on this occasion on the instruction of 650 candidates, The evening instruction was then largely attended that number having been examined. Thus early was by adults. That this was the case may be judged the system of examination commenced in the Depart. | by the fact that the average age of candidates who ment's career, and the method of payments on the obtained successes in advanced chemistry was about results of these examinations stereotyped for many twenty-five, and in elementary chemistry about twentyyears to come. There is reason to believe that the one. I have alluded to the apathy displayed by educational experts of that day considered that both employers and by the artisans in the early days of the were essential and of educational value, a value which Department of Science and Art. The causes which has since been seriously discounted. Employers of dispelled it in both employers and employed, in labour in this country were not too quick in discerning regard to science instruction, will be found in the the advantages that must ultimately ensue from this following extract from a report by the Department of class of education is properly carried out and en Science and Art:couraged. Theoretically they gave encouragement,

“The Paris Exhibition (1867) caused the work of but practically very little, and this survives to some this country to be brought into close comparison with extent even to the present day. Some of the foremost that of the rest of the Continent, and in many points employers, however, gave material encouragement to both of manufacture and of skilled labour it was the formation of classes, insisting on their employees found England did not stand in such a good position attending evening instruction; but conspicuous above as she had done a few years back. Dr. Playfair, in a all was Mr. Whitworth, who, in 1868, placed in the letter to the Times, drew attention to this, attributing hands of the Department the sum of £100,000, to be much if not all the evil to the deficiency of our devoted to the creation of scholarships, which were to technical education among the artisan class. The be awarded at the annual May examinations. The pro substance of this letter was taken up by many persons viso made by him was that all competitors were to of influence during the autumnal recess, and it led to have had experience in practical work in an engineering a sort of educational panic, the cry for technical establishment. Such candidates, it was evident, | education becoming quite the absorbing topic among must have found out their own weakness in educa all circles and forming a considerable portion of the tion, and, by working in science classes, could make up contents of all periodicals. Meetings were convened their deficiencies, and the award of these scholarships and addresses delivered all over the country, and the would enable them to study further. Sir J. Whitworth question was so much ventilated that important was far-seeing and almost lived before his age, but changes were anticipated in the educational arrange. the benefits that he has conferred, not only on indivi. ments of the country during the coming session of duals, but on science and industries, by his generosity Parliament, which unfortunately were put off on will make his name to be remembered for generations account of the debates on the Reform Bill of 1868. to come. To have been a Whitworth scholar gives | “The agitation necessarily brought forward the an entrée into various Government and engineering work of the Science Division of the Science and posts, and we have in the front rank of science men Art Department, and it is not a little remarkable how who have held these scholarships and whose names completely the system which had been growing up stand prominent in the development of engineering. since 1860 seemed to meet all the requirements of the

Incidentally, I may say that no country but this, case, and at the same time how few persons had any for very many years, considered that instruction in idea of its provisions in spite of all that had been done science for the artisan was a large factor in maintain to spread a knowledge of the scheme. ing and developing industry. The educational in “ There can be no doubt, however, but that this terests of the employer and the foreman were, in six years' work had silently, though materially, some countries, well provided for, but the mechanic effected a change in the general tone of feeling on the was merely a hand, and a “hand” trained in merely subject of scientific education, and had been the practical work he was to remain. He could not aspire to means of preparing the country for the 1867 agitation. rise beyond. We may congratulate ourselves that such The different feeling among the working-classes on a “caste" system does not exist amongst ourselves. | the subject is forcibly shown in the Annual Report of

For the first twenty-five years of the Department of the Science and Art Department. From this it Science and Art the grants given by Parliament for appears that in 1860 a pupil in one of the science science instruction were distributed almost entirely classes in Manchester, a town usually looked upon as amongst those who were officially supposed to belong in advance of others, could hardly continue his to the industrial classes, and no encouragement was attendance at the class owing to the taunts of, and offered to any higher class in the social scale.

ill-treatment by, his companions. Nevertheless, in It would take me too long to show that at first the the autumn of this year, 1867, hardly enough could be industrial classes were very shy of seizing on the said or done to satisfy the desire for science classes advantages offered them. Suffice it to say that they being formed for those very persons who, but six had to be bribed by the offer of prizes and certificates years before, had considered attendance at a Govern. of success to attend instruction, and it was not for ment science school as almost against the rules of several years that the evening classes got acclimatised their trade.” and became popular.

Such was the account of 1867 given by Mr. G. C. T.

Bartley (now Sir G. Bartley, M.P.). The plan! It was determined to make a vigorous onslaught adopted by the Science and Art Department for against teaching that was unillustrated by experiment encouraging instruction in science was perhaps the and to encourage practical teaching as far as could be best that could be devised at the time, though we now done. Proper apparatus for illustrating lectures was know that it was capable of improvement. It may insisted upon, and, with aid from the Department, be mentioned that an improvement in it was made the was eventually provided, though in some instances next year by the introduction of a very large system several years' pressure had to be exercised before it of scholarships, scholarships which have enabled the was obtained. I am bound to say that in many possessors in some instances to continue their studies instances after it had been procured a surprise visit at universities, and several distinguished men owe by the inspector during the hours of instruction often their positions to this aid. It was in this same year found that the lecture table was free from all en. that Mr. Whitworth established his scholarships, as cumbrance, and that the dust of weeks was upon the before described.

apparatus that should have been in use. This was I have endeavoured to give a brief résumé of what sometimes due to the inability of the teacher to use was done during the first fifteen years of the existence the apparatus rather than to a wish to disregard the of the Science and Art Department, and it continued rules laid down by the Department; but usually it to expand its operations after 1868 on the same lines was due to the fact that the teacher found cram paid for another ten years. In 1876 your President became best. I should like to say here that this state of connected with the Department as a Science In- things does not exist at the present time, and that the spector. I am sure the Section will forgive me if I training of science teachers by the Royal College of am somewhat personal for a few moments. During Science and by other institutions has completely the previous eight years I had had the honour of broken down the excuses that were often offered at being a teacher of some branches of physical science that time. at the School of Military Engineering, and my own The first grants for practical teaching were paid for training was such that I had formed a very definite chemistry. The practical work had to be carried out opinion as to how science instruction should be in properly fitted laboratories. There were not halfimparted, both to those who had a good general a-dozen at the time which really answered our education and also to those who had not. The purpose, and one of the earliest pieces of work on method was the same in both cases : it should be whicii I was engaged was in assisting to get out plans taught practically. I may say that though I had not for laboratory fittings. These were very similar to myself had the advantage of being taught it at school, those which I had designed for the School of Military I had learned all the science I knew practically, and Engineering several years before. Thanks to the I entered the Department fully impressed with this | Education Act of 1870 (I speak thankfully of the view. Whenever possible I have till the present work that some of the important School Boards time endeavoure i to impress this view on all who have done in the past in taking an enlightened were interested in the work of the Department. view of science instruction) there were some Much of the science that was taught in State-sup localities where the idea of fitting up laboratories ported classes was largely book work and cram, and was received with favour, and it was not long the theoretical instruction as a rule was unillustrated before several old ones were refitted, in which by experiment. This was undoubtedly due to the | instruction to adults was given, and new ones system of payments being based on success at the established in Board schools for the benefit of the examinations. I must here say that there were Sixth Standard children. At that time an inspector's, honourable exceptions to this procedure. There like the policeman's, lot was not a happy one. We were teachers, then as now, who knew the subjects had to refuse to pass laboratories wbich did not fulfil they taught, and who were inspired by a genuine | conditions, though we left very few “hard cases." love of their calling. I can in my mind's eye recall | Till after the passing of the Technical Instruction many such, some of whom have joined the majority, Act in 1887, the Department aided schools in the and others who are still at work and as successful now purchase of the fittings of laboratories (both chemical as then in rousing the enthusiasm of their students. and others), and year after year this help, which

I am not one of those who think, as some do, that stimulated local effort, caused large numbers of new cramming is entirely pernicious. A good deal of laboratories to be added to the recognised list. After what used to be taught at public schools in my days six or seven years we had a hundred or more laborawas cram. It served its purpose at the time in tories (both chemical and others), and year after year sharpening the memory, and was a useful exercise, this help, which stimulated local effort, caused large and it did not much matter if in after years much of numbers of new laboratories to be added to the it was forgotten. If the cramming is in science, a recognised list. After six or seven years we had a few facts called back to mind in after life are better hundred or more laboratories at work of what I may than never having had the chance at all. In fact, as call “sealed-pattern efficiency." I am not very the faded beauty replied to the born plain friend, it partial to sealed patterns, but they are useful at is better to be one of the “ have beens” than a times, for they tell people what is the least that is “ never wasn't.”

expected from them. The pattern was not without its defects; but laboratories, like other matters, follow substituted inspection for examination, that the Departthe law of evolution, and the more recently fitted ones ment could still further press for practical instruction. show that the experience gained whilst teaching or For all elementary instruction the test of outside being taught in a sealed-pattern type has led to examination does more harm than good, and any marked improvements. Personally, I am of opinion examination in the work done by elementary studeats that only necessaries should be required, and I rebel should be carried out by the teacher, and should be against luxuries ; for a student trained by means of made on the absolute course that has been given. the latter will, as a rule, in after life fail to meet with It seems to be useless or worse that an examination anything beyond the mere essentials for carrying on should cover more than this. Instruction in a set his scientific work.

syllabus which for an outside examination has to be The sealed pattern is practically in abeyance, though covered spuils the teaching and takes away the liberty it can be trotted out as a bogey, and any properly of method which a good teacher should enjoy. The equipped laboratory is recognised as long as it meets literary work involved of answering questions for an the absolute necessities of instruction.

outside examiner, is also against the elementary The balf-dozen chemical laboratories which existed | student's success, and cannot be equal to that which in 1877 have now expanded to 349 physical and 774 may properly be expected from him a couple of years chemical laboratories. These are spread over all later. parts of England. I leave out Scotland and Ireland, Advanced instruction appears to be on a different as the science teaching is no longer under the English footing. The student in advanced science must bare Board of Education.

gradually obtained a knowledge of the elementary It is only fair to say that many of this large number portions of the subject, and it is not too much to ask of laboratories are at present in secondary schools, him beyond the inspection of his work to express regarding which I shall have to speak more at length. himself in decent English and submit to examination But the fact remains that in twenty-seven years there from the outside ; but even here the payment for has been such a growth of practical science teaching such instruction should be by an attendance grant that some 1,120 laboratories have come into being. tempered in some degree by the results of examinaMy predecessor in the Chair likes to call laboratories

tion, since examiners are not always to be trusted. “workshops.” I have no objection, but the reverse ; The attendance grant was not viewed by some with for the word “laboratory," like “research," sounds great favour at first, and protests were received too magnificent for what is really meant, and all against its adoption, a favourite complaint being that it education should more or less be carried out in was sure to entail a loss of grant. One became sus. workshops.

picious that some of those who protested were aware The increase is as satisfactory as it is remarkable. that the last bulwark which defended the earning or It is only possible to increase the numbers in early grants by cram was being removed, and that indays by gentle pressure and prophesying smooth spection might prove more irksome than examina. things which, happily, did eventually come to pass. tion. This is past history now, and the new system In later days the increase has been almost automatic. works as smoothly as the old, and with not more The Technical Instruction Act has called into being complaints than are to be always expected. technical instruction committees who, in many cases, As I have said, grants were for very many years have taken up science instruction in their districts in supposed to be confined to aiding the instruction of earnest. They, too, have had public money to allo the industrial classes, but this limitation was more cate, and not a little has gone in the encouragement nominal than real. It might probably be imagined of practical education. It may, however, be remarked that it was no very difficult task to distinguish an that had it not been for the preliminary work that had artizan and his children from students who belonged been done by the Science and Art Department, it is to the middle classes. This was not the case, hor. more than probable that the Technical Instruction Act ever. Children belonging to the industrial classes of 1887 would never have seen the light.

were, on joining a science class, obliged to state the A reference must now be made to the removal of occupation of the father, and it was no uncommon wbat anyone will see was a great bar to the spread of thing for fathers to be given brevet-rank by their sound instruction in every class of school where children. Thus, a bricklayer's son would describe science was taught. So long as the student's success his father as a “builder," which, if true, ought to in examination was the test which regulated the have brought him into the ranks of the middle class. amount of the grant paid by the State, so long was it These unauthorised promotions were one of the diffiimpossible to insist on all-round practical instruction. culties the inspector had to face when judging as to It was impracticable to hold practical examinations the status of the parents. This difficulty was largely for tens of thousands of students in some twenty met by a rule that all those who attended evening different subjects of science. The practical examina classes were supposed to be of the industrial class; tion in chemistry told its tale of difficulties. It was but as the day classes increased the numbers of only when the Duke of Devonshire and Sir John those who by no possibility could be of the artizan Gorst in 1898 substituted for the old scheme of pay- class also increased, and it became a very invidious ments, payment for attendance, and in a large measure duty of the inspector to put M.C. (middle class)

against the names of many. It was determined took a wide departure from the traditional methods by superior authority that only those students or their ! of the Department and created a class of secondary parents who could claim exemption from income-tax, school which differed totally from those then existing. should be reckoned as coming within the category of | Needless to say the scheme was not received with industrial students. In early days, the qualification favour on all sides, more especially by those who for abatement on income-tax was a much lower figure thought that serious damage would be done to than it is to-day, and almost each succeeding Chan. secondary schools by the competition from this new cellor of the Exchequer has raised the figure of the development of secondary education. I am not income on wbich the abatement could be claimed. ashamed to say that the disfavour shown on some To-day it is, I believe, £700 a year, bringing the sides made me rejoice, as it indicated that a move had official definition as to membership of the industrial been made in the right direction. At first it was classes to an absurdity. It became evident to the principally the higher-grade Board schools that came official mind, which some people are good enough to under the scheme, and in the first year there were say works but slowly, that the definition must be twenty-four of them at work. This type of school amended, or the limitation abolished. The progress gradually increased until about seventy of them, and of events happily made the abolition the better plan, chiefly of a most efficient character, were recognised and was the means of allowing inroads of science in in 1900. Their further increase was only arrested by struction to be made into secondary day schools. the Cockerton judgment, now so well known that I

The history of these inroads I shall now give. In- need only name it. But here we come to a most struction given in so-called organised science schools interesting development. State aid, as already said, was originally aided by the Department by means of a was at first limited to instruction of the industrial small capitation grant. These schools were supposed classes, but no limitation as to the status of the pupil to give an organised course of science instruction, and was made in this new scheme for the schools of the successes at examination determined the payment. science, and logically this freedom was extended in They were not satisfactory as at first constituted, and 1897 to all instruction aided by the Department—the they so dwindled away in numbers that in 1890 only | date when all limitation as to the status of the pupil some one or two were left. A small increase in the

was abolished, the only limitation being the status of capitation grant in 1892 revived some of them, and a the school itself. Thus, if a flourishing public fair number existed in the following year. There was school, charging high fees for tuition, were to apply no doubt, however, that the conditions under to participate in the grant voted by Parliament, it which they existed were most unfavourable may be presumed, it would have to be refused. The for a sound education, which ought not only to abolition of the restriction as to the status of the include science but also literary instruction. The pupils left it open to poorly endowed secondary latter was, in many schools, wholly neglected, owing schools to come under the new scheme. To a good to the fact that the grants earned depended on the many the additional income to be derived from the results of examination, and so all the school time grant meant continuing their existence as efficient, was devoted to grant earning.

and for this reason, and often, I fear, for this reason Mr. Acland, at this time Minister for Education, alone, some claimed recognition as eligible. was made aware of this neglect to give a good Such is an outline history of the invasion of science general education, and as I was at that time respon. instruction into certain secondary schools-an insible for science instruction, I was directed to draw up | vasion which ought to be of great national service. a scheme for reorganising these schools and forcing a | In my view no general education is complete without general as well as scientific education to be carried a knowledge of those simple truths of science which out. Baldly the scheme abolished almost entirely speak to everyone, but usually pass unheeded day by payments on results of examination, and the rate of day. The expansion of the reasoning and observagrant depended on inspection and attendance. | tional powers of every child is as material to sound Further, a certain minimum number of hours had to education as is the exercise of the memory, or the be given to literary subjects, and another minimum , acquisition of some smattering of a language. I am to science instruction, a great deal of it being not going into the question of curricula in schools, as practical and having to be carried out in the “work. | I hope, regarding them, we shall have a full discusshop.” The payments for science instruction were

sion. But of this I am sure, that no curriculum wil) to be withheld unless the inspector was satisfied that

be adequate which does not include practical instructhe literary part of the education was given satis

tion in the elementary truths of science. The factorily.

President of the Royal Society, in his last Annual The scheme was accepted and promulgated

Address, alluded to the mediæval education that was whilst the Royal Commission on Secondary Educa.

being given in a vast number of secondary schools. tion was sitting, and, if I may be allowed to say

Those who planned the system of education of those so, Mr. Acland's tenure of office would be long

times deserve infinite credit for including all that it was remembered for this innovation alone, since in it he

| possible to include. Had there been a development

1 of science in those days, one must believe that, with • Within the next four years they will entirely cease. the far-seeing wisdom they then displayed, they would

dood bel

have included that which it is the desire of all modern have to follow industrial pursuits. This modified and educationists to include. Observational and experi shortened course has met with unqualified success. mental science would have assuredly found a place in Some 127 schools came under the scheme the first the system.

year, and I gather that there will be a considerable One, however, cannot help being struck by the increase in numbers in the futnre. The establishment broadening of views in regard to modern education of schools of science and of these schools may be conthat has taken place in the minds of many who were sidered to be a great step in getting practical instruccertainly not friendly to its development. Perhaps tion in natural knowledge introduced into secondary in the Bishop of Hereford, when headmaster of Clifton, schools. The leaven has been placed in some 300 of we have the most remarkable early example of breadth them, and we may expect that all schools which may of view, which he carried out in a practical manner, be eligible for State aid will graduaily adopt one surrounding himself with many of the ablest teachers scheme or the other. Though it is said there is of science of the day. There are other headmasters nothing in a name, I am a little doubtsul as to who, though trained on the classical side, have had whether the earmarking of science education as the prescience to follow in his footsteps, and of free distinct from secondary education is not somewhat of will; but others there are who have neither the desire a mistake at the present day. For my own part, I nor the intention, if not compelled to do so, to move should like to think that the days have passed when in the direction which modern necessities indicate is such an earmarking was necessary or advisable. The essential for national progress. I am inclined to science to be taught in elementary schools should be think that the movement in favour of modernising part and parcel of the secondary education, and it education bas been very largely quickened by the would be just as proper to talk of Latin and Greek establishment of schools of science in connection instruction apart from secondary education as it is to with endowed schools and the desire for their foun talk of science instruction. One of the causes of the dation by the Technical Instruction Committees, who unpopularity of the Science and Art Department was had the whisky money at their disposal, and who its too distinctive name. At the same time, it would more than supplemented the Parliamentary grants be most unwise at the present time, when the nex which these schools were able to earn. It was the Education Committees are learning their work, circumstance that the new scheme was issued when and looking to the central authority for a lead, inany endowed schools were in low water that made for the State to alter the conditions on which it as successful as it has been.

it makes its grants to these schools. It will The number of schools of science increased so require at least a generation to pass before modernised rapidly that it appeared there might be a danger of education will be free from assault. If science intoo many of this type being started on sufficient struction is not safeguarded for some time to come it educational grounds. Science instruction was carried runs a chance of disappearing or being neglected in a in them to such an advanced point and so many hours good many schools. As to the schools which have of the week were spent on it that they became in no financial difficulties, it is hard to say what lines some degree specialised schools. At least eight hours they may follow. Tradition may be too strong in a week had to be devoted to science, ten to literary them to allow any material change in their courses of instruction, and five to mathematics-any further study. If it be true that the modern side of many a time available could be spent on any section that was public school is made a refuge for the "incapables," considered desirable. For some pupils the time and is considered inferior to the classical side, as devoted to science is barely enough, but for others some say is the case, such a side is practically useless who intend to follow careers in which the literary in representing modern education in its proper light. section should predominate it appeared that some Again, one at least of the ancient universities has not curtailment of hours in the science section might be shown much sympathy with modern ideas, and so usefully allowed, and it became a question how far long as she is content to receive her students such instruction might be shortened without impairing | ignorant of all else but what has been called its soundness. After much anxious thought it was mediæval lore, so long will the schools which feed considered that four hours per week, besides mathe | her have no great inclination to change their educa. matics, was the very least time that ought to be tional schemes. devoted to such instruction, and that the latter part If we would only make the Universities set the of it should be practical work. A scheme embodying fashion, the public schools would be bound to follow. this modification was approved by the Lord President The Universities say that it is for the public schools and the Vice-President whilst I was Principal to say what they want, and vice versa, and so neither Assistant Secretary for Secondary Education, and one nor the other change. It appears to me that we smaller grants than those for schools of science were must look to the modern universities to lead the authorised in 1901 for those schools who were movement in favour of that kind of education prepared to adopt it. By the scheme instruction | which is best fitted for the after life of the large has to be given only in such subjects and to such an majority of the people of this country. If for extent as is really necessary to form part of that no other reason, we must for this one hail the general education of ordinary students who might not creation of two more universities where the locali

« ElőzőTovább »