some other foreign language.*
* When the greater part of this volume was already written, Mr. Parker published his sketch of the history of Classical Education (Essays on a Liberal Education, edited by Farrar). He seems to me to have been very successful in bringing out the most important features of his subject, but his essay necessarily shows marks of over-compression. Two volumes have also lately appeared on Christian Schools and Scholars (Longmans, 1867). Here we have a good deal of information which we