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The reform of the old, and the foundation of modern universities, the development of technical education, the gradual raising of the compulsory school age, the slaying of the dragon of payment by results," the institution of an extensive scholarship systern, the improvement of examinations, and the foundation of a host of associations and societies through which teaching, once as silent as the Navy, has become the most loquacious of all professionson these and many other movements, the record of which will be found in the files of The Journal, one would gladly
dwell, but considerations of space forbid. Most of all one would like to describe the struggle of the assistant-masters and mistresses in secondary school for a decent wage and decent conditions of service-aims which have now been largely attained. In this fight, too, The Journal played its part. This partial and fragmentary survey of progress may well stop at that point, for the teacher is what matters most in education, and all administrative and educational systems are nothing but machinery for bringing teachers face to face with children.
Ludi sceleratus magister admits some advantages" for co-education with, I think, his tongue in his cheek. The cheapness of mixed schools in thinly-populated areas is often the reason why economical Local Education Authorities establish them; but I feel bound to say, first, that the financial argument scarcely deserves a place in this discussion; and, second, that very often such schools, founded only for cheapness, regulated by distrust, and ruled by headmasters with little belief in them, are a very bid advertisement for co-education. Mr. D. H. Oldham details the sort of school (I, too, can vouch for its existence) where, within a framework of co-education, everything is done to make the system a failure; but I also know of secondary schools (natives of Liverpool will have no difficulty in thinking of at least one) where headmasters who see the aims and principles of co-education clearly have charge of very happy families.
Ludi sceleratus magister admits the "advantage" of mixed schools for dramatic purposes: again I speak with experience in denying this particular advantage; it is much more troublesome to induce boys and girls to act together than to do the same with one sex singly.
But some of his arguments against the system are poor indeed. He mentions two sorts of anxious parent; fathers who are so distrustful of their own influence and have so little confidence in the headmaster to whom they have entrusted their children, will find some cause for worry in any sort of education; let the girl meet boys while there is still a master or mistress to watch the meeting and guide those who meet; do not defer the meeting until it is clandestine or unduly bashful.
The truth is, surely, that co-education is immensely difficult, and calls for exceptionally able teachers. I believe, for instance, that with very rare exceptions it demands that at the head there shall be man and wife, not headmaster and senior mistress. This is a fact which, I think, no Local Education Authority has dared to face; but I am confident that its realization would see us through more than half our problems: the divided allegiance which Ludi sceleratus magister suspects-and which does exist― would disappear, and a thousand minor difficulties of organization could be ironed out. A school needs a unified control-there Ludi sceleratus magister is right-and the first Local Education Authority which makes up its mind to the need for the provision I suggest will take a great step for co-education. The idea is, of course, neither new nor my own.
It is true that some boys and girls will be happier apart. I have myself been too happy in a boys' school with a stern anti-girl discipline to doubt the virtues that it can instil in many boys; but with others it can fail badly. It is true also that some subjects, where normally the sex-differentiation is marked, may with advantage be taught separately; but that is a minor point of organization; for many boys and girls a system which trusts them in each other's company is full of advantages. Most of those who argue against it do no more than point to its difficulties; and difficulties only exist to be overcome. Rugby. R. E. WILLIAMS.
From the many letters which have been printed on COeducation, it would appear to have many devoted adherents and a less number of opponents. In reality the number of opponents is very great, as the present state of our
schools shows, for. very few of those which are provided for children above ΙΟ are co-educational. Experience has proved that the sexes are better educated apart, and that a good education for boys may not be equally suitable for girls. This is borne out by the recently-issued results of the Oxford Final Schools. This year ninety-two first classes were gained in the different schools, and of these only six were gained by the women students. We are quite prepared to grant that it may have been a poor year for women, as a Miss Ramsay or a Miss Fawcett is not to be found every year. But the women number at Oxford between a quarter and one-fifth of the men, and should have gained, therefore, between fourteen and twenty firsts. The fact that they did not seems to prove that these young ladies would have done better to have gone to Holloway or Westfield or some other college entirely devoted to their sex, instead of crowding into the ancient University, already overcrowded with men. Why does not Lady Rhondda or some other woman millionaire found a University for Women, where they could receive the education best suited to their needs? An English Vassar or Bryn Mawr is one of the needs of the moment. PARENT.
The writer of the paragraphs on the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions Conference in your July issue is mistaking his function in the world of educational affairs. His remarks are not in the nature of an irritant, but rather in the nature of a stimulus to laughter. When the claim made by my association that technical education is a complete instrument for the development of the many-sided individual (whether considered as a unit in a complicated civilization, or as a distinct and unique entity) is being freely acknowledged by authorities in the academic educational world such as Prof. Nunn and by educational administrators of the type of Sir Percy Jackson, it is amusing to see the philosophic paragraphist timidly admitting that there is a great deal in what is said for technical education, but that it cannot be considered equal in status to the older forms. He suggests that my vigour has reduced my clarity of vision since I fail to see that the Journal of Education and he have always "sympathized "—to use his own words with the aims and aspirations of the bantling. I have carefully re-read the passages to which he refers and certainly detect sympathy, but of the kindly" variety. It is suggested that technical education is essential but un-balanced; it is efficient but one-sided. By implication, the older traditional forms are to be regarded as examples of elegant equilibrium and models of symmetry. It is commendation by way of feeble
In trying to penetrate the patronage that asks for the exact way in which culture is to be attained through technical education, I asked for his conception of the reality to which, presumably, the traditional forms of education have a sure and unfailing road of approach. Were we both preparing the road to the New Jerusalem or was I making the path straight to some infidel Mecca? That was what I wanted to know from the description of his holy city. Instead of obtaining that knowledge from his contribution in your last month's issue, I received the results of his research into the function of genealogical tables, embodying new and surprising ideas; the evidence of the confusion that (Continued on page 800)
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exists in his mind between the use of the name of a man of science as the description of a process and the citation of his support as an authority; and touching references to myself in as a dewdrop in the ocean of humanity. He clouds his unwillingness to answer my question by compliments to the "store of wisdom of the A.T.T.I. (which we modestly acknowledge) and cryptic references to "sacred places in his heart" in which he "holds values" peculiar to himself. I am not surprised that, in the circumstances, he "holds these values wholly and peculiarly" his. Far be it from me to suggest that the contents of these secret places may bear some resemblance to those of the famous safe of Madame Humbert. We will leave him to cherish his treasures in ecstasy.
Anticipating some such reply, I ventured to outline my conception of culture and the way to its acquisition in my communication of August last. In your October issue he “ agrees with my ideals "wholeheartedly." My erection of imaginary figures and their subsequent demolition has achieved its object; my purpose in writing is fulfilled, and I am content.
May we hope that in 1928 he will welcome the new-comer to the educational home with generosity, unaccompanied by chilling references to its past or assumed misgivings as to its future. A. E. EVANS, Ex-President,
Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions.
THE MANIFESTO OF THE INCORPORATED ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT MASTERS Mr. Witton, in his letter in the October issue, reads into my letters opinions which I have not expressed and do not hold. In my first letter I showed it to be highly improbable that, in any chance assignment of candidates (divided into very unequal groups) to eight Examining Bodies, all the groups would prove to be of equal attainments. In my second letter I indicated some grounds for thinking that such equality does not as a matter of fact exist and cannot reasonably be expected. Consequently to criticize the efforts of the S.S.E.C. to standardize the different examinations because, for example, one examining body passes with credit x per cent of its candidates in botany while another passes y per cent seems to me entirely illogical. Something must be known about the candidates before any judgment is possible. W. C. BURNET.
A NEW AGE
He who wishes to understand the changes and advance in educational matters which have taken place in Germany after the Great War, should remember the " Wandervogel," a movement founded by the young student Karl Fischer in 1897. The Wandervogel" was a group of young men of about 16-20 years of age suffering hardship and bitterness brought about by the dusty "ideals" of a society, the foundations of which they thought to be shaken. The whole movement was the violent reaction, even the revolt, against the cold system of the ruling intellect which trained the brains, whilst the souls were killed. Cease, my much-respected Herr von Voltaire (Sartor Resartus II, 9) may be said to have been their watchword. Though none of these young men ever formulated any elaborate programme, all of them realized the pressing problem of education, which, for them, was the development of personality. The growth of personality they saw suppressed by the selfish, old-fashioned aims of the grown-up people, the educa. tionists and society with its deadening uniformity. Life,' which they loved and embraced like their master Nietzsche, “is demanding a radical reform," they proclaimed, so that, further on, every human being, however young it may be, is to be considered as an end in itself." The keynote of the movement was the belief that there is no greater joy than to educate and to be educated to realize freedom!
and positive methods have come to light, teachers have been formed who are enthusiastic, and guides that want to go at the wind-side of the child, which they regard as good and as a creative power! No juvenile mind is 'discouraged' any longer (to use Alfred Adler's term) and repressed into silence, solitude, ressentiment," but every teacher desires to help his pupils and thinks a school to be a free community of free individuals born and glad to know and to enjoy the many-sided coloured life in work and leisure-hours. While in former times all school work was a matter of imitation, mechanizing all original activities, the efforts made in the new system develop the individuality of the children, influencing and cultivating their judgment, self-determination, and sense of responsibility. Whilst in the epoch that is past the genius of joy very often swiftly flew away when the master entered the class-room, such a schoolroom at present, nicely decorated with pictures, flowers; and laughing children, is a place of joyfulness and love. Much has changed; noble qualities have been mobilized which are working for a new age and a better world. There is a good deal of optimism in German schools now as there is elsewhere; there is the triumph of the new idea that education is humanism in excelsis ! DR. WALTER,
Oberstudiendirektor at the Gymnasium of Lemgo. (Free State of Lippe.)
Mention is made in your Leader (August Number, 1927) of Sir Charles Wakefield's book, On Leaving School and the Choice of a Career." One of the features of this book, it is stated, is that its author "lays enormous stress upon a good general education, and has no sympathy with any scheme of premature vocational training."
We seem to have forgotten in many places that the first and main object of school education is to develop such powers and talents as are found in a child by inheritance, and that industrial training belongs to the years that follow school-age. In each period of the child's life its needs must be satisfied in such a way that there may be a chance of an all-round development of his powers. With their growth there should follow an ever-increasing consciousness of what the instincts implanted in his being are meant to do for him and for others. An ever-clearer vision of himself as a member of a community and a universe, an ever-growing consciousness of his powers, will make youth realize what his vocation may be when the time comes to choose his life's work.
The rose, the apple-tree, the oak and ivy, and all other plants, will grow to perfection only according to the environment provided for them, if it is in harmony with the nature within them. Not industrial perfection by too early specialization should be the aim of educators (parents and teachers), but the highest possible perfection of the human being as such, physically, spiritually and mentally, aided by a discipline which is neither to be that of licence nor that of tyranny.
There must be outward discipline until the child is led into consciousness of his being and to self-discipline. First, however, our teachers and parents and nurses must be trained in this direction, and every girl, being a potential mother, should spend at least a year, if not two years, in a kindergarten and training college and preferably in a free kindergarten, not a nursery school, before she trains for her life's work, whatever it may be. How many educators know consciously the true meaning of self-discipline, of ever-growing high endeavour, of ideals, embracing not only self, but humanity itself? Ideals? How many people have any ideals nowadays? With many folks there is only a groping after something better than themselves, they know not what exactly. How many educators teach the child definitely that he does not belong to himself, but to the Creator who made him? Whose laws he must fathom as far as his personal abilities will allow him to do so, no matter what his path in life.
(Continued on page 802)
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It is the contemplation of these thoughts which will lead us to the only true means of confuting bolshevism. How many teachers and parents realize such teaching? The gardener, who every day read the Bible to his children and illustrated his readings from Shakespeare, must have reached a philosophy of life which enabled him to train his children not to be good gardeners, but to become men and women of character, of powers of observation, of right motives, which would enable them to grace any profession to which inclination and vocation led them to devote themselves in order to earn their living. As for the necessities of this life, they will be added as the needs of the human being require, provided that he is seeking the true realities of life. What are these realities? To most men, a good business and a full purse are the only realities. How many men and women are there, having the responsibilities of parents, teachers, and statesmen-this trinity of power that makes or mars the world—who consciously seek these realities themselves?
A mother is endowed with instincts which, as a rule, lead her more or less to do the right thing for her children, but when these instincts are lifted into consciousness, as Fröbel taught, what a wonderful power such a mother becomes to herself, to her children, to her environment and to the generations that will follow her children's footsteps, if they are true to her and to themselves. It is this lifting into consciousness of our innate powers, of the great destiny which is ours as children of God and of Humanity, as citizens of a community, as workers in the world's work, which will help us, when the time comes, to choose the right work and to do it well, if it is given to us, but it will depend on the preparation that has gone before during school-days.
If this preparation makes strong, tender, loving characters, unflinchingly set on the road to duty, then success must follow and the work will be good and thorough whatever it be. Agassiz, the great man of science, always set his new students as a first task to study for a whole month one tiny thing under the microscope,
such as an insect's antennae or an eye-for his students came to him from schools and colleges, unable to use their senseorgans aright, lacking in steadiness of nerve, and want of application and perseverance.
If we can find the right methods and means to give a good general school education to our children, we should solve the difficulty of the training of industrial workers. Graduates are apt to look down upon kindergarten philosophy, but it is just Friedrich Fröbel, who almost a hundred years ago evolved such a philosophy by his faithful, loving observation of child-nature from the cradle throughout the years of growth, and his conclusions are as true to-day, as child-nature is always the same throughout the ages, in all nations and countries. That is the reason why he called his new-born idea "Children's Gardens," for the children were to be placed into such an environment as would enable them to grow like plants from within, and that idea is only too feebly conceived by the majority of people. This is the central and essential point of his system and it remains, whatever fickle fashion may dictate, for child-nature does not change; and in his " 'Kindergarten System," his Mother-Play," and his "Education of Man "(translated by Susan Blow), we find a philosophy which will not only help the child, but also the university-man and the savant. (Also see biography of Fröbel). Many kindergartens of to-day are not what they ought to be, because the spiritual side of Fröbel's work is lost sight of, or not even grasped by us practical English people. True kindergarten work is not mere play, but ever so much more.
Fröbel was a student of Pestalozzi, but neither Rousseau, nor Pestalozzi, nor Dr. Montessori have given us this spiritual insight into human nature and the means wherewith to satisfy this need of child-nature as did Fröbel. Instead of trying to get deeper insight into this part of his work, there are people who speak of his means as old-fashioned, and principles as not in fashion, not up-to-date; and yet they were based on the truest (Continued on page 804)
Extract from the Board of Education's "Handbook of Suggestions" (1927): "The first steps in reading should be regarded by the children as a game. . . . As soon as children have mastered a large number of common words printed on the blackboard or on reading sheets, they should be given a primer or easy story-book it is more important that its contents should appeal to children than that the graduation should be rigidly systematic."
The Progress to Reading
Edited by RICHARD WILSON, D.Litt.
With Coloured and other Illustrations
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The Preparatory Reader. Is. 6d. Teacher's Handbooks. Parts I to V. each. Complete, 6s.
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