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Antithesis of Old and New Education.
process by which he learnt, at first the languages and literatures of Rome and Greece only; but as time went on the curriculum was greatly extended. The New Education treats the human being not so much a learner as a doer and creator. The educator no longer fixes his eyes on the object-the knowledge, but on the subject-the being to be educated. The success of the education is not determined by what the educated know, but by what they do and what they are. They are well educated when they love what is good, and have had all their faculties of mind and body properly developed to do it.
§ 32. The New Education then is "passive, following." and must be based on the study of human nature. When we have ascertained what are the faculties to be developed we must consider further how to foster the self-activity that will develop them.
§ 33. We have travelled far from Dr. Johnson, who asserted that education was as well known as it ever could be. Some of us are more inclined to assert that in his day education was not invented. On the other hand, there are those who belittle the New Education and endeavour to show that in it there is nothing new at all. As it seems to me a revolution of the most salutary kind was made by the thinkers who proposed basing education on a study of the subject to be educated, and, more than this, making the process a "following" process with the object of drawing out self-activity.
§ 34. This change of object must in the end be fruitful in changes of every kind. But as yet we are only groping our way; and, if I may give a caution which, in this country at least, is quite superfluous, we should be cautious, and till we see our way clearly we should try no great experiment that
Drill needed. What the Thinkers do for us.
would destroy our connexion with the past. Most of our predecessors thought only of knowledge. By a reaction some of our New Educationists seem to despise knowledge. But knowledge is necessary, and without some knowledge development would be impossible. We probably cannot do too much to assist development and encourage "intuition," but there is, perhaps, some danger of our losing sight of truths which schoolroom experience would bring home to us. Even the clearest "concepts" get hazy again and totally unfit for use, unless they are permanently fixed in the mind by repetition, which to be effective must to some extent take the form of drill. The practical man, even the crammer, has here mastered a truth of the teaching art which the educationist is prone to overlook. And there are, no doubt, other things which the practical man can teach. But the great thinkers would raise us to a higher standingpoint from which we may see much that will make the right road clearer to us, and lead us to press forward in it with good heart and hope.
History of this Book.-Some wise man has advised us never to find fault with ourselves, for, says he, you may always depend on your friends to do it for you. So, having looked through the proofs of this book, I abstain from fault-finding. I fancy could find fault more effectively than my friends or even my professional critics. As the Spectator's "Correspondent in an easy chair" says very truly, the author has read his book many times; the critic has read it at most once. In fact the critic gives to the book (in some cases to the subject of the book also) no greater number of hours than the author has given months, perhaps years. Partiality blinds the author, no doubt, but unless he is a fatuous person it does not blind him so much as his haste blinds the critic. An author of note said of a book of his, which had been much criticised: "The book has faults, but I am the only person who has discovered them," to which a friend maliciously appended: "For faults read merits." Whatever was the truth here, I am inclined to think the author has the best chance of putting his finger on the weak places.
But if I see weaknesses in the foregoing book, why do I not make it better? Just for two reasons: to improve the book I should have to spend more time on it and more money. The more I read and think about any one of my subjects, the more I want to go on reading and thinking. Perhaps I hear of an old book that has escaped my notice, or a new book comes out, sometimes an important book like Pinloche's Basedow. So I can never finish an essay to my satisfaction, and the only way of getting it off my hands is to send the copy to the printer. By the time the proof comes in there is something that I should like to add or alter; but then the dread of a long bill for "corrections" restrains me. However, now the book is all in type, I see here and there something that suggests a note by way of explanation or addition, so I add this appendix. Taking a hint from one of my favourite authors, Sir Arthur Helps, I throw my notes into the form of a dialogue, but
being entirely destitute of Helps's dramatic skill I confine myself to E. (the Essayist) and A. (Amicus), who is only too clearly an alter ego.
A. So the Americans have kept alive your old book for you, and at last you have rewritten it. You at least have no reason to complain that there is no international copyright. Your book would have been forgotten long ago if a lady in Cincinnati had not persuaded an American publisher there to reprint it. E. Yes, I very readily allow that I have been a gainer. The Americans have done more for me than my own countrymen. To be sure neither have "praised with the hands" (as Molière's professeur has it); and, in money at least, the book has never paid me its expenses; but three American publishers have done for themselves what no Englishman would do for me, viz., publish at their own risk. In 1868 when my MS. was ready, I went to my old friend, Mr. Alexander Macmillan ; but he would not even look at it. "Books on education," said he, "don't pay. Why there is Thring's Education and School, a capital book " (I assented heartily, for I was very fond of it), "well, that doesn't sell." I was forced to admit that in that case I had little chance. But," I said, "I suppose you would publish at my risk ?" "No," said Mr. Macmillan. "The author is never satisfied when his book doesn't pay." "What would you advise?" I asked. "I'll give you a letter of introduction to Mr. William Longman," said Mr. Macmillan ; "I dare say he'll publish for you." With this letter I went to Mr. William Longman (who has since those days been gathered to his ancestors, formerly of Paternoster Row). Mr. Longman said he would put the MS. in the hands of his reader. If the reader's report was favourable the firm would offer me terms; if not, they would pubish for me on commission. I sent the MS. accordingly, and soon after I had a letter from the firm offering to publish on commission." When the book was in type, Mr. Longman advised me to have only 500 printed, and to publish at a high price. "I should charge 95.," he said. “Very few people will buy, and they won't consider the price.” This was not my opinion, but in such a matter I felt that the weight o authority was enormously against me. So I consented to the publish ing price of 7s. 6d. And at first it seemed that Mr. Longman was right at least about the small number of purchasers. £30 was spent in advertising, and the book was very generally and I may say very favourably reviewed; but when about 100 copies had been sold, it almost entirely ceased "to move." I think 13 copies were sold in six months. So to get rid of the remainder of my 500 copies (some 300 of them) I put down the price to 3s. 6d. 1 Then it seemed that Mr.
Longman had made a mistake about the price.
Class Matches (p. 42).-A. I think you have had a good deal to do with class matches? E. Yes. One must be careful not to overdo them, but I have found an occasional match a capital way of enlivening school-work. Some time before the match takes place the master lets the two best boys pick up sides, the second boy having the first choice. The subject for the match is then arranged, and to prevent disputes the area must be carefully defined. Moreover, there must be no opportunity for the boys to ask questions about unimportant details that are likely to have escaped attention. When the match is to take place each boy should come provided with a set of written questions, and whenever a boy shows himself ignorant of the righ answer to a question of his own he must be held to have failed even if his opponent is ignorant also. At Harrow, where I had a class-room ("schoolroom as it is there called) to myself, I used to work these matches very successfully in German. Say Heine's Lorelei had been learnt by