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WITH two exceptions the Lectures included in this
volume formed the series on "Education in the Nineteenth Century" delivered at the Summer Meeting for University Extension Students and others held at Cambridge in August, 1900.
The Syndicate for Local Examinations and Lectures in making the arrangements for the Meeting selected as the general subject, "Life and Thought in England in the Nineteenth Century." Special prominence was given to the subject of Education, not only because of the large attendance of Teachers, English and Foreign, but also on account of the new and growing demand for fuller knowledge about Education amongst those not engaged professionally in teaching, but who either as parents or as citizens feel a general interest in educational methods and reforms.
The Lectures were not intended to present a scientific treatment of Education embracing technical details, but to display broad historical treatment shewing the main advances which have been made in different departments of Education during the Nineteenth Century. The attendance at the Lectures was so large and the interest displayed so keen as fully to
realise the expectations of the Syndicate that the series would prove to be attractive as well as useful.
In consequence of numerous expressions of hope by many who were present that the lectures would be printed, the matter was laid before the Syndics of the University Press and this volume is the result. It is hoped that the book will prove of value and interest, not merely to those who heard the lectures at the Cambridge Meeting, but also to a still wider circle of readers anxious to know something of the remarkable advances in Education which have been made in England during the Nineteenth Century. There is beyond question still plenty of room for reform and improvement, but when the condition of things even half a century ago is compared with the educational facilities that now exist, it is impossible not to be impressed with the important advances which have been made in many directions.
One further explanatory word is necessary. Although the lectures in one sense form a whole and deal generally with the educational advances in different departments, they were prepared by the individual lecturers quite independently of one another. Each lecturer was asked to deal with a particular subject, and in the nature of the case he had no knowledge of how the other lecturers proposed to treat their branches. It necessarily follows that the lectures are not so closely linked together as would have been the case if the lecturers had been in communication with each other when the course was arranged.
Chapters X. and XI. are the exceptions referred to at the beginning of this Preface and were not delivered as lectures at the Meeting. The question of University Extension, while
it was discussed at two informal meetings, was not the subject of a special lecture. To secure completeness however it has been thought well, with his kind permission, to insert the paper read by Sir Richard Jebb on that subject at the University Extension Congress in Paris three days before the Summer Meeting commenced. Owing to the serious illness of Dr Sidgwick, Mrs Sidgwick was unable to deliver the lecture which she had kindly promised to give, and she has been good enough to put together the material which she would have used in her lecture, in order that the important subject of the Higher Education of Women might not be entirely omitted from the volume.
In the name of the Syndicate I take this opportunity of expressing the great indebtedness felt to all the distinguished experts in Education who were so good as to accept the invitation to lecture, and who so readily consented to allow their lectures to be published in this volume.
SYNDICATE BUILDINGS, CAmbridge. 14 January, 1901.
R. D. ROBERTS.