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man would trust with the key of his cellar, and no tradesman would entrust with a message." The condition of the dame schools can be realised by a statement from one of the dames : "It's little they pays us, and it's little we teaches them."
Even as late as 1858 we read the following description of a school, giving the conditions under which some of the teachers of that day taught: "The closeness of the room made animal heat save artificial fuel, and though the foul air may for a time make the children restless, it soon acts as a narcotic." I am not describing a prison, but a school, not in a remote rural district, but in the heart of London. The Assistant-Commissioner, who gives the account, says it is a very usual kind of London school. The teachers were, some of them, discharged barmaids, consumptives in the last stages, vendors of toys, outdoor paupers, men and women 70 and 85 years of age, and all this only 42 years ago! The Assistant-Commissioner remarked, "None are too old, too ignorant, too feeble, too sickly, to regard themselves and to be regarded by others as unfit for school keeping. 'Bodily infirmity is a special reason for becoming a teacher.'
Meanwhile, in the middle of the century, select committees and Royal Commissions were collecting information and arousing public opinion, and public money was contributing funds for the instruction of pupil teachers, for training colleges, for their staffs and for their pupils. In 1847 the Education Department arranged for an examination for elementary teachers, and provided an augmentation grant for all those who passed it. Matters were steadily improving, a better class of teachers were gradually appearing, better educational advantages were opening before them, denominational training colleges were springing up more and more, and the work of teachers was being inspected, when suddenly a very serious step was taken in 1861. A Royal Commission had considered that the junior forms in school and the less intelligent pupils were being neglected, and had suggested that part of the Government grants should be given
on individual examination by inspection. Mr Robert Lowe gave us that incubus,-payment by results, where practically the whole of the grant depends on individual examination. Only in the last decade has this terrible weight been removed, and it still seriously affects us because so many of our elementary teachers have been trained and have taught under these bad conditions. The remedy suggested by the Royal Commission has been frequently attacked, and Matthew Arnold, with far clearer insight than the Commissioners, thought "that what was really needed was to deal with the irregular attendance and premature withdrawal of scholars."
The effect of the Revised Code of 1861 was very fatal to elementary teachers. It made the conditions of teaching less advantageous to those already in the profession, and it made the profession unpopular, reducing the number and the quality of the teachers.
In 1870 came a third sudden increase in the demand for teachers. The first increase in this century was in its first decade, when for religious motives the nation began to take a greater interest in the education of the people. The second increase came in the 3rd and 4th decades, when factory Acts for half-timers tended to make education compulsory in the manufacturing districts; and now again in 1870 Forster's great Act caused a sudden increase in the number of schools and a greater demand for teachers. Elementary training colleges were enlarged and increased in number, new and improved regulations were made for pupil teachers, the burden of payment by results was gradually lessened, and finally disappeared, and in 1890 Day Training Colleges were established in connection with most of our universities and university colleges. The gulf between secondary and elementary teacher is rapidly tending to disappear, the advantage of a cheap university education is being utilised largely by elementary teachers, and university extension has been a great boon to many of them.
The development of the training of elementary teachers in
England during this century has been remarkable, and our training colleges now can be compared safely with those of other countries. Indeed the development has been so rapid, it is not uncommon still to hear even English teachers attack faults in English elementary training colleges which no longer exist.
Meanwhile there are still some serious defects. We have no State normal colleges, and in so far as the majority of existing training colleges are still sectarian, Nonconformists are at a disadvantage. We have not nearly enough room in our training colleges for our teachers. We still employ as teachers children and uncertificated men and women. It is still difficult for secondary teachers to enter elementary work. Elementary teachers are still too isolated in education, training, and teaching. But as we look back through the century and remember how it began and how it finishes we have some reason I think for satisfaction.
I have no time to refer, as I had hoped to do, to training in Scotland, Ireland, and our Colonies, to say nothing of training in foreign countries. I have no time even to refer to the training of Kindergarten and other specialist teachers. Let me end by briefly enumerating what seems to be at present the most advanced view in England on the three functions of an ideal Training College,—
First, it must be a sieve to keep out from the profession certain classes of persons,
(a) Those who are physically, mentally, and morally unfit to educate.
(b) Those who are intellectually not above the average, because it is only from the intellectual aristocracy of a community that we can hope to obtain those who can carry on effectively the difficult and important work of teaching.
(c) Those who have not the necessary knowledge.
(d) Those who have not the necessary education, which is by no means the same as class c.
(e) It must be a still finer sieve to keep out also those who during the course of training show clearly that they will never make good teachers.
Secondly, it must give the conditions for a scientific and philosophical professional training for teaching as it is carried on to-day. Any discussion or even enumeration of these conditions is obviously impossible in a lecture of one hour, but I need not remind an audience largely English, that the conditions of an ideal Training College should respect and foster individuality, not repress it; and that the conditions should make it unlikely that the students should even be tempted to forget that a teacher who is only a teacher can never be a good teacher, because in our schools we are preparing human beings for a many-sided life, and consequently teachers must have a many-sided life themselves.
Thirdly, it must be a centre of educational experiment, and it should initiate educational reform, i.e. it must take a leading part in the evolution of education in the country.
The task of education grows more difficult not less as civilisation becomes more complex and the centuries roll on. As our ideal of education rises we demand better teaching and better prepared teachers. As history and science and philosophy develop we shall demand more and more that all these shall contribute to the professional training of our teachers.
Thus we dream to-day! A hundred years hence another lecturer will doubtless give to successors far higher and clearer dreams of training, and unroll a far more successful history of a century's progress in the training of teachers.
THE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION
PROFESSOR SIR RICHARD JEBB.
It is now rather more than forty years since the old Universities of England began to take a definite part in the education of persons other than their own matriculated students, by instituting the Local Examinations of Schools. It is twenty-seven years since the system of local teaching known as University Extension took its rise; and the circumstances of its origin are noteworthy. In the year 1872 the University of Cambridge received memorials from a number of public bodies and educational organisations. Among these bodies were some large municipalities, such as those of Birmingham, Leeds, and Nottingham; the Educational Committees of some Industrial Societies and Mechanics' Institutes; and the North of England Council for the Education of Women.
These memorialists said, in effect:-"We know that in many great towns and rural districts there are large numbers of persons who desire the benefits of higher education. These persons have passed the age of attendance at school. But they have not the means, or the leisure, to spend three or four years at a University. Many of them are young men of the
S. M. L.