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we may never absolutely reach. At the same time, our approximations have always the stamp of utility, for they are practically true ; that is, they are true as far as the actual wants of society are concerned. The inductive method never puts a stop to further inquiry ; it is itself progressive, and recognises the principle of progress. It gives no divine revelation; on the contrary, it appeals to reason, and challenges further inquiry. Watt concluded, from his experiments, that the sum of the latent and sensible heat of steam was a constant quantity; this, although not found by subsequent experimentalists to be strictly true, was nevertheless a grand approximation to truth, which conducted him to those magnificent inventions which have changed the destinies of the world. The same spirit should be adopted in relation to the development of our methods of education.
“ The inductive method has already done something for the progress of education, but its importance is not yet sufficiently acknowledged or understood. We are still the slaves of conventional forms and prescriptive theories; we are still too much overawed and cowed into servility by high-sounding names, and by the dogmas of self-serving professions and ambitious societies. The progress which we have made should be taken as the guarantee of further advancement. The positions we have gained must form the base of operations for still greater achievements.
“ When I was a boy, geography was taught by rote ; now it is taught much more efficiently by means of maps. "Arithmetic was imperfectly taught by rules ; now it is admirably taught by an exposition of principles. But there are still many important branches of knowledge very imperfectly taught by the rule and rote system. We must not abandon the hope of future progress. With respect to utility, there is much which remains to be accomplished.
“ Let us enter an elementary school in one of our manufacturing cities. The master still teaches on the old individual system. There is no black-board, or any kind of experimental apparatus. There are maps, it is true, hanging on the walls ; but they seem to have been little used, for they are covered with dust. The school is not noisy, but there is the constant chatter and titter of idleness and frolic. There is discipline of a certain kind, but it is not moral discipline. The boys are sons of mechanics and factory-labourers, and, like their parents, they will have to enter the workshop or the factory. They are sharp, intelligent-looking boys, and seem capable of learning anything which the schoolmaster might attempt to teach them, or of taking advantage of his occasional fits of listlessness and abstraction ; but they are idle, and feel no interest in their tasks. The dull routine of reading, writing, and arithmetic, with catechisms and creeds, goes on day after day. The school is characterized neither by utility nor progress. The master sits at his desk apparently in a deep' brown study :' let us look over his shoulder, and see what he is doing. He is studying the ancient geometry, and on one side of his desk are some books of the ancient classical authors. He is a scholar and a mathematician. What a misdirection of intellect! What fruit has his knowledge yielded him? or what advantage has it been to the pupils of his school ? It has been a negation; or, rather, it has been worse than a negation. These boys want to be taught in matters relating to the employinents which they will soon have to follow. The master is idle, as a teacher, because the boys will not attend to his abstract prelections ; and the boys are idle, because the master will not instruct them in those things which form the subjects of their every-day associations. The school-house is surrounded by engines, by factories, by chemical works, and by workshops of all sorts. What a mine of intellectual wealth lies at his very door available for school instruction! How useful he might become. He might fill these factories of industry with a far more intelligent and skilful class of operatives, and thereby not only advance the interests of the operatives themselves, but contribute to the productive resources of his country. Hark! the steam-whistle! He starts as a man aroused from his slumber. Does that sound awaken some useful trains of association? The steam-engine, with its huge train of passengers and merchandise, starts on its winged course. It goes onward and onward, and woe betide the thing that obstructs its progress. It rolls from bamlet to hamlet, and from city to city, carrying with it the products of industry and intelligence. Type of the age of progress! has the shrill blast of thy whistle reminded the schoolmaster that utility and progress are realities demanding his consideration, and claiming the tribute of his powers? Poor dreamer! have you really returned to your problems? Are you content to remain stationary, whilst everything around you reminds you that utility and progress are the motive principles of the age ; and that beings such as you, with all your classical lore, must be swept away as the surf of the ocean before the advancing tide of civilization !"
NATIONAL EDUCATION.—Lord John Russell moved the following resolutions on the 6th ult. in Parliament, in the course of a very able and well-received speech :
“1. That, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education.
“2. That it is expedient to add to the present inspectors of Church Schools eighty sub-inspectors, and to divide England and Wales into eighty divisions for the purposes of education.
"3. That it is expedient to appoint sub-inspectors of British, Wesleyan, and other Protestant Schools not connected with the Church, and also of Roman Catholic Schools, according to the present proportions of inspectors of such schools to the inspectors of Church Schools.
"4. That, on the report of the inspectors and sub-inspectors, the Committee of Privy Council should have power to form in each division school districts, consisting of single or united parishes, or parts of parishes.
“5. That the sub-inspectors of schools of each division should be instructed to report on the available means for the education of the poor in each school district.
" 6. That, for the purpose of extending such means, it is expedient that the powers w at present possessed by the Commissioners of Charitable Trusts be enlarged, and that
poco the funds, now useless or injurious to the public, be applied to the education of the
me to the public be applied to the education of the middle and poorer classes of the community.
“7. That it is expedient, that in any school district where the means of education arising from endowment, subscription, grants, and school-pence shall be found deficient, and shall be declared to be so by the Committee of Privy Council for Education, the ratepayers should have the power of taxing themselves for the erection and maintenance of a school or schools.
“8. That after the 1st of January, 1858, when any school district shall have been declared to be deficient in adequate means for the education of the poor, the quartersessions of the peace for the county, city, or borough, should have power to impose a school-rate.
“9. That where a school-rate is imposed, a school committee, elected by the ratepayers, should appoint the schoolmasters and mistresses, and make regulations for the management of the schools.
“10. That in every school supported in whole or in part by rates, a portion of the Holy Scriptures should be read daily in the school, and such other provision should be made for religious instruction as the school committee may think fit; but that no child should be compelled to receive any religious instruction or attend any religious worship to which his or her parents or guardians shall, on conscientious grounds, object.
“11. That employers of children and young persons between nine and fifteen years of age should be required to furnish certificates, half-yearly, of the attendance of such children and young persons at school, and to pay for such instruction. .." 12. That it is expedient that every encouragement should be given by prizes, by diminution of school-fees, by libraries, by evening schools, and other methods, to the instruction of young persons between twelve and fifteen years of age."
An interesting conversation then arose. Mr. Henley, with much concurrence and some criticism, thought Lord John had attempted too much. Lord Robert Grosvenor, Mr. E. Denison, Mr. Biggs, and Mr. Alcock expressed a general concurrence. Mr. Adderley put forward some very decided views, and showed a strong leaning towards local rating for the support of education. Sir John Pakington entirely agreed in the principle that we ought to go as far as we can with the present system, and urged the House to lay aside all party politics in considering measures of this kind. Mr. Roebuck and Mr. Gibson put in a word for secular education ; the former giving a definition of religious instruction which deists might adopt. Mr. Hadfield and Mr. Miall
protested against all State interference. Lord Palmerston, highly complimenting Lord John Russell, made a brief speech, in which he laid great stress on the necessity of making such changes in the character of the education imparted as will conduce to the teaching of useful things.
After a short reply from Lord John Russell, the formal motion on the first resolution was withdrawn, and it was resolved, that “ on Thursday the 10th April the House will resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider the present state of public education in England and Wales."
Lord John's scheme for local rates may at some future day be requisite ; but we should first try the experiment of an adaptation of the present grants to the necessities of poor places, and of the instruction given to the needs of the class to be instructed. Until we have given this fair trial to voluntary effort, is it wise to lay what ought to be a national burden merely on ratepayers, and to encounter the risk of a general war of sects in the selection of the denomination which is to control each school ?
UNITED ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLMASTERS.- Ordinary General Meeting March 1st, 1856. Mr. F. R. Crampton in the chair. A paper was read by Mr. E. Simpson on “ The Schoolmaster's relations with the Government."
1. Augmentation. The lecturer was of opinion that in many cases the generous intentions of the Committee of Council were thwarted by the low salaries which are offered to teachers managers taking into consideration the Government gratuities. He suggested that the remedy would be for the Government to raise the minimum salary required for certified teachers.
2. Pupil-Teachers.—The lecturer assumed that the stipends of male pupil-teachers were too low to obtain desirable candidates in towns and places where juvenile labour is in demand. He also considered the fee for instruction of pupil-teachers insufficient for the great additional labour their training involves.
3. Inspectorships.-Mr. Simpson expressed the hope that the day was not distant when they would be thrown open to the ambition of the profession.
4. Superannuation.—On this point, the lecturer urged that the supineness of teachers had led to delay in a matter of great importance.
The thanks of the meeting were given to Mr. Simpson for his very interesting and able paper ; after which an animated discussion took place on the subject of the lecture.
The general opinion of the meeting was, that the Committee of Council on Education are really desirous of doing everything that they can for the good of the schoolmaster; and although certain regulations might appear arbitrary and unnecessary, still there have been and are reasons which show the wisdom of such checks as had been adopted.
The minutes of 1846 were extolled as establishing a religious educational scheme, which embraced all parties, and in which the bitterest opponent can find few faults, and these resulting not from the principles of the measures, but from their working hardly in some exceptional cases.
Regarding proportionate payment for instruction to apprentices, it was generally admitted that the mobility of the scholastic body, especially the certified portion, had created an absolute necessity for the rule.
The award of certificates was acknowledged to have the entire confidence of the meeting, but objection was made to writing on the parchment the measure of a man's abilities in the subjects of examination.
The meeting were of opinion that the lecturer had reasoned from a few exceptions with regard to salaries being reduced because of the certificate augmentation; the tendency was shown to be in the contrary direction.
It was generally allowed, that it is not so desirable to increase the stipend for apprentices, as it is to make the profession so respectable that parents shall be willing to forego present advantages in consideration of prospective benefits.
The meeting agreed that the office of Inspector of Schools should be thrown open to the laity generally, although it was admitted that in the initiation of the minutes of 1846 none could have performed the work so acceptably to the parochial clergy as men selected from that body.
On the subject of pensions and superannuations, it was argued that any movement for these objects must result in a present loss of salary, and that the most independent way is for schoolmasters to make provision for themselves in such offices as they may approve.
W, H. SMITH, Minuting Secretary. The next meeting of the Association will be held on the 5th Instant, when Mr. Murby will read a paper on the Method of Teaching Singing.
A VERY able and interesting Report from the Commissioners for Civil Service Examinations has been just issued, which we shall review next month.
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DISCIPLINA REDIVIVA_No. 12.
SOME REMARKS ON THE CULTIVATION OF TASTE. W E are not unaware of the difficulties which must attend even a
superficial review of the subject before us. It is one involving deep philosophical considerations, whilst there are scarcely any limits to the variety and multitude of the topics which it embraces. To omit all mention of taste, however, in a series of papers devoted to the main features of a liberal education, would be to shut our eyes to the influence of beauty upon the human mind, or at least to confess ourselves unable to estimate its legitimate weight. Our design is not to give anything like a rationale of the subject, or to enter upon a systematic discussion of its several parts. We cannot even hope to put forward anything like a complete array of inducements to the study of the beautiful and the cultivation of the imaginative faculty ; this would require a knowledge of art and a degree of taste and philosophical acumen to which we lay no claim. Such discussion, moreover, would of itself exceed the limits of a volume. What we do purpose, is to offer some suggestions which may serve to give direction to early studies on subjects connected with taste. It is to the ethical aspect of this inquiry that we desire mainly to give prominence. This, indeed, is the point most needful to determine in calculating the bearing and position of art in relation to other subjects of education. We proceed to inquire, then, how far refinement in taste and the cultivation of the imagination conduce to the perfection of the higher mental discipline ; in other words, under what conditions and limitations it is safe for a young man to devote his attention to the study of art.
The fact that we are endeavouring to exhibit the outlines of a scheme of mental discipline, would oblige us to take, perhaps, too severe and exclusive a view of our subject, and to submit it to a test which would in itself alone be insufficient. The domain of imagination is commonly regarded as a land of liberty, and the attempt to impose any terms whatever as the mean of naturalization within its border would be resisted with jealous warmth, doubtless, by some.* We do not purpose to confine our remarks to the severe aspect of the question, or extend them beyond what is needful to put the inquiry on a true and unassailable footing. By freely stating what we feel sure all lovers of art would accept as the condition of its legitimate pursuit, we shall not forfeit the claim to greater freedom of remark. Let us be careful first to define, as far as may be, the exact disciplinal value of a cultivated taste in relation to the corresponding cultivation of the other faculties. Here, then, we must assume, that when we speak of taste in relation to the Fine Arts, we allude to something which has a definite meaning in our reader's mind. We are not bold enough to attempt to give a new definition of so subtle, and in the judgment of some, perhaps, so capricious a thing as taste, but prefer rather to adopt the following, as being sufficient for our present purpose :
" What we call taste," says Jones of Nayland,“ in the metaphorical
* " Ingenium miserâ quia fortunatius arte
Credit, et excludit sanos Helicone Poëtas
Democritus," &c.--Hor, de Arte Poet. 295. VOL. X. NO. 113, N.S.