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paralysed, and who was unable to stand up. At first it was difficult to recognise him in the crowd. The boys formed a dense mass round him, swaying irregularly backwards and forwards, while he was protesting feebly against the noise, his head rising in the midst like a ship in a storm. In a corner the wife was sitting, engaged in “minding" the six or eight youngest children. The room is insufferably close and dark: there are not forms enough for all to sit on, and only three old desks. It is difficult to move in the room, and still more difficult to arrange the older boys for a short examination.
Since the few who are provided with reading books have books of all sorts, most of them with half the leaves out, it is a work of time to organise a reading lesson. With the help of two or three copies of the New Testament I made a beginning and heard the reading of the twelve older scholars. It was very bad, inarticulate and unmeaning. No boy could explain the simplest words, and the master said he was not accustomed to ask questions. The writing lessons consist mainly of copying a whole slateful at a time from a book, then rubbing it out and beginning again. Although spelling in columns from a book is a conspicuous lesson, on which much labour is spent, the spelling of a simple sentence which I dictated was full of gross mistakes.
There are only two boys who can do an addition sum, although the average age was nearly 11. All the sums, I was informed, were copied out of books, or from examples "set" in writing by the master; the boys had never been used to hear a sum given out in words. The ignorance, dirt, and confusion which characterise the school are deplorable. It has, however, one specialité: the boys spend much of their time in ornamental printing of texts, mottoes, and announcements suited to a shop window. Each boy has a little box of cheap paints, and colours his performances liberally. A great number of these works of art were exhibited to me with considerable pride by master and pupils, and I was requested to accept some specimens. The parents are much pleased with this feature of the school work, the boys enjoy it, and, as the master explained to me, it has the great advantage of keeping them quiet. "For when the 'spellings' are said, and the sums are done, there is," he observed, "a good deal of leisure time in a school, and he knows no nicer way of occupying it than this." He has kept school here for 20 years, and has always had it full. Parents in the neighbourhood probably feel sympathy for his affliction, and are content to pay him fees a little higher than those charged in a national school. Besides," as he remarks, "they like a private school better than one of those large two-penny schools, where boys are only taught and knocked about by other boys."
II. In a school in Leeds containing 40 children, of whom the majority
were under 7, but several had reached 10 years of age, I found an elderly woman sitting in the midst of a group of girls who were engaged in knitting while one of the elder girls was minding the little ones and trying to make them sit still. It is very hard to keep the boys quiet the governess explains to me. There is nothing for them to do but write, and when they have done slateful after slateful they get tired; the only other lessons they do consist of reading and a little spelling; no one learns to cipher. The mistress complains much of the capricious way in which children are removed. It is almost better, she thinks, not to teach them much, for the more you teach them the more quickly they are removed; as soon as they learn a little parents think they can read, and take them off to work. Of the neighbouring National schools she speaks with considerable irritation, not unmixed with contempt. She has known some children to be nine months in such a school and never to have learned a single task. She knows of no form of instruction except saying lessons; her room is very dirty and ill-ventilated, and her own qualifications are of the humblest kind.
III. In the front room of a small dwelling-house, half filled with dirty household furniture, there were 35 boys, all of whom were entirely unemployed, except eight who were writing in copy-books. The master had retired (I a.m.) to a neighbouring house for luncheon.
a cloth-dresser by trade, and "took to schooling because work was slack." He finds the employment very hard, as he does not know what to do to keep the boys occupied so many hours. He regrets that he is not a bit of a singer," for if he were, he would "learn them a few ditties, and the time would pass away quicker." There are five " sixpenny boys" at the top of the school, who are writing fairly, but not well, and who enter sums in a ciphering-book-but without understanding them. The "fourpennies" are very backward, no one of them has yet mastered simple notation. Their only employments are occasional reading, the learning by heart of "spellings" from a book, and a little scribble on broken slates. During the larger part of every day they are expected simply to sit still. Notwithstanding the prominence given to spelling lessons, all the elder boys failed to write an easy sentence without gross mistakes. The master does not profess to be qualified for his work, or to care about it, and would willingly find other employment if he could.
IV. A more important school, known in the neighbourhood of Birmingham as an academy, is held in a large upper room, which at one time formed part of a factory, and at another was used as a dancing saloon. It is now rented by a schoolmaster of 30 years' standing, who has 50 boys in it, but whose numbers have sometimes reached 90 or 100. He says that the school has been subject to many vicissitudes; that since he has been in the
profession more than 1000 scholars have passed through his hands, and that accident and the state of trade cause the numbers to be exceptionally low just now. He has no assistance; the room though low and somewhat gloomy is well provided with long desks, and not ill supplied with school requisites. The boys are seated and are nearly all engaged in the preparation of coloured texts and shop bills, not, as I am specially informed, with any view to exhibition at the approaching Christmas, but as part of the regular work of the school. I examined the twelve elder scholars; their reading was rather indistinct and slovenly; they were not accustomed, as I found, to be checked so long as the words were pronounced; and no heed was given to expression, or to any investigation as to the purport of the reading lessons. My questions on the meanings of some simple words were met by blank silence and astonishment on the part of the boys: and by the master's explanation to the effect that he was not accustomed to put questions of that kind. The writing was the best feature of the school work, many of the copy-books being neat and otherwise creditable. Before giving a sum in arithmetic I asked, as usual, how far the lads professed to go? The answers varied: discount, square and cube root, decimals, fellowship, etc. were mentioned, and all professed to have gone beyond proportion and fractions. Yet the question, "How many articles costing 3s. 41d. each can I buy for £50?" which I desired them to write down and think over before they worked it, baffled them completely. Not one boy could work it out, and the master urged, in explanation of their failure, that he did not think there was such a sum in the book.
There were in the four towns on which Mr Fearon and I reported in 1869 many thousand children of persons of the artizan class taught or minded' in schools of this type.
It is very characteristic of England that the awakening of the national conscience to any sense of responsibility in relation to the education of the people did not begin until a later period than in most other civilised countries, and that when it did begin it was a slow process. Scotland had made its first provision at the instance of John Knox. In several of the German states, in Würtemburg, Saxony, and Prussia, public provision was made for schools in the middle of the 18th century. In France, Turgot and Talleyrand had formulated plans for a national system of education, and, under the régime of the first Napoleon, legislative effect was given to a comprehensive plan with the same. object. The founders of the New England States had from
the first set apart certain lands to furnish a revenue for the common schools; and in Switzerland, the home of Fellenberg and Pestalozzi, education has, as we all know, been a matter of national concern ever since the foundation of the Republic. But in England it was not till 1816 that the energy of Brougham induced the House of Commons to appoint a Select Committee to enquire into the educational condition of the metropolis; nor was it till nearly 20 years after that any practical step was taken to carry the recommendations of that Committee into practical effect. In 1832 the first grant of £20,000 was made by Parliament for the building of schoolrooms, and this sum was distributed through the agency of the British and Foreign School Society and the National Society. In 1835, Brougham brought before the House of Lords his resolution affirming that it was the duty of Parliament to encourage the establishment of schools, and also of proper seminaries for the training of teachers. In 1838--the first of the Queen's reign-another Parliamentary Committee disclosed a lamentable lack of educational provision, and urged the necessity for legislative action. In 1839 a Committee of Privy Council was formed, at the instance of Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell, and charged with the task of administering any sums which Parliament might from time to time assign to educational purposes. The first Secretary of this Committee was Dr J. Philips-Kay, afterwards better known as Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth. He had visited Switzerland, Holland and Prussia, had familiarized himself with the working of the State system in those countries, and he returned home profoundly impressed with the seriousness of our own educational deficiencies, and full of zeal for the success and usefulness which the new Department seemed to him to promise his own countrymen. He was a man of large and statesmanlike views, and fine and generous enthusiasm ; and he had before him a vision of a great system by which the State, with the cooperation of good men of all parties, might place popular education on a basis not inferior
to that attained by any continental country, and might express and give effect to the highest national ideals. But he underrated the forces of the opposition which had to be encountered. In particular, his continental experience had profoundly impressed him with the indispensable importance of training for the teacher's profession; and he desired to make such training a great State function. So he urged on the Government the duty of establishing Normal Colleges. Pending the decision of Parliament on this point, he and his friend Mr Carleton Tufnell, at their own private cost, set on foot such an establishment at Battersea. But the religious bodies took the alarm. Bishops and Nonconformists alike were unwilling that the training of the public teacher should pass out of the hands of voluntary societies into those of the State. Battersea College was acquired by the National Society; diocesan institutions, II for men and 14 for women, were hastily brought into existence; the British and Foreign School Society increased its own training accommodation at the Borough Road, and afterwards added at Darlington and Stockwell new colleges on its own distinctive principles; the Roman Catholics and the Wesleyans soon followed, and hence it has happened that the whole business of preparing teachers for their professional work is to this hour in the hands of voluntary bodies, and that no single training college in England is under either State or municipal government. Shuttleworth was much disappointed, but he could not part with the hope that the new education bureau could by its own action do much to control and ennoble popular education, and to help teachers to improve their professional qualifications. Accordingly, the Committee of Council hired Exeter Hall and other public buildings, and instituted courses of pedagogic lectures: Mr Hullah gave a series of demonstrations of his method of teaching singing, Mr Butler Williams held classes for the teaching of drawing on a new and improved system, and courses of lectures were freely opened to teachers on the Pestalozzian method of instruction in Arithmetic