Imagens das páginas

colonies thus united (now denominated original States), like those of the several Canadian Provinces, are independently administered. In each of the Australian States the control of public education is committed to a minister who is charged not only with the general administration of the system, but also with its local direction. He decides as to the establishment of school districts and schools and controls the school funds and properties. In each State the schools are supported by appropriations from the public treasury.

Before the union the several colonies were characterized by special efforts for adjusting the school provisions to the conditions of isolated rural districts. Recently the plan of conveying children at public expense to a central school has been adopted with great success, especially in Victoria (p. 14).

The question of religious instruction in public schools, which has excited much attention, has been variously settled in the different States; in Victoria and Queensland the schools are strictly secular; in South Australia unsectarian religious instruction is allowed; in New South Wales and West Australia religious instruction is allowed at an hour when children may be withdrawn whose parents so desire.

Secondary education is fostered in the several States either by appropriations from the public treasury for that purpose or by State scholarships open to competition. Technical and higher education are also aided by legislative grants.

The chapter presents copious extracts from official reports with respect to the current operations of the several systems.

Detailed particulars with respect to the progress of education in New Zealand during the year 1902–3, furnished to this office by Mr. Mark Cohen, editor of the Dunedin Evening Star, are also given in the chapter here considered. Among the points emphasized by Mr. Cohen are the high rate of average attendance maintained, viz, 84.9 per cent of the enrollment; the efiect of recent legislation in reducing the average number of children under the charge of one teacher, and the advance made in the provision for manual and technical education.

A brief survey is given of the efforts made during the last twentyfive years to devise a scheme for the superannuation of aged and infirm teachers. A bill embodying the proposals for a measure of this kind was introduced into the legislature in 1902, but no action has been taken with reference to it. Mr. Cohen expresses the opinion that “the teachers of the colony will be dealt with sooner or later in this regard as a branch of the civil service, which they ought to have been all along."

Higher education in England.—Chapter XIII (pp. 833-861) relates to higher education in England as affected by the law of 1902. The term “higher" in this connection corresponds in part to the term

“secondary” as used in this country; but under the heading "higher education" the English law includes, besides secondary schools distinctively se recognized, science and art schools fostered by the Government and evening sehools, all of which are to be carefully distinguished from the “higher elementary” schools referred to in the previous chapter. One purpose of the recent legislation in England has been to bring these various institutions into an organized system in each administrative area with a view to increasing their efficiency and determining how public funds may be best used for extending this provision. The policy of the Government in this respect, however, is to stimulate local activity without impairing that free initiative in communities and institutions which is a cherished principle in England.

The extent of the authority with respect to higher education which the law of 1902 has committed to the county and municipal eouncils, the supervisory control in respect to this matter to be exercised by the board of education, and the measures already adopted by the central and local authorities in view of these duties are explained in the chapter considered.

The regulations for secondary schools issued by the board of edueation limit the classification to schools, day or boarding, which carry the education of each of their students up to and beyond the age of 16 years, and thus distinguish secondary schools from the higher elementary schools, which retain pupils to the fifteenth year only. In the category of secondary schools the regulations include three types of schools as recognized by the Schools Inquiry Commission of 1864 and the Secondary Education Commission of 1894, namely,

first-grade schools, leading up directly to the universities;" secondgrade schools, which stop short of that point as regards the majority of their scholars, “and third-grade schools, which do not attempt to carry education much beyond the age of 16” (p. 836).

A summary of the official report of the board, setting forth the classification and the number of “higher" institutions already brought under its supervision, is presented (p. 838).

The local authorities have thus far devoted themselves chiefly to the task of ascertaining the conditions to be dealt with in their respective areas as the first step toward organizing and extending the agencies for higher education. In this preliminary work the educational committees of Sheffield and Liverpool secured the services of Mr. Michael E. Sadler. The results of the exhaustive investigation into the provision for secondary and higher education made by Mr. Sadler in the cities named are embodied in two reports, which are reviewed in Chapter XIII. These reports are not only of great interest for the view they afford of the educational provision in two typical cities of England—one chiefly noted as a manufacturing center, the

other a commercial port of great magnitude—but for the light they throw upon tendencies and conditions affecting secondary and technical education throughout England. It will be noticed that Mr. Sadler advocates for Sheffield two distinct types of secondary schools, one which he calls “ the highest type," which corresponds to the firstgrade school recognized in the official regulations (p. 842). In addition to a school of this type Mr. Sadler notes in his report on Sheffield the need of a secondary school “to feed the technical school with a steady stream of well-educated lads of 16 years of age," and of a secondary school for girls, “which will feed the pupil teachers' center with a steady stream of well-educated girls of 16 years of age.” These two wants he believed might be met by a single secondary school of of purely modern type, situated in a central part of the city. The plans for these two classes of secondary schools are full of suggestions of general interest (pp. 842–845).

The special needs of Liverpool led to a discussion by Mr. Sadler of the best means of promoting commercial education in that city, but in respect to this subject also his opinions are of much more than local significance (pp. 852–855).

In respect to each type of school described, Mr. Sadler emphasizes the need of quality rather than quantity. He recommends high requirements for the teaching staff. “Intellectual efficiency, combined with personal character,” he says, “is of vital importance in a system of secondary schools,” and he urges liberal treatment of approved teachers both in respect to salary and vacation terms. “A school,” he says, “gains greatly by anything which keeps its teaching staff fresh in mind and interested in improvements in methods of teaching and of school organization. A ‘grace term,' after five years of service in the school, and a somewhat longer leave of absence after ten years of such service, would enable a teacher to widen the range of his professional experience, or to carry out some piece of original research with great benefit alike to himself and to the school."

It is interesting to note that Mr. Sadler advocates manual training as a feature even of the higher type or classical secondary school (p. 843), and in the case of the city of Liverpool he advises that a manual training school should be established differing in type from either of the secondary schools already indicated. The suggestion is further made “that if the education committee venture upon the experiment of establishing the school they should seek some thoroughly qualified practical man with a strong interest in and experience of teaching, and after nominating him as head master to send him to the United States to make a careful study of what is now being done there in the manual training schools.”

[ocr errors]

Chapter XIII presents also a survey of the existing provision for secondary education in London as shown by a special investigation made in 1892 under the direction of the National Association for the Promotion of Technical and Secondary Education,” and in a work on London education by Mr. Sidney Webb, chairman of the technical education board of London (published in 1903). In this work Mr. Webb endeavors to correct the wide spread opinion that London is particularly lacking in provision for secondary education. "Including," he says, “only foundations of which the management is essentially public in character, London has to-day certainly not less than 25,000 boys and girls between 7 and 19 in its secondary schools, actually a larger number than either Paris or Berlin." This estimate takes no account of the strictly private institutions of secondary grade, which in 1892 were said to number at least 450.

In all the secondary schools of London, as is the case also in Sheffield and Liverpool, fees are charged, and the only chance for a poor boy to enjoy their advantages is by securing a scholarship. London has already liberal provision of funds of this class to be secured by competitive examination. Mr. Webb advises an extension and revision of the scholarship system with a view to reaching a larger proportion of the population (p. 858). It is noticeable, however, that in the opinion of this authority the masses are not reached by any of the secondary schools even with the liberal provision of scholarships. The exigencies of life are such that for them the system of evening schools, which gained remarkable development under the London school board, offers the only means of extending their education beyond the elementary stage (p. 859).

The three publications reviewed in Chapter XIII not only afford important information respecting the educational status of the cities to which they respectively relate, but they show very clearly the wide distinction between the conceptions of secondary education that prevail in England and in the United States. As stated in the chapter considered, the purpose in the United States “is to induce the largest possible number of young people to continue their studies beyond the elementary stage. This is held to be a measure of public safety, a means of raising the level of general intelligence, and of increasing the mental alertness of individuals. These results are also seen to promote industrial aptitudes and power, hence the almost phenomenal increase in the number of our free high schools in recent years. English policy, on the contrary, is directed to the selection of young people of special promise and to their preparation for definite spheres of usefulness.”

Education in England in the time of Queen Elizabeth.Chapter VIII (pp. 633–701) contains notices by Prof. Foster Watson, of University College, Wales, of certain early English writers on education,

with extraets from their writings, embracing works published during the last twenty-five years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1578-1603).

These extracts, although presenting no connected and comprehensive view, afford many significant glimpses into the educational methods of England at the period just preceding the English colonization of America, and throw light upon the attitude of the early colonists in Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia regarding education. It is made apparent to what degree they were the produet of the environment in which they had grown up in the old country, and that in framing their educational system they either adhered elosely to English models or carried into practice ideas which they had brought with them from England.

Religion is frequently and strongly emphasized in these extracts as the essential basis of education. Much stress is laid upon grammar and languages, especially Latin, which appears to have been the most prominent subject of study and instrument of culture. Logic, rhetorie, and other branches of the old scholastic curriculum are held in estimation. Mathematics finds little place in the schemes of study recommended. Mulcaster, who is extensively quoted, makes slight mention of mathematical studies; William Kemp says (1590): “The scholar can easily pass through these arts [arithmetic and geometry) in half a year” (p. 684).

But references to ''modern” studies are by no means lacking in these writings, and many recent educational reforms and innovations are distinctly foreshadowed. Arguments setting forth the importance of the study of English are quite frequently met with; the claims of the physical sciences and even agriculture as subjects of study are occasionally presented; systematic physical training, the education of girls, and teachers' conferences have their advocates. It is particularly noticeable that the need of professional training for teachers was recognized at this early period. “This trade," says Mulcaster in 1561 (p. 654), “requireth a particular college.”

The low estimation in which the teachers' calling was generally held, as well as the scanty remuneration of those who pursued it, is made a subject of complaint in these writings. It is probably explained by the low average character and slender intellectual acquirements of the teachers themselves. Shakespeare has made us familiar with a certain type of Elizabethan pedagogues in Holofernes. The need of selecting capable teachers of good repute is frequently impressed upon those having the charge of children. The counterpart of much that is said concerning teachers may be found in modern school reports.

Education in Sweden.- Chapter XI (pp. 767–797) is taken up with a general view of the educational system of Sweden, which has been abridged from a more complete account published by the Govern

« AnteriorContinuar »