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Britannia; but by steadily inculcating a grateful sense of the debt we owe to our ancestors for their efforts and for the great inheritance which they have bequeathed to us, and by urging scholars to live and work so as to be worthy of that inheritance. All these objects must be attained if at all by the personal skill and enthusiasm of our teachers, and not by means of State direction or authority.
The gravest of all the tasks before us is to discover in what way schools may do more for the formation of character. If the result of so much of religious teaching as takes the form of enforcing creeds and catechism has proved somewhat disappointing, are there not yet resources open to us for touching the imagination, exciting reverence, and encouraging aspiration after righteousness and the love of truth? There is also the duty of determining how the best results of school work are to be wisely tested and assessed for the information of parents and for the due satisfaction of the State? I am disposed to sympathize a little with a young candidate whom I once examined for the Indian Civil Service, and who in the course of an essay on the changes which the present century had witnessed, said, "The public exacts every year a higher standard of education from those who seek employment in its service; in proof of which I may refer to the extraordinary difficulty of the questions set at the present examination.' Then there is the great subject of the qualifications of teachers. Do our present methods succeed not only in imparting a knowledge of the technique of the profession, but also in inspiring our teachers with high aims and a consciousness of the need of something far better than we have yet attained, and a determination to take an honourable share in the task of attaining it? Above all we must seek to generate among legislators and the public, and especially among parents, a truer conception of what a good school can be, and can do. We yet need a higher ideal of a generous and noble education directed to the development of the best intellectual faculties, and also to the
preparation of the scholar for becoming a valuable member of the body politic.
Such are some of the tasks which await the reformer and the statesman of the coming time. They will call for all the resources of the new Board of Education and its Consultative Committee, as well as of teachers, managers, and philanthropists. And if the rather halting, tentative, and imperfect experiments of the nineteenth century have enabled us to do much, we may yet hope that the twentieth century, with the record of the mistakes and failures of our predecessors before us, will do still more to spread the love of learning and culture, to beautify the homes and industries of the workers, and to ennoble the whole of our national life.
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO PROBLEMS
DR R. P. SCOTT.
IN treating of Secondary Education with special reference to those of its problems which now await solution, I do not propose to dwell on the most attractive features of the system -if system it may be called-which obtains in England. Of set purpose I say nothing of the dignity and high aims of the great Public Schools, of the excellent services rendered by our Grammar Schools and Modern Schools, or to the originality and initiative observable in the best private schools.
I propose rather to survey briefly the gradual and hesitating steps by which Secondary Education has at length won its way to the position of a great public question in England.
Amongst the problems which from an educational point of view press for an early solution are the following:-a State survey of existing schools; inspection; examination; curricula; registration and tenure of teachers; salaries and finance generally; the mutual relations of Governing Bodies, Local Education Authorities, and the Central Authority. All these are but
different aspects of one great problem-to secure in the interests of the nation the highest possible efficiency of all its schools. And, after all, this efficiency is nothing more than a means to a still greater end, the training up of good men and women who shall be capable of answering to all the varied calls made upon the citizens of this great Empire.
Even before the early years of this century there has been a vague feeling that the public is in some measure responsible for education, and that grants of public money might reasonably be made for its encouragement. After an inquiry extending from 1818 to 1837, educational charities were effectively distinguished from other charities: a generation later, the endowed grammar schools of the country were inquired into, and in large measure were more closely adapted to existing requirements; but secondary education, as distinct from secondary schools, and from technical instruction, received no official recognition or support, until in 1889-1890, under the Technical Instruction and Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Acts, local authorities began to extend effectively over the whole area of England the benefits of a certain type of secondary education. Full recognition, however, of secondary education as a matter of national concern has been reserved for the closing decade of the century in the Bryce Commission and the Board of Education Act, 1899.
These are the most prominent features of the prolonged movement which has resulted in a partial organisation of secondary schools; yet hardly a year of the Queen's reign has passed which has not been marked by some public inquiry or Commission, or by some private or Government Bill, and though the statute which became operative in the very last year of the century may appear to be but a modest instalment in payment of a great debt, yet it cannot be doubted that the early years of the coming century will witness in England a great development and a wide extension of secondary education.
It will perhaps be enough to mention in order of date the
official inquiries, the Acts of Parliament, and the administrative changes during the century which have been of determinative importance to secondary education.
The Committees or Royal Commissions are:
1818-37. Brougham's Committee on Endowments. 1849-53. Chichester Commission.
1850-52. Oxford and Cambridge University Commissions. 1861-4. Public Schools Commission, under Lord Clarendon. 1864-7. Schools Inquiry Commission, under Lord Taunton. Technical Instruction Commission, under Sir B.
1894-5. Secondary Education Commission, under Mr J. Bryce.
The Statutes are:
Charitable Trusts Act.
Public Schools Act.
Endowed Schools Act, and amending Acts.
Local Government Act. [Important as mapping out the whole country into local administrative areas].
Technical Instruction Act and amending Act.
Welsh Intermediate Education Act.
Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act. [Im
portant as providing all Counties and County Boroughs with funds for technical instruction].
Board of Education Act.
With regard to Public Departments, the following steps mark the chief administrative departures :
Committee of Council on Education established.
Department of Science and Art established.
Charity Commission established.