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Glasgow. It is not only that the teaching embraces new subjects never thought of as susceptible of educational treatment a century ago; it is not only that the instruction is given in palatial buildings fitted with adequate machinery and with every mechanical appliance for illustrating the lessons, but the methods of instruction are altogether new, designed not only to inform but to train, and to exhibit in a manner previously not thought of, the connection between practice and theory. Moreover, the exponents of technical instruction have exercised an influence on education generally which cannot be overlooked when its history during the last quarter of a century is fully written.
Comparing the condition of education now with what it was in the beginning of the century, the contrast is most marked. An advanced elementary education, in which Manual Training largely enters, is afforded absolutely free to every child in the realm. Facilities of secondary education by means of scholarships are within reach of nearly all who are fitted to profit by it. Technical and commercial instruction, adapted to the requirements of industrial classes, and to the different occupations in which they are engaged is provided by local authorities under the general direction of a Centralised Board; and University Education, including Engineering in its widest sense, is available for a large and increasing proportion of the young men and women of the country. Our system is not perfect, nor is it ever likely to be. There is no finality in education. Improvements in organisation and in method are still needed, and some are within reach. We are still far behind Germany, Switzerland and the United States in the provision of specialised University education for those who are to occupy the higher posts in professional and industrial pursuits, and much of our education still fails in its formative influence, in the building up of resourcefulness and useful aptitudes. But what has been accomplished would exceed the most sanguine hopes and expectations of those who laboured for reform in the
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
An obligation, on her part, to teach
Them who are born to serve her and obey;
For all the children whom her soil maintains
By timely culture unsustained; or run
To drudge through weary life without the aid
Of intellectual implements and tools."
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 Parliament 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." 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