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early years of our century. In the organisation of primary education the contrast between the years 1800 and 1900 is most marked. Nearly a hundred years ago, Wordsworth, from whom I have already quoted, uttered what then seemed to him a forlorn hope:
"O for the coming of that glorious time
When, prizing knowledge as her noblest wealth
For all the children whom her soil maintains
By timely culture unsustained; or run
To drudge through weary life without the aid
Well! this vision of the Poet has been realised, and the allegiance this Imperial Realm exacts is paid more freely and more cheerfully by the people of to-day, helped by "intellectual implements and tools," than by the "tens of thousands uninformed," who, "bred to little pleasure in themselves," were "profitless to others."
NOTE. Definition of "Technical Instruction" given in the Technical Instruction Act, 1889.
"The expression technical instruction' shall mean instruction in the principles of science and art applicable to industries, and in the application of special branches of science and art to specific industries or employments. It shall not include teaching the practice of any trade or industry or employment, but, save as aforesaid, shall include instruction in the branches of science and art with respect to which grants are for the time being made by the Department of Science and Art, and any other form of instruction (including modern languages and commercial and agricultural subjects), which may for the time being be sanctioned by that Department by a minute laid before l'arliament and made on the representation of a local authority that such a form of instruction is required by the circumstances of its district."
THE TRAINING OF TEACHERS.
MISS E. P. HUGHES.
THE subject on which I have been asked to lecture is the training of teachers in England during the 19th century. An intelligent secondary teacher thus described our subject to me the other day. "The training of teachers is an ambiguous term, an educational heresy, and historically a failure." I grant at once it is an ambiguous term, therefore we must define it. It is a little difficult to know when a heresy ceases to be a heresy, but I think that we who believe profoundly in a scientific and philosophical training for all teachers are just ceasing to be regarded as heretics in England. There is already some evidence to prove that the training of teachers is not historically a failure.
It is necessary to define "training of teachers," because it is used in at least three different senses in England.
I. It may mean acquiring that professional knowledge and skill special to the work of teaching, and required only by teachers. This seems a logical use of the term, but it is not that which is most common in England.
II. It may mean, in addition, gaining what has been called "the stock in trade of a teacher,"-sound and fairly advanced knowledge of the subjects which he is going to teach.
III. It may also include gaining that liberal education which gives the intellectual ability wide knowledge and culture, which our English world is beginning to see must be owned by every really effective teacher. In our English elementary training colleges, and in American and other Normal colleges, "training" is used in this widest sense as including a liberal education, or at any rate something like it,-knowledge of subjects, and professional knowledge and skill. In secondary training colleges in England, on the contrary, steps are usually taken to ensure that the students possess the required liberal education and subject knowledge before they enter a college,. and the training course is usually limited to acquiring professional knowledge and skill.
Even with this narrower meaning there is still an ambiguity in the term. All experienced and effective teachers possess professional knowledge, i.e. know what other professional workers do not and need not know, and possess professional skill, i.e. can do what other professional workers can not do, and are, therefore, in one sense all trained teachers. I remember hearing Dr Abbott claim rightly to be a "trained teacher;" and he once said in public, "I gained my experience as a teacher at the expense of my pupils for the first two years." Some of us have probably required a far longer course of training at the expense of our pupils! Those of us who have been working and fighting for the training of teachers in England, mean by it, not only the possession of a certain quantity and kind of professional knowledge, and a certain amount of skill in teaching and governing, but that these should be obtained before the teacher begins his regular work, and under careful supervision and instruction. This is I think the narrowest and most exact meaning of the word "training of teachers," but I propose to use the term to-day in the wider sense, which includes liberal education and subject knowledge, and this for two reasons. First, this wider meaning is constantly used in England. Secondly, no satisfactory training in
the narrow sense can be given except on a solid substructure of liberal education and sound subject-knowledge. Until the nature of professional training is clearly understood, it is best to include in it that foundation on which alone it can be safely reared.
Our real problem is therefore,-What has been done during the last hundred years in England to prepare teachers, by education and training, for the work of teaching?
May I comment for one moment on the importance of the problem? I think we need to be reminded now-a-days, that educational legislation and governing bodies are after all only arranging the conditions of education; it is we teachers alone who direct the process. Give us by all means good buildings, excellent apparatus, wise educational laws, and judicious governing bodies, but granted all these it is still of greater importance what we teachers are, and what we can do. Upon us rests the grave responsibility of being in some ways the most important factor in educational progress; and the most rapid and most thorough way of improving the education of a country is to improve us, its teachers. Let me emphasise this point by a few quotations. In 1839 Lord John Russell said, when discussing the improvement of education, "I say that the measure which should be first adopted is the establishment of a good normal school for teachers." In 1873 Professor Payne said, "The teacher is the very soul of the whole apparatus of means, and indeed the only positively indispensable element in it." In 1897 the Bishop of Hereford said, "Give me the training of teachers, and I count all other matters of secondary importance." The Royal Commission on secondary education, under the section "the professional education of teachers," has these words, "Educational reformers have long recognised that of all the improvements that can be made in schools, none are more important, none perhaps so important as those which tend to secure a supply of able and skilful teachers." They further suggested three methods
to obtain that supply-adding to the status and dignity of the profession, improving its prospects and conditions, and a better education and training. Turning to Continental educationalists, we find many corroborative remarks. When the education of Finland was organised, the great educational genius,-Cygnæus-who undertook the work, is reported to have said, "I will begin at the logical beginning, at the most fundamental point, I will first start a training college for teachers. If I have a supply of able and effective teachers, that is the most important thing."
The very obvious moral of all this is that millionaires, wishing to invest large sums of money in the excellent object of helping education, can make that money most fertile for good in the form of scholarships for embryo teachers.
And now let us go back a hundred years, and see what chances the teachers of England had at that time of a liberal education, sound knowledge, and a professional training. Unfortunately for England a most undesirable gulf has separated the teachers in our secondary schools from the teachers in our elementary schools. We can afford to speak of it now because it is fast vanishing. Different ideals, different conditions, different methods, have existed on the two sides of that gulf, and we are practically forced to consider the two sides separately. I will take first secondary education for two important reasons.
Secondary education is first chronologically. Matthew Arnold tells us that "the secondary school is the most ancient of existing educational institutions. *** By its side the primary or elementary school, springing up as it does from needs and ideas that are comparatively modern, seems but a creature of yesterday." Dr Jessopp was nearly right, not quite, when he said the other night that there was practically no elementary education in the year 1800, there was at any rate very little, and secondary education was far more advanced.
Secondary education under certain conditions is more important than elementary education. In any country really democratic