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Training college at the Universities.
As far as I am aware the first suggestion of a training college for teachers came from Mulcaster. He schemed seven special colleges at the University; and of these one is for teachers. Some of his suggestions, e.g., about "University Readers" have lately been adopted, though without acknowledgment; and as the University of Cambridge has since 1879 acknowledged the existence of teachers, and appointed a "Teachers' Training Syndicate," we may perhaps in a few centuries more carry out his scheme, and have training colleges at Oxford and Cambridge.* Some of the reasons he gives us have not gone out of date with his English. They are as follows :—
"And why should not these men (the teachers) have both this sufficiency in learning, and such room to rest in, thence to be chosen and set forth for the common service? Be either children or schools so small a portion of our
66 Amongst others myself having first had long experience of the manifold evils which grow from the ignorance of a right order of teaching, and afterwards some gracious taste of the sweetness that is to be found in the better courses truly known and practised, I have betaken me almost wholly, for many years unto this weighty work, and that not without much comfort, through the goodness of our blessed God." (p. 1.) "And for the most part wherein any good is done, it is ordinarily effected by the endless vexation of the painful master, the extreme labour and terror of the poor children with enduring far overmuch and long severity. Now whence proceedeth all this but because so few of those who undertake this function are acquainted with any good method or right order of instruction fit for a grammar school?" (p. 2.) It is sad to think how many generations have since suffered from teachers “unacquainted with any good method or right order of instruction." And it seems to justify Goethe's dictum, "Der Engländer ist eigentlich ohne Intelligenz,” that for several generations to come this evil will be but partially abated.
* At Cambridge (as also in London and Edinburgh) there is already a Training College for Women Teachers in Secondary Schools.
M.'s reasons for training teachers.
multitude? or is the framing of young minds, and the training of their bodies so mean a point of cunning? Be schoolmasters in this Realm such a paucity, as they are not even in good sadness to be soundly thought on? If the chancel have a minister, the belfry hath a master: and where youth is, as it is eachwhere, there must be trainers, or there will be He that will not allow of this careful provision for such a seminary of masters, is most unworthy either to have had a good master himself, or hereafter to have a good one for his. Why should not teachers be well provided for, to continue their whole life in the school, as Divines, Lawyers, Physicians do in their several professions? Thereby judgment, cunning, and discretion will grow in them: and masters would prove old men, and such as Xenophon setteth over children in the schooling of Cyrus. Whereas now, the school being used but for a shift, afterward to pass thence to the other professions, though it send out very sufficient men to them, itself remaineth too too naked, considering the necessity of the thing. I conclude, therefore, that this trade requireth a particular college, for these four causes. 1. First, for the subject being the mean to make or mar the whole fry of our State. 2. Secondly, for the number, whether of them that are to learn, or of them that are to teach. 3. Thirdly, for the necessity of the profession, which may not be spared. 4. Fourthly, for the matter of their study, which is comparable to the greatest professions, for language, for judgment, for skill how to train, for variety in all points of learning, wherein the framing of the mind, and the exercising of the body craveth exquisite consideration, beside the staidness of the person." (PP., pp. 248, 9.)
§ 12. Though once a celebrated man, and moreover the master of Edmund Spenser, Mulcaster has been long
M.'s Life and Writings.
forgotten; but when the history of education in England. comes to be written, the historian will show that few schoolmasters in the fifteen hundreds or since were so enlightened as the first headmaster of Merchant Taylors'.*
* All we know of his life may soon be told. Richard Mulcaster was a Cumberland man of good family, an esquier borne," as he calls himself, who was at Eton, then King's College, Cambridge, then at Christ Church, Oxford. His birth year was probably 1530 or 1531, and he became a student of Christ Church in 1555. In 1558 he settled as a schoolmaster in London, and was elected first headmaster of Merchant Taylors' School, which dates from 1561. Here he remained twentyfive years, i.e., till 1586. Whether he then became, as H. B. Wilson says, surmaster of St. Paul's, I cannot determine, but "he came in " highmaster in 1596, and held that office for twelve years. Though in 1598 Elizabeth made him rector of Stanford Rivers, there can be no doubt that he did not give up the highmastership till 1608, when he must have been about 77 years old. He died at Stanford Rivers three years later. While at Merchant Taylors', viz., in 1581 and 1582, he published the two books which have secured for him a permanent place in the history of education in England. The first was his Positions, the second "The first part" (and, as it proved, the only part) of his Elementarie. Of his other writings, his Cato Christianus seems to have been the most important, and a very interesting quotation from it has been preserved in Robotham's Preface to the Janua of Comenius; but the book itself is lost: at least I never heard of a copy, and I have sought in vain in the British Museum, and at the University Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge. His Catechismus Paulinus is a rare book, but Rev. J. H. Lupton has found and described a copy in the Bodleian.
§ 1. THE history of Education in the fifteen hundreds tells chiefly of two very different classes of men. First we have the practical men, who set themselves to supply the general demand for instruction in the classical languages. This class includes most of the successful schoolmasters, such as Sturm, Trotzendorf, Neander, and the Jesuits. The other class were thinkers, who never attempted to teach, but merely gave form to truths which would in the end affect teaching. These were especially Rabelais and Montaigne.
§ 2. With the sixteen hundreds we come to men who have earned for themselves a name unpleasant in our ears, although it might fittingly be applied to all the greatest benefactors of the human race. I mean the name of Innovators. These men were not successful; at least they seemed unsuccessful to their contemporaries, who contrasted the promised results with the actual. But their efforts were by no means thrown away: and posterity at least, has acknowledged its obligations to them. One sees now that they could hardly have expected justice in their own time. It is safe to adopt the customary plan; it is safe to speculate how that plan may and should be altered; but it is dangerous
Principles of the Innovators.
to attempt to translate new thought into new action, and boldly to advance without a track, trusting to principles which may, like the compass, show you the right direction, but, like the compass, will give you no hint of the obstacles that lie before you.
The chief demands made by the Innovators have been : Ist, that the study of things should precede, or be united with, the study of words (v. Appendix, p. 538); 2nd, that knowledge should be communicated, where possible, by appeals to the senses; 3rd, that all linguistic study should begin with that of the mother-tongue; 4th, that Latin and Greek should be taught to such boys only as would be likely to complete a learned education; 5th, that physical education should be attended to in all classes of society for the sake of health, not simply with a view to gentlemanly accomplishments; 6th, that a new method of teaching should be adopted, framed “according to Nature."
Their notions of method have, of course, been very various; but their systems mostly agree in these particulars :
1. They proceed from the concrete to the abstract, giving some knowledge of the thing itself before the rules which refer to it. 2. They employ the student in analysing matter put before him, rather than in working synthetically according to precept. 3. They require the student to teach himself and investigate for himself under the superintendence and guidance of the master, rather than be taught by the master and receive anything on the master's authority. 4. They rely on the interest excited in the pupil by the acquisition of knowledge, and renounce coercion. 5. Only that which is understood may be committed to memory (v. supra, p. 74, n).