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translations the vocabulary and rules they learn. They learn and act scenes from history and fairy stories in French and German. Some grammar has to be learnt, and the greatest stress is laid on what is learnt being learnt and applied accurately, but it is the grammar which is necessary for the correct speaking and writing of the language, not the grammar of pedants and academies. Thus the foundations are well and truly laid for the advanced work of the Upper Forms.
The manner and style of University examination papers in modern languages has immensely improved, and now generally consists of unseen translation from French or German into English, translation from English into French or German, and prepared books with comprehensive grammatical questions. To do well on these papers the teacher had to make the pupil pay great attention to idioms and construction, to accuracy and to the improvement of style.
Conversation is greatly encouraged by the formation of small conversation classes under a foreigner who possesses the right temperament and who can interest her pupils and make them talk.
What we aim at is :
I. Facility in understanding a foreign language-spoken by a foreigner.
2. That the pupil should express herself with facility and accuracy in the language, and that her accent should be as true as possible.
3. And, most important-that the pupil's interest should be so thoroughly aroused in what she is learning that she will feel a wish to go on with the language and its literature when she leaves school and not put away her books with her school days.
SCIENCE:-Science subjects have been introduced into girls' schools in the order in which they are usually taken up, in any one school fairly well equipped for science work. But all in the past have been taught as more or less isolated subjects and in a fragmentary way. Object lessons and
Natural History followed by Botany were first introduced, and the work in them was almost entirely observational, completed by some attempt at Classification.
That is now usually the first stage of science teaching, but it has become more truly "Nature Study," since it is recognised that animals and plants should be studied in relation to their surroundings and that attempts in this direction can be made even in schools in large towns. But Botany as a class subject could not be continued as an experimental Science, and after the early stages it was either taught didactically, and became a mere exercise for the memory, or for it was substituted a series of demonstration lessons, illustrating the elementary facts of physical science of little if any higher educational value.
Not until the report of the British Association Committee on Science Teaching was published in 1889 was public attention drawn to the educational possibilities of Science as a School subject, and the demand which it made upon time and resources has retarded its development in girls' schools. But after 10 years, Science has a fair footing in the curriculum of many High Schools. Science Rooms which allow of free movement, and are provided with firm benches, and gas and water supplies, are being universally fitted up. The constant outlay for material is gladly met, the one lesson per week is increased to at least two or three, smaller classes are arranged, and the teaching staff consequently increased. The aims and ideals of the teachers it is true vary considerably. The heuristic method is adopted in most schools where a course in elementary physics and chemistry follows the nature study of the lower forms. But in many cases the teaching is still entirely on the old didactic lines with the addition of practical work, and the Science teaching is thus deprived of nearly all the moral and intellectual value which is claimed for it.
DRAWING: Here again there is a strong contrast between the teaching of the present and the past. The influence of Mr Ablett's schemes and methods is happily well known and
generally appreciated. Therefore little need be said here. There is no copying. The pupil is taught to look at what is before her and render it in her own way. The powers of observation and memory are trained and developed, the eye is awakened to see and discover, the brain to remember and create. In the schools of to-day drawing, not as a handiwork only, but as a means of training is taught to every child.
The excellence of the method has enormously increased the pleasure of the pupils in their work; it has added to their equipment for their pursuits and work after school days are over; it has worked widely for good in the general curriculum of our schools.
The last point in the development of girls' schools with which I have to deal concerns the physical education and training given and encouraged. Here too the development has been all to the good.
Professor MacCunn in his excellent book on "The Making of Character" asserts,--and no one will contradict him,—that moral development is conditioned by bodily health. "Good health is a prime condition of practical energy. For energetic constitutions enjoy an advantage that goes far beyond the mere superior ability to do what others cannot.
"We may not impute physical languor and weakness with their attendant idleness as a sin; yet we must as little refuse to face the fact that a weak or sickly body is a grievous moral disability."
That our girls shall not have weak or sickly bodies is our keenest desire.
In many schools periodical examinations of backbones, and ankles and eyesight are made. Records are kept, skilled and scientific physical training is carried out. Nothing is neglected which can serve to make the body straight and strong and to develope perfectly all its powers. The benefit to the present generation of girls of the skilled care and training of their bodies cannot be exaggerated.
Of the obvious advantages to girls as well as boys of playing games in which their bodies are exercised, and through which their characters grow stronger, I say nothing here. Every High School of to-day has its playground, and nearly all have playfields as well. Games are organised through Game Clubs or by Games Mistresses and are played by mistresses and girls; Hockey, Cricket, Basket ball, La Crosse, Lawn Tennis and Rounders. Sports are arranged and carried through with not less seriousness and enthusiasm, though for less costly prizes, than in the case of boys. Swimming is taught and encouraged.
In this connection I will again quote, for the justification—if any be needed—of those of us who may seem unduly to encourage the playing of games, what Professor MacCunn has to say:
"If we are apt to have misgivings about the long hours and days given in youth to the strenuous idleness of sports and games we must not think too exclusively of the immediate results. We must think of the heavy drafts which arduous vocations make in after years on bodily vigour and endurance, of the habit of cheerfulness that follows health, and not least of that sense of insurance against whatever the future can bring which comes of the consciousness of calculable physical fitness. Plato startles us in his educational ideals by assigning 2 of the most precious years of life to the exclusive pursuit of ‘gymnastics.' If it seems too costly a tribute to the body it is to be borne in mind that it is prompted by the principle, 'Body for the sake of soul,' and finds its justification in the strenuous service to be exacted by the state of its citizens in later years."
I know of course that the author whom I have quoted is speaking of boys. I know too in the case of girls additional care has to be taken to guard against over-exertion and too great exhaustion. But I know also that nothing tends to better health and better work than games regularly and strenuously played. The body claims all that we can do for it. With bodily health comes vigour and sanity of mind, and things take and keep their right proportions-the strain and worry of mental exercises is lessened.
"Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
I fear I may have seemed too laudatory of the work and influence of High School education-but in a paper not to exceed an hour in length it is impossible to say everything, and on such an occasion as this, while freely acknowledging that much remains to be done, I naturally choose to play the optimist.
I do not forget the many brilliant, highly cultured women whose names stand, and will always stand, in the front ranks of the educated women of England and who never went to a High School. Among those who leave our schools there are none who surpass them, and few who equal them, but they were and are the exceptions. But I compare the many women of 50 years ago who, longing perhaps for the opportunities of learning, and ambitious of sharing in the privileges so freely bestowed upon boys, had to be content with the husks of learning only, and to live out sombre, uninterested, self-centred lives without having had a single opportunity of realizing the advantages and pleasures of work honestly prepared for and well done with the scores of happy contented High School girls and University students of to-day.
The exception may be no higher than before; but the average of serviceableness and happiness resulting from High School education is incalculably greater.
Briefly the influence direct and indirect of the better education of girls and women has added to the sum of their usefulness and happiness individually and collectively.
When the first High Schools were opened the women trained to work and capable of working on special lines were few and far between.
The want was recognised and deplored by all who needed their assistance. Miss Beale, Miss Buss, Mrs Grey put in the front of their programme the training and teaching of women and the testing of their powers and capacity. Thirty years ago the notion that a well-born woman should belong voluntarily to a profession was repugnant to parents and relations. That a woman should teach, or be obliged to earn her living, meant