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3. Groundwork by best workman.

§ 7. (3) I have pointed out that the false ideal of the Renascence led schoolmasters to neglect children. Mulcaster remarks that the ancients considered the training of children should date from the birth; but he himself begins with the school age. Here he has the boldness to propose that those who teach the beginners should have the smallest number of pupils, and should receive the highest pay. "The first groundwork would be laid by the best workman," says Mulcaster (PP., 130), here expressing a

for duty towards God, for society towards men, for conquest in affections, for purchase in knowledge, and such other things, whereby it furnisheth out all manner of uses in this our mortal life, and bewrayeth in itself a more excellent being than to continue still in this roaming pilgrimage." (p. 33.) The grand thing, he says, is to bring all these abilities to perfection "which so heavenly a benefit is begun by education, confirmed by use, perfected with continuance which crowneth the whole work" (p. 34.) "Nature makes the boy toward; nurture sees him forward." (p. 35). The neglect of the material world which has been for ages the source of mischief of all kinds in the schoolroom, and which has not yet entirely passed away, would have been impossible if Mulcaster's elementary course had been adopted. "Is the body made by Nature nimble to run, to ride, to swim, to fence, to do anything else which beareth praise in that kind for either profit or pleasure? And doth not the Elementary help them all forward by precept and train? The hand, the ear, the eye be the greatest instruments whereby the receiving and delivery of our learning is chiefly executed, and doth not this Elementary instruct the hand to write, to draw, to play ; the eye to read by letters, to discern by line, to judge by both; the ear to call for voice and sound with proportion for pleasure, with reason for wit? Generally whatsoever gift Nature hath bestowed upon the body, to be brought forth or bettered by the mean of train for any profitable use in our whole life, doth not this Elementary both find it and foresee it?" (El., p. 35). "The hand, the ear, the eye, be the greatest instru. ments," said the Elizabethan schoolmaster. So says the Victorian reformer.

4. No forcing of young plants.

truth which, like many truths that are not quite convenient, is seldom denied but almost systematically ignored.*

§ 8. (4) In the Nineteenth Century Magazine for November, 1888, appeared a vigorous protest with nearly 400 signatures,

* I wish some good author would write a book on Unpopular Truths, and show how, on some subjects, wise men go on saying the same thing in all ages and nobody listens to them. Plato said "In every work the beginning is the most important part, especially in dealing with anything young and tender." (Rep., bk. ii, 377; Davies and Vaughan, p. 65.) And the complaints about "bad grounding" prove our common neglect of what Mulcaster urged three centuries ago: "For the Elementarie because good scholars will not abase themselves to it, it is left to the meanest, and therefore to the worst. For that the first grounding would be handled by the best, and his reward would be greatest, because both his pains and his judgment should be with the greatest. And it would easily allure sufficient men to come down so low, if they might perceive that reward would rise up. No man of judgment will contrary this point, neither can any ignorant be blamed for the contrary: the one seeth the thing to be but low in order, the other knoweth the ground to be great in laying, not only for the matter which the child doth learn: which is very small in show though great for process: but also for the manner of handling his wit, to hearten him for afterward, which is of great moment. The first master can deal but with a few, the next with more, and so still upward as reason groweth on and receives without forcing. It is the foundation well and soundly laid, which makes all the upper building muster, with countenance and continuance. If I were to strike the stroke, as I am but to give counsel, the first pains truly taken should in good truth be most liberally recompensed; and less allowed still upward, as the pains diminish and the ease increaseth. Whereat no master hath cause to repine, so he may have his children well grounded in the Elementarie. Whose imperfection at this day doth marvellously trouble both masters and scholars, so that we can hardly do any good, nay, scantly tell how to place the too too raw boys in any certain form, with hope to go for. ward orderly, the ground-work of their entry being so rotten under. neath." (PP., pp. 233, 4.)

5. The elementary course. English.

many of which carried great weight with them, against our sacrifice of education to examination. Our present system, whether good or bad, is the result of accident. Winchester and Eton had large endowments, and naturally endeavoured by means of these endowments to get hold of clever boys. At first no doubt they succeeded fairly well; but other schools felt bound to compete for juvenile brains, and as the number of prizes increased, many of our preparatory schools became mere racing stables for children destined at 12 or 14 to run for "scholarship stakes." Thus, in the scramble for the money all thought of education has been lost sight of; injury has been done in many cases to those who have succeeded, still greater injury to those who have failed or who have from the first been considered "out of the running." These very serious evils would have been avoided had we taken counsel with Mulcaster: "Pity it were for so petty a gain to forego a greater; to win an hour in the morning and lose the whole day after; as those people most commonly do which start out of their beds too early before they be well awaked or know what it is o'clock; and be drowsy when they are up for want of their sleep." (PP., p. 19; see also El., xi., pp. 52 ff.)

§ 9. (5) It would have been a vast gain to all Europe if Mulcaster had been followed instead of Sturm. He was on of the earliest advocates of the use of English instead of Latin (see Appendix, p. 534), and good reading and writing in English were to be secured before Latin was begun. His elementary course included these five things: English reading, English writing, drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument. If the first course were made to occupy the schooltime up to the age of 12, Mulcaster held that more would be done between 12 and 16 than between 7 and 17 in

6. Girls as well as Boys.

the ordinary way. There would be the further gain that the children would not be set against learning. "Because of the too timely onset too little is done in too long a tine, and the school is made a torture, which as it brings forth delight in the end when learning is held fast, so should it pass on very pleasantly by the way, while it is in learning."* (PP., 33.)

10. (6) Among the many changes brought about in the nineteenth century we find little that can compare in importance with the advance in the education of women. In the last century, whenever a woman exercised her mental powers she had to do it by stealth, and her position was degraded indeed when compared not only with her descendants of the nineteenth century, but also with her ancestors of the sixteenth. This I know has been disputed by some authorities, e.g., by the late Professor Brewer: but to others, e.g., to a man who, as regards honesty and wisdom, has had few equals and no superiors in investigating the course of education, I mean the late Joseph Payne, this educational superiority of the women of Elizabeth's time has seemed to be entirely

Quaint as we find Mulcaster in his mode of expression, the thing expressed is sometimes rather what we should expect from Herbert Spencer than from a schoolmaster of the Renascence. I have met with nothing more modern in thought than the following: "In time all learning may be brought into one tongue, and that natural to the inhabitant so that schooling for tongues may prove needless, as once they were not needed; but it can never fall out that arts and sciences in their right nature shall be but most necessary for any commonwealth that is not given over unto too too much barbarousness." (PP., 240.)

"Subject to a regulation like that of the ancient Spartans, the theft of knowledge in our sex is only connived at while carefully con cealed, and if displayed [is] punished with disgrace." So says Mrs. Barbauld, and I have met with similar passages in other female writers.

7. Training of Teachers.



beyond question. On this point Mulcaster's evidence is very valuable, and, to me at least, conclusive. He not only "admits young maidens to learn," but that says stands for him," and that "the custom of my country hath made the maidens' train her own approved travail." (PP., p. 167.)


§ 11. (7) Of all the educational reforms of the nineteenth century by far the most fruitful and most expansive is, in my opinion, the training of teachers. In this, as in most educational matters, the English, though advancing, are in the Far more is made of "training" on the Continent and in the United States than in England. And yet we made a good start. Our early writers on education saw that the teacher has immense influence, and that to turn this influence to good account he must have made a study of his profession and have learnt "the best that has been thought and done" in it. Every occupation in life has a traditional capital of knowledge and experience, and those who intend to follow the business, whatever it may be, are required to go through some kind of training or apprenticeship before they earn wages. To this rule there is but one exception. In English elementary schools children are paid to "teach" children, and in the higher schools the beginner is allowed to blunder at the expense of his first pupils into whatever skill he may in the end manage to pick up. But our English practice received no encouragement from the early English writers, Mulcaster, Brinsley,* and Hoole.

* John Brinsley (the elder) who married a sister of Bishop Hall's and kept school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch (was it the Grammar School?) was one of the best English writers on education. In his Consolation for our Grammar Schooles, published early in the sixteen hundreds, he says!

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