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professional seminaries, founded mainly with a view to strengthen the religious influence of particular sections of Christians. And though there are honourable exceptions, yet as a rule the intellectual aims and the consciousness of national as distinguished from denominational requirements are not so high as in colleges of another type. Hence I do not think it desirable that the nation should depend mainly for augmenting our supply of trained teachers on any increase in the proportion of training colleges under ecclesiastical influence, although these colleges have undoubted value and appropriateness for certain classes of students.
In the near future it will become more necessary both in regard to Training Colleges and to Elementary Schools to revise the relations between the Government and the religious bodies, and to consider the conditions under which the Government can continue to avail itself of the cooperation of those bodies. The truth is that the State cannot make itself more denominational, but the denominations can make themselves more national. They can continue to cooperate beneficially with the Government without parting with the religious instruction, to which they naturally attach high importance and they can do this in two ways, (1) by determining that the schools and colleges controlled by the Churches shall not be content with a lower ideal either of educational efficiency in the schools, or of professional qualification for the teachers, than that which is accepted by purely educational and nonsectarian bodies; and (2) by accepting and indeed welcoming the representatives of the public, in the management of the denominational institutions. They will be able to strengthen their position by a more cordial recognition of the great public and social aims which should dominate a national system. But they will not secure it by advancing new claims for denominational influence over the training of teachers or for denominational teaching in the public schools. There is for example no demand on the part of parents for a separation of the children
for religious instruction according to the tenets of their respective sects; that demand comes wholly from the clerical and other supporters of those sects, and if ever complied with it would dislocate the internal arrangements even of good schools, and would introduce among the children sectarian distinctions which would neither be intelligible to them, nor appropriate to their childish needs. It is not likely, however, that the English Legislature will ever consent to try this new and most serious experiment.
In fact the relation at present subsisting between the State and the religious bodies may be described as one of unstable equilibrium. Consider how the conditions have altered during the last 30 years. At the time of Mr Forster's Act it was computed that one-third of the whole cost of elementary education was contributed by the State, one-third from the fees paid by parents, and one-third from voluntary subscriptions. To-day the total annual cost of primary instruction in England and Wales is eleven millions, of which more than ten millions are derived either from the public treasury or from local taxation, hardly three-quarters of a million or one-sixteenth of the whole from voluntary contributions; the total of all such contributions including church collections and some share of local endowments being £603,241 in Church of England schools. The liberal grants from the Central Department have little by little reduced the necessity for voluntary aid. Even in 1894 before the special aid grant of 5s. per head to voluntary schools was added to all former grants to managers, a Parliamentary return showed that there were 1061 voluntary schools with no subscriptions whatever, 674 in which the subscriptions amounted to less than a shilling per head, 1095 with more than 1s. and less than 2s. 6d., and 1967 with more than 2s. 6d. and less than 5s. When it is considered that since that time voluntary schools have been exempted from the payment of local rates, and have thus received an enforced contribution from the ratepayers, it is obvious that there will
be an increasing number, probably many thousands of schools, chiefly rural, managed wholly by private and self-appointed persons, who neither contribute anything to the funds nor represent contributors, and who yet are free to obtain for themselves and for the schools whatever denominational advantage the exclusive management of a school can give.
But the readjustment of the relations between the State and the religious bodies is only one part of the larger problem which awaits the statesmen of the future. How far can any effort on the part of a central authority towards the unifying and coordination of local agencies be effective, without discouraging individual and corporate initiative, or doing something to weaken the independence, the enterprise, the inventiveness, and the personal enthusiasm, which are among the most valuable factors, in this country at least, of a system of national education? We want legislation and a central authority it is true, but we must not expect too much from it. The gravest problems which lie before us cannot all be solved from Whitehall. There are better methods of teaching to be discovered than any which have been yet devised. We want a clearer perception of the true relation between primary and secondary instruction, and we may well dread the creation of an arbitrary line of demarcation between them. We need also in all our places of education, from the Infant School to the University, more definite views as to the relative values of those studies which have a visible bearing on commercial and professional success, and are helpful in getting a 'livelihood,' and those other studies which shall help the man or woman to live an intelligent, honourable, and interesting life. We have to devise means whereby schools shall be made instrumental in preparing our children for the duties of citizenship, and for rendering to the State unpaid and willing service. Schools can do much to cultivate patriotism, not by seeking to introduce rifle clubs and military drill into schools, still less by encouraging that boastful and rather theatrical patriotism which expresses itself in waving the Union Jack and singing Rule
Britannia; but by steadily inculcating a grateful sense of the debt we owe to our ancestors for their efforts and for the great inheritance which they have bequeathed to us, and by urging scholars to live and work so as to be worthy of that inheritance. All these objects must be attained if at all by the personal skill and enthusiasm of our teachers, and not by means of State direction or authority.
The gravest of all the tasks before us is to discover in what way schools may do more for the formation of character. If the result of so much of religious teaching as takes the form of enforcing creeds and catechism has proved somewhat disappointing, are there not yet resources open to us for touching the imagination, exciting reverence, and encouraging aspiration after righteousness and the love of truth? There is also the duty of determining how the best results of school work are to be wisely tested and assessed for the information of parents and for the due satisfaction of the State? I am disposed to sympathize a little with a young candidate whom I once examined for the Indian Civil Service, and who in the course of an essay on the changes which the present century had witnessed, said, "The public exacts every year a higher standard of education from those who seek employment in its service; in proof of which I may refer to the extraordinary difficulty of the questions set at the present examination.' Then there is the great subject of the qualifications of teachers. Do our present methods succeed not only in imparting a knowledge of the technique of the profession, but also in inspiring our teachers with high aims and a consciousness of the need of something far better than we have yet attained, and a determination to take an honourable share in the task of attaining it? Above all we must seek to generate among legislators and the public, and especially among parents, a truer conception of what a good school can be, and can do. We yet need a higher ideal of a generous and noble education directed to the development of the best intellectual faculties, and also to the
preparation of the scholar for becoming a valuable member of the body politic.
Such are some of the tasks which await the reformer and the statesman of the coming time. They will call for all the resources of the new Board of Education and its Consultative Committee, as well as of teachers, managers, and philanthropists. And if the rather halting, tentative, and imperfect experiments of the nineteenth century have enabled us to do much, we may yet hope that the twentieth century, with the record of the mistakes and failures of our predecessors before us, will do still more to spread the love of learning and culture, to beautify the homes and industries of the workers, and to ennoble the whole of our national life.