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guardian of moral and religious influences in British schools. By special minute of the Committee of Council, everything relating to the religious character of teachers, or pupil-teachers, in these establishments--everything appertaining to scriptural instruction—is withdrawn from the cognizance of Government inspectors. The moral life of the schools, therefore, depends entirely upon the voluntary element, as represented first by the local supporters, and then by the Society, as their recognized head. Apart from these two sources of influence, no security can be obtained, either for the appointment of Christian masters or mistresses, or for the effectual teaching of the Bible in British schools. The one body, however, cannot act efficiently without the other. The former (Local Committees) constitute the controlling power in relation both to religious and secular instruction. The latter (the Society) is the centre where advice, information, or assistance, can be obtained in time of need."
AGENCY AND INSPECTION. In and around Manchester, Mr. Wilks has been busily occupied in the inspection of schools, and on other business relating to popular education. He has also visited eighty-five other places
similar purposes. In Yorkshire, Mr. Barton has visited thirty-eight towns and villages on the work of inspection.
In the West, thirty-four towns and villages have been visited by Mr. Madgin, for the inspection of schools and other educational objects.
In North Wales, visits have been paid to ninety-six places by Mr. Phillips, for school inspection, conference with committees, lectures, and public meetings.
In the South of the Principality, Mr. Roberts has been steadily carrying forward his preliminary operations among the schools there.
In London, Mr. Baxter has made numerous visits to various schools, and attended several public examinations and educational meetings. He has also visited forty towns and villages for similar purposes.
THE BAHAMAS. We extract from the Bahama Royal Gazette the following report of the examination of the public schools at Nassau, the chief town in that colony :
" Girls' Model School, Albert Town.--The examination commenced as follows : Junior Class read from No. 2 Class Lesson Book. Testament Class : Seniors read English history from the No. 4 Class Lesson Book, and underwent a searching examination as to their knowledge of history, from the time of the Conquest by Wil. liam the Norman. Junior Classes in arithmetic (addition and multiplication). Seniors, in compound rules as far as long division, grammar (syntactical parsing), geography of the United States, writing in books. The needlework exhibited great skill, and was of a very useful character. Some good specimens of straw hats and shirts were among the articles made up at the school.
“ On Wednesday, the Western Girls' and Infant Schools were examined: the younger children reading in the Sequel, and No. 2 Class Lesson Book ; they then wrought a few sums in multiplication, and repeated by heart the 23rd and 8th Psalms. The very little ones were exercised in the alphabet, Scripture lessons, and days of week, and after showing copy-books the school was dismissed.
“ Boys' Central School. This establishment was examined in the following order. The school was opened with singing, prayer, and reading ; after 'which, the Second Junior Class read and answered questions in No. 2 Lesson Book, pp. 52 and 54. The First Junior Class were examined in elementary geography and grammar. Senior Class: pneumatics, with experiments; English history (pp. 62 to 68) followed. The Second Junior Class were examined in arithmetic (division), and the First Junior Class read the 11th chapter of St. John. The Senior Class wrote from dictation ; parsed syntactically; and explained the leading features of astronomy, theory of tides, &c., from diagrams. Scriptural examination followed ; and after the First Junior Class were exercised in arithmetic (reduction), the Seniors wrought sums in the rule of three, vulgar fractions, and extraction of the square root. Three classes underwent a rigid examination in mental arithmetic, and the proceedings of the day closed with dialogues and recitations. "God save the Queen' was sung by the pupils of all the schools on the entrance and exit of his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, and several other pieces of music were executed during the examination.
“We have never attended a series of examinations that has merited such unqualified approbation; and in thus offering our sentiments, we think we may safely include those of all present. There was a certain off-handedness manifested, alike creditable to the teachers and the taught; and from the ready answers elicited on all subjects brought under notice, it was very apparent that no getting up,' as it is called, was employed. Among the visitors we noticed in addition to his Honour the LieutenantGovernor) Mrs. Nesbitt, his Honour the Chief Justice, and Mrs. and Miss Lees ; his Honour the President of the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Hon. W. V. Munnings; the Hon. W. H. Doyle; Major d'Arcy, Commandant of the Troops, and lady ; Captain Synge, R. E.; the Rev. H. Macdougall, M.A., and lady; the Rev. H. Capern, B.M., and lady ; Mrs. Kirkwood, &c. &c.
“ The examinations were conducted by J. H. Webb, Esq., inspector of schools, assisted by the several teachers and pupil-teachers belonging to the Board. The Rev. H. Capern was the chief examiner in divinity ; Captain Synge also examined the pupils of the Western Girls' School in Scripture history, and the history of the United States of America, and expressed his surprise and approbation at the amount of Scripture knowledge elicited. Chief Justice Lees examined the boys of the Central School in pneumatics ; and his Honour Lieutenant-Governor Nesbitt put some general questions occasionally on the various subjects brought forward.
" The system of education in our public schools is, with a slight difference, that of the British and Foreign School Society, which is under the special patronage of her Majesty Queen Victoria, and is heartily countenanced by many of the most excellent and influential men in England; and we question if there be in operation anywhere an educational system more adapted, if duly and earnestly wrought, to lead out and improve the mental powers than this ; and certainly there is no system to be found more truly Catholic. The Bible is read in our public schools, and the examination of the past week proved that many of the children remember what they read."
MINUTES OF COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL ON EDUCATION
FOR 1853-4. This volume, containing the Reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, and the official statement of the proceedings of the Committee of Council on Education, has recently been issued, and presented to Parliament. It is larger than any previous Report, and is not inferior in interest to any of its predecessors. The first thing that strikes us, is the rapid growth of the operations under the control of the Committee, and the remarkable development of the system which they administer. It is now nearly sixteen years since the Education Committee was appointed, and during that time the sum of £1,306,948 5s. 2d. has been distributed under their direction. Of
this sum, £250,658 18s. 3d., or nearly one-fifth of the whole amount, has been expended during the year 1853. The following are the details of expenditure :
d. In building, enlarging, repairing, and furnishing Elementary Schools.... 26,100 15 3 Ditto ditto
Normal or Training Schools 6,578 8 6 In providing Books and Maps
2,894 14 10 In augmenting Salaries of Certificated Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses 26,777 10 10 In paying Salaries of Assistant Teachers
81 0 10 In paying Stipends of Pupil-teachers, and Gratuities for their Special Instruction 139,040 4 0 In Annual Grants to Normal Schools
19,196 19 3 Industrial Schools......
281 5 10 Pensions...
26,260 0 63 Administration (Oflice in London)
1,812 13 2 Poundage on Post-Office Orders...
902 18 3 Agency for Grants of Books and Maps...
591 0 4 £250,658 18 33
During the year, several supplementary and explanatory minutes have been issued, intended to modify some feature or other of the general plan. These minutes are to be found at the beginning of the volume, together with copies of such official correspondence as may serve to explain particular details of the general administration. The following is an abstract of the principal additional minutes of the year :
April 2, 1853.-Two minutes were issued, offering special assistance towards the building, as well as towards the annual maintenance, of schools in agricultural districts and unincorporated towns.
August 20.-Minute respecting normal colleges; providing for a longer period of training in those institutions, and detailing the conditions under wuchtture grants are to be made for their support.
April 29th, 1871- Minnie modifying a previous regulation, whereby capitation grants were refused to a pixed school under a mistress only, in the case in which such si boo was the only one in a rural village. The ground of this refusal had beeu, that such schools are obviously unsuitable for boys above ciglit or nine years of age, and the Cowiwittee of conucil feit unwilling to recognize such an age for leaving school. Representations having been made to the Governnient, that in many cases no oilier schools could be supported at all, it was determined, that for the present the usual grants might be made to certificated mistresses of mixed schools, in parishes containing iewer than 600 inhabitants.
A second minute of the same date declares the conditions under which masters of endowed schools are allowed to compete for certificates.
A third minute makes special provision for the case of teachers of infant schools ; recommends special preparation for this class of teachers in normal colleges; states the conditions under which such teachers will receive augmentations of salary, and describes the nature of the examination they will be required to undergo.
June 28th, 1854.--A minute of this date states, that at the request of the authorities of several training colleges, a portion of the minute of 26th November is cancelled, and that a new scale of grants is adopted, whereby the training colleges can claim a sum of money for students, whose period of training has been either one, two, or three years. The suppressed minute had proposed to insist on two years' residence in all cases.
Another minute defines the nature of the assistance which the Committee of Council intend to seek from the department of science and art in relation to drawing, and explains the manner in which examinations on that subject are to be conducted. The only other minutes of the year relate to the appointment of inspectors.
One or two interesting particulars may be obtained from the miscellaneous correspondence which is appended to this part of the Report.
In answer to an application from the managers of a secular school in Edinburgh, for a share in the advantages of inspection, annual grants, &c., the Secretary writes :
“ Their lordships, in distributing the parliamentary grant, have always required that religious as well as secular instruction shall be given in the schools receiving aid from that fund.
“ The minutes embodying this decision bave been from time to time laid before Parliament, and grants of money have been subsequently voted by the House of Commons.
“ Their lordships are of opinion, that the principle so sanctioned is in accordance with the will of the country, as it certainly is with the vicws of the great majority of the promoters of education, and of those who desire to co-operate with the Government in encouraging schools for the children of the labouring classes.
“ Under these circumstances, their lordships, while they are ready to admit the merits of several schools such as those represented by the memorialists, have no intention of rescinding a rule which prevents their granting assistance to schools in which secular instruction is given exclusively."
Another matter, not wholly unimportant to the managers of schools, is the decision of the Committee of Council in respect to the flooring of school-rooms. It had been represented to them, that the rule by which a boarded floor was insisted on in all cases, was a hardship to the managers of schools who had not the funds to enable them to substitute wood for bricks or tiles. The Committee of Council referred the question to the Board of Health, and the result was a letter from the Secretary of the
latter body, strongly urging the importance of adhering to the original regulation, and also offering some detailed evidence of the discomfort and unhealthiness of brick and stone floorings. The letter thus concludes :
“Without entering into the question, whether it may not be practicable so to construct the floors of rooms with hollow and impermeable brick, as to render such flooring perfectly comfortable and healthy, the Board is of opinion, that floors of material other than wooden boards are, as a rule, so much colder, so much less adapted to expedients for ventilation, and so much more liable to damp, as to justify their lordships in insisting upon their removal; especially on the conditions proposed, namely, offering one-half, or, in special cases, two-thirds of the cost, and affording ample though a specified time within which the removal should be accomplished.
"I am further to state that, after the substitution of a wooden for all other flooring, the Board deem it of importance that the Committee of Council should recommend the general cleansing of such flooring by means of dry rubbing, rather than by washing."
Lord Palmerston's letter to the Committee of Council, on the subject of the illegible writing now in ordinary use, has already been made familiar to our readers through the public press. It has been made the subject of some interesting comments by two of the inspectors. One of these gentlemen, the Rev. F. Watkins, attributes the evil complained of by his lordship to the common use in schools of bad and cheap steel pens. Mr. Jones, another inspector, adds the following interesting remarks on this important subject :
" In many schools I find writing taught on the most unsatisfactory plan; bad copy-books used, bad copies printed or set ; young children made to commence with small hand; and, frequently, if the master is certificated, the subject considered below his notice. It will certainly be my care in future to report most stringently upon this branch of instruction, specially in the case of apprentices and masters. I apprehend, however, that the subject is neglected at the training schools, and that, to ensure it thorough reform, something must be done with those institutions,
My impression is, in accordance with the Scoter system, that young people should be taught to write as large a hand as possible, and that the use of small hand, as it is technically called, slıould be ibolished in all copy-books. I believe that the practice of writing on vertical surfaces, at almost arun's length, so as to use the whole limb from the shoulder-joint as much as from the wrist, an / in characters not less than six inches in height, would be found (as I have found it from long practice with pupils) to be one of the very best supplementary methods for forming a good ha: d. It is the priuciple of the artist standing hefore his canvas on the easel, at as great a distance as possible. The eye is as much concerned in writing as the hand. The practice of frequent dictation on slates is liable to become very destructive of caligraphy. The children naturally get into a scribble, and, unless special care be taken, much of the good done on paper is undone on slates."
“ I am convinced that we ought to revert to the old Italian system of caligraphy, and that the public service would gain as much by this as by the initation of printing hand. Our typographical forms of this century run too much into circularity, and into needless contrasts of thick and thin. A reactiou in public taste has already settled the question concerning arithmetical signs, and it is working its way even with the letters of the alphabet.
“I would venture to suggest, that as the subject is really one of much importance, their lordships might order persons, qualified for the purpose, to examine into the state of common writing, whether in schools, in offices, in trades, or in ordinary life, and to report to them upon it, with the view to arrive at positive and scientific data, whether of theory or of practice, so that some feasible method of. amelioration might be recommended to all schoolmasters.”
Some very painful correspondence is appended to the minutes, relating to the case of a schoolmaster, who, having failed to give instruction to the pupil-teacher under his care for the stipulated hour and a half per day, had yet signed the usual certifi. cate, testifying that the required conditions had been fulfilled. We cannot wonder that in such a case, notwithstanding the humble remonstrance of the delinquent himself, and a memorial from the managers of the school, requesting more lenient treatment, the Committee of Council positively refused to allow the teacher any portion of the gratuity or augmentation to which he would otherwise hare been entitled, and placed a record against his name in the official register, to the effect that he is disqualified from all future grants of any kind whatever from the Committee of Council. The Secretary very properly remarks, in his letter to the memorialists on this subject :
“ The Committee of Council cannot mitigate the decision they have already made in Mr. —'s case. That decision was made because, at the end of last year, be deliberately signed a statement to the effect that he had instructed his apprentices for one hour and a half daily, on five days in each week, when the real allowance for the five preceding months had been thirty-six minutes per diem. Such conduct amounts to immorality of the most direct kind.
“Considering the degree of reliance which my lords are obliged to place on the good faith with which certificates of this kind are signed (being in the nature of authorities for the issue of public money), ibey feel it needful to mark, in an exemplary manner, the case of such teachers as prove themselves unworthy of being so trusted."
We hope for space in our next to give some of the most interesting results from the reports of the inspectors.
THE EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITION.
The Exhibition at St. Martin's Hall, formed under the auspices of the Society of Arts, has opened and closed since the publication of our last. His Royal Highness Prince Albert was present at the ceremony of opening, and appeared to take much interest in examining the several objects collected. The Exhibition continued open until the 3rd of September. During this period it was visited by several thousand persons, and, considering its peculiar scope and purpose, may be regarded as having excited a large share of public interest and attention. Lectures were given daily, and, in some cases, twice a day, throughout the whole period of the Exhibition, and the Society of Arts were fortunate enough to secure the services of very distinguished men for this purpose. The inaugural lecture, on the Material Helps of Education, was by the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; and among the most remarkable lectures in the series were those of Professors De Morgan, Hullah, Latham, Carpenter, Baden Powell, and Rymer Jones, each on the particular subject with which his name is generally identified : the Dean of Hereford, on Common Things ; Cardinal Wiseman, on the Home Education of the Poor; Mr. Curwen, on Music; Mr. Ellis, on Economic Science; Messrs. Norris, Mitchell, and Symons, her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, on miscellaneous points connected with pol management. Nearly all the lectures were well attended : the audiences consisting chiefly of teachers and promoters of schools for the poor; and with a view to give a practical character to these meetings, many of the lectures were followed by conversational discussions. These were generally sustained with great animation, and elicited many valuable thoughts and suggestions. Among those who took the most active and intelligent share in these discussions, we noticed several of the best-known British and National schoolmasters of the metropolis.
The object of the Society of Arts in this arrangement was manifest. They sought to bring as much of first-rate ability and thoughtfulness as was available to them, to bear upon the subject of education. They invited some of the most eminent thinkers and writers on educational subjects, to contribute their speculations and suggestions to a common stock. They selected persons, each of whom was known to have made some one department of education a spécialité, and requested them to introduce those particular subjects to the notice of teachers. This design, at least, has been well and faithfully carried out. No one who reads the names we have mentioned, or who still further scrutinizes the list of lecturers and subjects, will fail to perceive that, on the whole, the topics were wisely chosen, and that the persons who introduced them were men eminently entitled to be heard on the general question of popular education, as well as on the special subjects which they severally undertook to illustrate.
We have heard, however, many strong objections to the plan pursued in the choice of lecturers and of subjects. The Society of Arts has been censured for confining their invitations to professors, to writers, to clergymen, and to theorists, and for not inviting schoolmasters themselves to deliver lectures and introduce discussions. Now we fully admit, that the Council of the Society might have added something to the general interest and practical usefulness of their design, if they had taken pains to find out a few of the most eminent elementary teachers in the country,-men who were not only familiar with the real difficulties of their work, but who were competent to explain and illustrate the particular system on which they were accustomed to teach. Two or three private schoolmasters, and as many National, and British and Infant teachers, selected from those who have achieved the greatest success in their respective departments, might have been able to contribute some facts and principles towards the elucidation of the subject, not inferior in value to any which have occupied the attention of the visitors to St. Martin's Hall during this interesting season. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that this was no part of the design of the