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Title: The Children: Some Educational Problems
Author: Darroch, Alexander
Language: English
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_The Social Problems Series_

EDITED BY

OLIPHANT SMEATON, M.A., F.S.A.

THE CHILDREN


_The Social Problems Series_


THE CHILDREN

SOME EDUCATIONAL PROBLEMS


BY

ALEXANDER DARROCH, M.A.

PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH


LONDON: T. C. & E. C. JACK
16 HENRIETTA STREET, W.C.
AND EDINBURGH
1907



CONTENTS



CHAP.                                                            PAGE

   I. INTRODUCTION--THE PRESENT UNREST IN EDUCATION                 1

  II. THE MEANING AND PROCESS OF EDUCATION                         13

 III. THE END OF EDUCATION                                         22

  IV. THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE PROVISION
      OF EDUCATION                                                 31

   V. THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE COST OF
      EDUCATION                                                    46

  VI. THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE MEDICAL
      EXAMINATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THE MEDICAL
      INSPECTION OF SCHOOLS                                        54

 VII. THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE FEEDING OF
      SCHOOL CHILDREN                                              66

VIII. THE ORGANISATION OF THE MEANS OF EDUCATION                   77

  IX. THE AIM OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION                                85

   X. THE AIM OF THE INFANT SCHOOL                                 98

  XI. THE AIM OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL                               107

 XII. THE AIM OF THE SECONDARY SCHOOL                             118

XIII. THE AIM OF THE UNIVERSITY                                   126

 XIV. CONCLUSION--THE PRESENT PROBLEMS IN EDUCATION               131



THE CHILDREN



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION--THE PRESENT UNREST IN EDUCATION


The problems as to the end or ends at which our educational agencies
should aim in the training and instruction of the children of the
nation, and of the right methods of attaining these ends once they have
been definitely and clearly recognised, are at the present day receiving
greater and greater attention not only from professed educationalists,
but also from statesmen and the public generally. For, in spite of all
that has been done during the past thirty years to increase the
facilities for education and to improve the means of instruction, there
is a deep-seated and widely spread feeling that, somehow or other,
matters educationally are not well with us, as a nation, and that in
this particular line of social development other countries have pushed
forward, whilst we have been content to lag behind in the educational
rear.

The faults in our present educational structure are many, and in some
cases obvious to all. In the first place, it is said, and with much
truth, that there is no systematic coherence between the different parts
of our educational machinery, and no thorough-going correlation between
the various aims which the separate parts of the system are intended to
realise. As Mr. De Montmorency has recently pointed out, we have always
had a national group of educational facilities, more or less efficient,
but we have never had, nor do we yet possess, a national system of
education so differentiated in its aims and so correlated as to its
parts as to form "an organic part of the life of the nation."[1] An
educational system should subserve and foster the life of the whole: it
should be so organised as to maintain a sufficient and efficient supply
of all the services which a nation requires at the hands of its adult
members. For it is only in so far as the educational system of any
country fulfils this end that it can be "organic," and can be entitled
to the claim of being called a national system.

This lack of coherence between the different parts of our educational
system and the want of any systematic plan or unity running through the
whole is due to many causes. As a nation, we are little inclined to
system-making, and as a consequence the problem of education as a whole
and in its total relation to the life and well-being of the State has
received but scant attention from politicians. Educational questions, in
this country, are rarely treated on their own merits and apart from
considerations of a party, political, or denominational character, and
hence the problems which have received attention in the past and evoke
discussion at the present are concerned with the nature of the
constitution, and limits of the power of the bodies to whom should be
entrusted the local control of the educational agencies of the country,
rather than with the problems as to the aims which we should seek to
realise through our educational organisation, and of the methods by
which these aims may be best realised. Hence, as a nation, we have
rarely considered for its own sake and as a whole the problem of the
education of the children. And until we have done so--until we have made
clear to ourselves the kind of future citizen which as a State we desire
to rear up--our educational agencies must manifest a like
indefiniteness, a like inconsistency, and a like want of connection as
do our educational aims and ideals.

Again, closely connected with this first-named defect in our educational
organisation, and in fact following from it as a logical consequence, is
our fatal method of developing this or that part of our educational
system and of leaving the other parts to develop, if at all, without any
central guidance or control, until at length we realise that the
neglected parts also require attention, and must somehow or other be
refitted into the whole. _E.g._, since 1870 there has been a great
advance in the extent and intent of elementary education in both England
and Scotland, but this progress has been of a one-sided nature, and
there has been no corresponding advance either in the perfecting of the
educational system as a whole, or in the co-ordination of the various
grades of education. In Scotland, since the passing into law of the
Education Bill of 1872, the means of elementary education have been
widely extended and the methods of teaching have been greatly improved,
but there has been no corresponding advance in the provision of the
means of higher education, and as a consequence, at the present day, we
find many districts without adequate provision for carrying on the
education of the youth of the country beyond the Primary School stage.
Secondary education has been provided in some centres by means of
endowments; in others through the extension of the term "elementary" so
as to include education of a more extended nature than was originally
intended to be covered by that term. In England until 1902, very much
the same conditions prevailed, but since then, mainly in order to remedy
the state of things created by the judgment in the Cockerton Case, the
control of primary, secondary, and technical education has been placed
in the hands of the County and Borough Councils, who are empowered "to
consider the educational needs of their area, and to take such steps as
seem to them desirable, after consultation with the Board of Education,
to supply or aid the supply of education other than elementary, and to
promote the general co-ordination of all forms of education." Tinder the
powers so granted much has been done throughout England during the past
few years to extend and make efficient the means of higher education; to
erect schools which shall provide training for the future services
required by the community and the State of the more highly gifted of its
members, and to co-ordinate the work of the various agencies entrusted
with the care and education of the children of the nation.

Through the failure of the Education Bills of 1904 and 1905 to pass into
law, Scotland still awaits the creation of local authorities charged
with the control and direction of all grades of education, and in this
respect her educational organisation is much more loosely compacted than
the system which now exists in England.

Further, in Scotland, on account of the absence of one controlling
authority, we often find in those districts in which the provision for
higher education is ample, imperfect co-ordination between the aims and
work, on the one hand, of the Primary School, and on the other, of
schools providing higher education. From this cause also it follows
that, unlike our German neighbours, we have made little progress in
determining the different functions which each particular type of Higher
School shall perform in the social organism, and have not assigned the
particular services which the State requires of each particular type of
Higher School. It is surely manifest that the service which the modern
industrial State looks for from its members is not the same in kind and
is much more complex in its nature than that which was required during
the mediæval period, and that if this service is to be efficiently
supplied, then there is need for Higher Schools varied in type and
having various aims.

This want of unity between the various parts of our educational system
manifests itself again in the indefiniteness of aim of many of our
Higher Schools, and in the lack of co-ordination between the Higher
School on the one hand, and institutions providing university and
advanced instruction on the other. Up till quite recently, the sole aim
of our Secondary Schools was to provide students for the Universities
and to supply the needs of the learned professions. But with the
economic development of the country, and as a consequence of the keen
international competition between nation and nation in the economic
sphere, there has arisen a demand for a higher education different in
kind from that provided by the older Universities, and a need for a type
of Secondary School different in aim and curriculum from that which
looks mainly to the provision of students intending to enter upon some
one or other of the so-called well recognised learned professions. It is
here, when compared and contrasted with the educational systems of some
of our Continental neighbours, that we find the weakest point in our own
system, and at the present time our most urgent need is for the
extension and better equipment of the central institutions of the
country which provide higher technical and commercial instruction.

This unsatisfactory condition of things is due in large measure, as we
have already pointed out, to our innate dislike as a nation of all
system-making, and to the distrust felt by many minds of any and every
form of State control of education. Hence, partly from these causes,
partly as a result of historical conditions, it has followed that
various authorities have in this country the guidance and control of
education, with the usual result of want of unity of aim, of lack of
correlation of means, and in some cases of overlapping and waste of the
means of higher education.

In the second place, while much has been done since the advent of
compulsory elementary education to better the means of education and to
increase the facilities for the higher instruction of the youth of the
country, there is a widespread belief that all the hopes held out by
the early advocates of universal compulsory education have not been
realised, and that our Primary Schools in large measure have failed to
turn out the type of citizen which a State such as ours requires for her
after-service.

Universal education has not proved a panacea for all the social evils of
the Commonwealth, and while it must be admitted that much good has
resulted from the adoption of universal and compulsory education, yet at
the same time certain evils have followed in its train.

Since the institution of universal education, it may be argued that the
children of the nation have received a better training in the use of the
more mechanical arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but the
tendency has been to look upon the acquisition of these arts as _ends in
themselves_, rather than as mere instruments for the further extension
and development of knowledge and practice, and hence our Primary School
system, to a large extent, has failed to cultivate the imagination of
the child, and has also failed to train the reason and to develop
initiative on the part of the pupil. There has been more instruction, it
has been said, during the last thirty years, but less education; for the
process of education consists in the building up within the child's mind
of permanent and stable systems of ideas which shall hereafter function
in the attainment and realisation of the various ends of life. Now, our
school practice is still largely dominated by the old conception that
mere memory knowledge is all-important, and as a consequence much of the
so-called knowledge acquired during the school period is found valueless
in after life to realise any definite purpose, for it is only in so far
as the knowledge acquired has been systematised that it can afterwards
be turned to use in the furtherance of the aims of adult life.

From this it follows that, since much of the knowledge acquired during
the school period has no bearing on the real and practical needs of
life, the Primary School in many cases fails to create any permanent or
real interest in the works either of nature or of society.

But a much more serious charge is laid at times against our Primary
School system. It is contended that during the past thirty years it has
done little to raise the moral tone of the community, and it has done
still less to develop that sense of civic and national responsibility
without which the moral and social progress of a nation is impossible.
Our huge city schools are manufactories rather than educational
institutions--places where yearly a certain number of the youth of the
country are turned out able to some extent to make use of the mechanical
arts of reading and writing, and with a smattering of many branches of
knowledge, but with little or no training for the moral and civic
responsibilities of life. This is evident, it is urged, if we consider
how little the school does to counteract and to supplant the evil
influences of a bad home or social environment. What truth there may be
in these charges and what must be done to remedy this state of matters
will be discussed when we consider later the existing Elementary School
system. Here it is sufficient to point out that one of the causes at
work to-day tending to arouse a renewed interest in educational problems
is the feeling now beginning to find expression that the kind of
universal elementary education provided somehow or other fails, and has
failed, to produce all that was in the beginning expected of it--that it
has in the past been too much divorced from the real interests of life,
and that it must be remodelled if it is to fit the individual to perform
his duty to society.

A third fault often found with our existing school system is that in the
case of the majority of the children the process of education stops at
too early an age. The belief is slowly spreading that if we are to
educate thoroughly the children of the nation so as to fit them to
perform efficiently the after duties of life, something of a more
systematic character than has as yet been done is required, in order to
carry on and to extend the education of the child after the Elementary
school stage has been passed. For it is evident that during the Primary
School period all that can be expected in the case of the larger number
of children is that the school should lay a sound basis in the knowledge
of the elementary arts necessary for all social intercourse, and for the
realisation of the simpler needs of life. A beginning may be made,
during this period, in the formation and establishment of systems of
knowledge which have for their aim the realisation of the more complex
theoretical and practical interests of after life, but unless these are
furthered and extended in the years in which the boy is passing from
youth to manhood, then as a consequence much of what has been acquired
during the early period fails to be of use either to the individual or
to society.

Again, it is surely unwise to give no heed to the systematic education
of the majority of the children during the years when they are most
susceptible to moral and social influences, and to leave the moral and
social education of the youth during the adolescent period to the
unregulated and uncertain forces of society.

Lastly, in this connection it is economically wasteful for the nation to
spend largely in laying the mere foundations of knowledge, and then to
adopt the policy of non-interference, and to leave to the individual
parent the right of determining whether the foundation so laid shall be
further utilised or not.

A fourth criticism urged against our educational system is that in the
past we have paid too little attention to the technical education of
those destined in after life to become the leaders of industry and the
captains of commerce. Our Higher School system has been too
predominantly of one type--it has taken too narrow a view of the higher
services required by the State of its members, and our educational
system has not been so organised as to maintain and farther the economic
efficiency of the State. For it may be contended that the economic
efficiency of the individual and of the nation is fundamental in the
sense that without this, the attainment of the other goods of life can
not or can be only imperfectly realised, and it is obvious that
according to the measure in which the economic welfare of the individual
and of the State is secured, in like measure is secured the opportunity
for the development and realisation of the other aims of the individual
and of the nation.

Thus the present unrest as regards our educational affairs may be
largely traced to the four causes enumerated. We have begun to realise
that our educational system lacks definiteness of aim, and that its
various parts are badly co-ordinated; that, in short, we do not as yet
possess a national system of education which ministers to and subserves
the life of the State as a whole. We are further beginning to perceive
that the provision of the means of higher education is too important a
matter to be left to the care of the private individual, and that
education must be the concern of the whole body of the people. Hence it
has been said that on the creation of a national system of education,
fitted to meet the needs of the modern State, depends largely the future
of Britain as a nation.

Again, all that was hoped for as the result of universal compulsory
education has not been realised, and the feeling is growing that there
is something defective in the aims of our Primary School system, and
that it fails, and has failed, to develop in the individual the moral
and social qualities required by a State such as ours, which is becoming
increasingly democratic in character. Further, we are learning, partly
through experience, partly from the example of other countries, that the
period during which our children must be under the regulated control of
the school and of society must be lengthened, if we are to realise the
final aim of all education, which is to enable the individual on the
intellectual side to apply the knowledge gained to the furtherance and
extension of the various purposes of life, and on the moral side to
enable him to use his freedom rightly.

Lastly, as a nation, we are beginning to discover that without the
better technical training of our workmen, and especially of those to
whom in after-life will be entrusted the control and direction of our
industries and commerce, we are likely to fall behind the other advanced
nations in the race for economic supremacy.

But, in addition to these negative forces at work, tending to produce
dissatisfaction with our educational position, the opinion is growing
stronger and clearer that the education, physical, intellectual, and
moral, of the children of the nation is a matter of supreme importance
for the future well-being and the future supremacy of the nation, and
that it is the duty of the State to see that the opportunity is
furnished to each individual to realise to the full all the
potentialities of his nature which make for good, so that he may be
enabled to render that service to the community for which by nature he
is best fitted. Compulsory elementary education is but one stage in the
process. We must, as a nation, at least see that no insuperable
obstacles are placed in the path of those who have the requisite ability
and desire to advance farther in the development of their powers.
Moreover, if need be, we must, in the words of Rousseau, compel those
who from various causes are unwilling to realise themselves, to attain
their full freedom.

This demand for the better and fuller education of the children of the
nation is motived partly by the growing conviction that the freedom,
political, civil, and religious, which we as a nation enjoy, can only be
maintained, furthered, and strengthened in so far as we have educated
our children rightly to understand and rightly to use this freedom to
which they are heirs. Democracy, as a form of government and as a power
for good, is only possible when the mass of the people have been wisely
and fully educated, so that they are enabled to take an intelligent and
comprehensive interest in all that pertains to the good and future
welfare of the State. A democracy of ill or partially educated people
sooner or later becomes an ochlocracy,[2] ruled not by the best, but by
those who can work upon the self-interest of the badly or one-sidedly
educated. A true democracy is in fact ever aristocratic, in the original
sense of that term. A false democracy ever tends to become ochlocratic,
and the only safeguard against such a state of conditions arising in a
country where representative government exists is the spread of higher
education, and the inculcation of a right conception of the nature and
functions of the State and of the duties of citizenship.

But further, the demand for increased facilities for higher and
technical education is motived largely by the conviction that in the
education of our children we must in the future more than we have done
in the past take means to secure the fitness of the individual to
perform efficiently some specific function in the economic organisation
of society. And the demand proceeds, not from any desire to narrow down
the aims of education, to place it on a purely utilitarian basis, but
from the belief that the securing of the physical and economic
efficiency of the individual is of fundamental and primary importance
both for his own welfare and the well-being and progress of the State,
and that in proportion as we secure the higher economic efficiency of a
larger and larger number of the people we also secure the essential
condition for the development and extension of those other goods of life
which can be attained by the majority of a nation only after a certain
measure of economic prosperity and economic security is assured.

The social evils of our own or of any time cannot, of course, be removed
by any one remedy, but an education which endeavours to secure that each
individual shall have the opportunity to develop himself and to fit
himself for the after performance of the service for which by nature he
is suited may do much to mitigate the evils incident upon the
industrial organisation of society. If this end is to be realised, then
three things at least are necessary. We must seek by some means or other
to check the large number of our boys and girls who, after leaving the
Primary School, drift year by year, either through the ignorance or the
cupidity or the poverty of their parents, into the ranks of untrained
labour, and who in the course of two or three years go to swell the
ranks of the unskilled, casual workers, and become in many cases, in the
course of time, the unemployed and the unemployable. In the second
place, we must endeavour to secure the better technical training of the
youth during their years of apprenticeship, and so tend to raise the
general efficiency of the workers of the nation whatever the
nature--manual or mental--of their employment. In the third place, we
must endeavour, by means of our system of education, to increase the
mobility of labour. In the modern State, where changes in the industrial
organisation are frequent, the worker who can most easily adapt himself
to changing circumstances is best assured of constant employment, and a
great part of the social evils of our time may be traced to this want of
mobility on the part of a large number of our workers.

The mobility of labour is of course always determined within certain
limits, but much may and could be done by pursuing from the beginning a
right method in educating the child to develop its power of
self-adaptation to the needs of a changing environment.

If these results are to be attained, then we shall have, as a nation, to
make clear to ourselves the real meaning and purpose of education; we
shall have to make explicit the nature of the ends which we desire to
secure as the result of our educational efforts, and we shall have to
organise our educational agencies so that the ends desired shall be
secured.

Let us now consider the question of the meaning, purpose, and ends of
education.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] _National Education and National Life_, p. 1.

[2] _Ochlos_, a mob.



CHAPTER II

THE MEANING AND PROCESS OF EDUCATION


"Of all the animals with which the globe is peopled, there is none
towards whom nature seems, at first sight, to have exercised more
cruelty than towards man, in the numberless wants and necessities with
which she has loaded him, and in the slender means which she affords to
the relieving of these necessities. In other creatures these two
particulars generally compensate each other. If we consider the lion as
a voracious and carnivorous animal, we shall easily discover him to be
very necessitous, but if we turn our eye to his make and temper, his
agility, his courage, his arms, and his force, we shall find that his
advantages hold proportion with his wants.... In man alone this
unnatural conjunction of infirmity and of necessity may be observed in
the greatest perfection. Not only the food which is required for his
sustenance flies his search and approach, or at least requires his
labour to be produced, but he must be possessed of clothes and lodging
to defend him against the injuries of the weather: though to consider
him only in himself, he is provided neither with arms, nor force, nor
other natural abilities which are in any degree answerable to so many
'necessities.' 'Tis by society alone he is able to supply his defects
and raise himself up to an equality with his fellow-creatures, and even
acquires a superiority over them."[3] In these terms Hume draws the
distinction between man and the animals, and if, for the term Society,
we substitute the word Education, then we shall more truly describe the
means by which man overcomes his natural infirmities and meets his
necessities.

But we have to ask, Wherein does man differ from the animals? what power
or faculty does he possess over and above those possessed by himself and
the animals in common? and how does it happen that as his wants and
needs increase and multiply the means to satisfy them also tend to
increase? Now, the animal is guided wholly or mainly by instinct. In the
case of many animals the whole conduct of their life from birth to death
is governed by this means. In the case, indeed, of some of the higher
animals, there is a limited power of modifying this government by
instinct through the experience acquired during the lifetime of the
individual. But man alone possesses the power or faculty of reason. And
it is through the possession of this power that he alone of all
creatures can be educated; it is the possession of this power which
places him above the rest of creation, and it is in the possession of
this power that the possibility of his greatness, and also of his
baseness, lies. Now, an instinct may be defined as an inborn and
inherited system of means for the attainment of a definite end of such a
nature that once the appropriate external stimulus is applied the system
tends to work itself out in an automatic manner until the end is
attained, and independently of any control exercised by the individual.
The working out of such an action may be accompanied by consciousness,
but the power of memory would only be valuable in so far as the instinct
was imperfect, and in so far as the better attainment of the end was
fostered by direct individual experience. Thus the greater the range of
instinct the less the scope of and the less the need for
education--_i.e._, for acquiring experiences that will function in
rendering more efficient future action; and conversely, the less the
range of instinct the greater the need for education, for acquiring
experiences that may function in the guidance and direction of future
action.

Now, in man the range of instinct is small. In fact, it is questionable
whether in the strict usage of the term he possesses any one perfect
instinct. But to overcome this weakness of his nature he possesses the
power or faculty of reason, and this consists in the ability to
self-find, to self-adapt, and to self-establish systems of means for the
attainment of definite ends. "Man's splendid power of learning through
experience and of applying the contents of his memory to forecast and
mould the future is his peculiar glory. It is this which distinguishes
him from and raises him above all other animals. This it is that makes
him man. This it is that has enabled him to conquer the whole world and
to adapt himself to a million conditions of life."[4] This it is that
also makes possible the education of the child, and raises the hope that
by a truer and deeper conception of the process of education we shall be
enabled to mould the character of the children to worthy ends.

But although man is pre-eminently the rational animal, yet reason only
operates, and can only operate, in so far as it is called into activity
by the need of satisfying some inborn or acquired desire. That is, man
possesses not only reason, but also certain instinctive tendencies to
action. In early life, the instincts of curiosity, of imitation, of
emulation, and the various forms of the play instinct are ever inciting
the child to action, and ever evoking his reason-activity to acquire new
experiences which shall function in the more efficient performance of
future action. At a later stage other instinctive tendencies make their
appearance, as _e.g._ the parental instinct, and serve as motives for
the further acquisition of new experiences--for the establishment of
other systems of means for the attainment of desired ends. But as the
child passes from infancy to youth and manhood, these instinctive
tendencies, although ever present, alter their character, and acquired
ends or interests become the motives of actions. But these acquired ends
or interests are not something created out of nothing: they are grafted
upon and arise out of the innate and inherited instinctive tendencies of
man's nature. Thus, _e.g._, the instinct of mere self-preservation may
pass into the desire to attain a certain standard of life, or to
maintain a certain social status; the instinct of curiosity into the
desire to find out and to systematise knowledge for its own sake. But
for the realisation of these instinctive ends, whether in their crude or
acquired forms, the finding and the establishment of systems of means in
every case is necessary, and in order that they may be realised man must
acquire the requisite capacities for action. In the case of the animal
the instinct or impulse to action is inherited, but the capacity for
action is also inborn or innate. Man possesses all the innate ends or
interests which the animal possesses. Moreover, upon these innate ends
or interests can be grafted ends or interests innumerable and varied in
character, but in order that they may be satisfied he must through the
evoking into activity of reason find and adapt means for their
attainment. Thus the general nature of our conscious human life is that
throughout we are striving to attain ends of a more or less explicit
nature, and endeavouring to find out and to establish means for their
attainment. Whether in the performance of some simple, practical act, or
in trying to observe accurately what is presented to us through the
senses, or in endeavouring to realise imaginatively something not
directly presented to the senses, or in performing an abstract process
of thought, the activity of reason in its formal aspect is ever one and
the same. Hence in education we have not to do with the development of
many powers or faculties but with the development or the evolution of
the one power or faculty of reason, and the process of development in
its general nature is always the same in kind--viz., the process of
systematically building up knowledge which shall function in the future
determination of conduct. What varies in each case, at each stage of
development, is the nature of the material which goes to form this or
that system, and the character of the identity or link of connection
which binds part to part within any given system. A system of knowledge
may be built up of perceptual elements, of ideas derived directly
through the medium of the senses. Of such a character are the systems of
knowledge possessed by the artist and the musician. Again, a system of
knowledge may be composed wholly or mainly of images--of remembered
ideas, so altered and so modified as to form and fit into a new whole.
Lastly, the elements which go to form the component parts of the system
may be of a conceptual character. Thus we may select the number aspect
of things for consideration and treatment, and so build up and establish
within the mind of the child a number system. But in each and every case
the power at work is the activity of reason, and the end ever in view in
the selection and in the formation of the system is the satisfaction of
some end or interest desired either for its own sake or as a means to
some further and remoter end.

Further, a system of knowledge may differ not only in the nature of the
materials of which it is composed, but also in the mode of its
formation; _i.e._, the nature of the identity which binds part to part
within the system may vary in character. Now it is upon the nature of
the systems which we ultimately form in the mind of the child and upon
the method which we pursue in our process of system or knowledge making
that the resultant character of our education depends.

A system of knowledge may be related as regards its parts by some
qualitative or quantitative bond of identity. All sciences of mere
classification are formed in this way, and the formation of such systems
is in some cases a necessary preliminary to the evolution of the higher
forms of system. But the important point to note is that all such
systems are valuable only as a means to the further recognition, the
further classification, of similar instances. An individual whose mind
was wholly formed in this way might be compared to a well-arranged
museum, where everything is classified and arranged on the basis of
qualitative identity. But manifestly this mere arranging and classifying
of knowledge has only a limited value. Such systems can never be used as
means for the realisation of any practical need of life, can never by
themselves lead us to intrinsically connected knowledge.

A second and higher form of system is established whenever the bond of
connection between part and part is an identity of function or of law.
All language systems are of this nature, and the more highly synthetic
the language the more intrinsic the connection there is between the
parts of the system. Further, it should be noted that systems of this
character can be used for the attainment of other ends than those of
mere recognition and classification. They, of course, can be used as
instruments of intercourse, of culture, and of commerce. But they may
further be utilised in education in the training of the pupil to
self-apply a system of knowledge to the solution of relatively new
problems, and it is for this reason mainly that the ancient languages
possess their value as educational instruments.

Lastly, systems of knowledge may be formed in which the inter-relation
of part to part within the system is that of identity of cause and
effect. In the establishment of scientific knowledge the aim is to show
the causal inter-relation of part to part within a systematic whole or
unity. Hence also, as in the case of language systems, systems of this
nature are capable of being used to train the pupil to self-apply
knowledge in the solution of practical and theoretical problems, and in
the realising of the practical ends of life. Once again it must be noted
that in the establishment of the various systems of knowledge the one
activity ever present is that of reason seeking ever to connect part to
part in order that some end or interest may be attained. Moreover, we
may misuse the power of reason, and employ it in the attainment of ends
which are valueless in the sense that they further no real interest or
end in life. This is done whenever knowledge is crammed, whenever the
bond of connection between one part of knowledge and the other is
extrinsic, and whenever facts are connected and remembered by bonds of a
more or less accidental or factitious nature. And since such knowledge
can further no direct interest or end in life, its acquisition must, as
a rule, be motived by some strong indirect interest. As a consequence,
whenever the indirect interest, whatever its nature may be,--the fear of
punishment, or the passing of an examination,--ceases to operate, then
the desire for further acquisition also ceases. Hence it follows that
the establishment of any such system is of comparatively little value.
It may pave the way at a later period for the formation of a system of
intrinsically connected knowledge, but as a general rule such systems,
because they cannot be used, tend soon to drop out of mind, and to be of
no further consequence in the determination of conduct. But further,
this misuse of reason, this inciting of the mind to memorise facts
unrelated except by their mere accidental time or space relations, will
if persisted in tend to render the individual dull, stupid, and
unimaginative.

The systems of knowledge, then, of most value are those which establish
intrinsic connections between part and part; for it is only by means of
systems of this character that action can be determined and knowledge
extended. In this sense we may agree with Herbert Spencer[5] that
science or systematised knowledge is of chiefest value both for the
guidance of conduct and for the discipline of mind. At the same time we
must not fall into the Spencerian error of identifying science "with the
study of surrounding phenomena," and in making the antithesis between
science and linguistic studies one between dealing with real things on
the one hand, and mere words on the other.

Further, since the establishment of a system of means is always through
the self-finding and the self-forming of the system, this furnishes the
key to the only sound method of education--viz., that the child must be
trained in the self-discovering and the self-connecting of knowledge.
This does not mean that the method should be heuristic in Rousseau's
sense, that the child should be told nothing, but be left to rediscover
all knowledge for himself. But it does mean that in the imparting of the
garnered experience of the race the child must be trained in the methods
by which the race has slowly and gradually built up a knowledge of the
means necessary for the realisation of the many and complex ends of
civilised life.

Before passing on to consider the ends at which we should aim in the
education of the child, it may be well briefly to summarise the
conclusions reached.


     1. Man is distinguished from the rest of creation by the possession
     of reason: the animal life is mainly or wholly guided by instinct.

     2. Man like the animals possesses instincts or instinctive
     tendencies, but for their realisation he must seek out and
     establish systems of means for their attainment. Bereft of these
     instinctive tendencies of his nature, man would have no incentive
     to acquire experiences for the more efficient guidance of his
     future conduct.

     3. In the course of the development and extension of experience
     there gradually becomes grafted upon these innate instincts,
     interests or ends of an acquired nature, and one of the main
     functions of education is to create, foster, and establish on a
     permanent and stable basis, interests of ethical and social worth.

     4. The power of reason is no occult power: it is simply the
     capacity for finding and establishing systems of means for the
     attainment of ends; or it may be defined as the power of acquiring
     experience and of self-applying this experience in the future
     guidance of conduct.

     5. The evolution of intelligence in man is the evolution of this
     reason-activity to the attainment of new and more complex
     theoretical and practical ends or interests. At an early stage the
     systems of knowledge established are for the attainment of the
     relatively simple needs of life, and are composed of perceptual and
     imagined elements. At a later stage the systems formed may be of
     the most complex nature, and are composed of conceptual elements.

     6. Man is the only being capable of education in the strict usage
     of the term. He alone must acquire the means for the realisation of
     the various desired ends of life.

     7. The process of education is a process which, utilising as
     motives to acquirement the instinctive tendencies of the child's
     nature, seeks to establish systems of means for their realisation,
     and upon these innate or inborn instincts to graft acquired ends or
     interests which shall hereafter function in the attainment of ends
     of economic, ethical, and social worth.

     8. The only truly educative method is the method which trains the
     pupil to find, establish, and apply systems of knowledge in the
     attainment of ends of felt value.


FOOTNOTES:

[3] Hume's _Treatise of Human Nature_, Bk. III. part ii. sec. 2.

[4] _Principles of Heredity_, by G. Archdall Reid, p. 235.

[5] Cf. Herbert Spencer, _Education_, especially chap. i.



CHAPTER III

THE END OF EDUCATION


We have seen that the process of education is the process of acquiring
and organising experiences that will function in the determination of
future conduct and ensure the more efficient performance of future
action; or we may say that the process is one by which means are
gradually established and fixed in the mind for the attainment of ends
of value for the realisation of the varied and complex interests of
life.

Now, this acquisition and organisation of experience is never entirely
"left to the blind control of inherited impulse," nor is the child
wholly left to gather and organise his experiences upon the incentive of
any innate or acquired interest that may for the time engage his will.
The various agencies of society--the home, the school, the shop and
yard--are ever constantly seeking to establish such or such systems of
ideas, and to prevent the formation of other systems. Hence it follows
that education is not a mere natural process--not a process of acquiring
experience in response to the demands of this or that natural need, but
that it is a regulated process, controlled with the view of finally
leading the child to acquire certain experiences, to organise certain
systems of means for the attainment of such or such ends.

Moreover, at various periods in history, the end or ends of education,
the kinds of experience thought necessary and valuable for the child to
acquire have varied, and still vary, and must vary according to the
nature of the civilisation into which the child is born and to which his
education must somehow or other adjust him; _i.e._, there is no one
type of experience, no one kind of education, which is equally suited to
meet the needs of the child born in a modern industrial State and the
child whose education must fit him hereafter to fulfil his duties as a
member of a savage tribe.

Further, in determining the nature of the experiences useful to acquire,
we must take into account not only the civilisation to which the child
is to be adjusted, but we must also take note of the nature of the
services which the given society requires of its adult members. These
services vary in character, and there can be no one kind of education
which equally fits the individual to perform efficiently any and every
service. To postulate this would be to affirm that there is a kind of
experience useful for the realisation indifferently of any and every
purpose of adult life, and to affirm that a system of knowledge acquired
and organised for the attainment of certain definite ends can be used
for the furtherance of ends different in character and having no
intrinsic connection with each other. Further, to assert that there is
one type of education equally suited to train and to develop the
reason-activity of the individual in every direction is to neglect the
fact that individuals differ in innate capacity. These differences are
due in part to differences in the extent and character of the receptive
powers of individuals, and are to be traced, probably, to differences in
the size and constitution of the sensory areas of the brain, and are due
also in part to inborn differences in the capacity for acquiring and
utilising experiences. As a consequence of these differences one
individual will acquire and organise certain kinds of experience more
readily than others.

But not only have the ends sought to be realised through the educational
agencies of society varied in the past--not only do we find that the
ideals at present vary in character according to the stage of
civilisation which the particular country has reached--we also find that
the agencies of society determining the character and end of education
also vary. For in the discussion of the ends sought to be attained by
means of education, we must remember that these are not determined by
the teacher, but by "the adult portion of the Community organised in the
forms of the Family, the State, the Church, and various miscellaneous
associations"[6] desirous of promoting the welfare of the community. At
one time the Church largely determined the character and ends of
education, but the tendency at the present time is for the State to
control more and more the education of the rising generation. In some
countries the entire control of all forms of education, primary,
secondary, and technical, has come under the guidance of the State, and
in our own country elementary education is now largely under the control
of the State authorities, and the other forms of education tend
increasingly to come under this control. Not only is this so, but the
period during which the State exercises its control over the education
of the child is gradually being lengthened.

Many causes are at work tending to produce these results in the first
place, it is being clearly realised that there can be no thorough-going
co-ordination of the various grades of instruction until all the
agencies of education in each area are placed under one authority acting
under the guidance of some central body responsible for the organisation
and direction of the education of the district as a whole. Further,
there can be no satisfactory settlement of the problem as to what
particular function each distinct type of Higher School shall perform
until the whole means of education are under one determining authority.

In the second place, the higher education of the children of the nation
is too important a matter to be left entirely to the care of the private
individual, and its cost is too great in many cases to be wholly borne
by each individual parent. But this provision, organisation, and control
of the means of higher education by the State does not necessarily
imply that it should be free--that the whole burden should be laid on
the shoulders of the general taxpayer. Yet unless means are provided by
which the poor but clever boy can realise himself, then there is so much
loss to the community.

In the third place, the organisation of all forms of education and the
more extended provision of higher and especially of technical training
is necessary, if for no other reason than as a means of economic
protection and economic security.

Lastly, the better organisation of our educational agencies is necessary
as a means of securing a democracy capable of understanding the meaning
of moral and civic freedom and of using this rightly.

But while the concrete nature of the ends to which our educational
efforts are directed may vary in accordance with the needs of a changing
and progressive civilisation, nevertheless the general nature of the
ends sought to be attained by the education of the children of a nation
is permanent and unchangeable. That is, we have to recognise a universal
as well as a particular element in our educational ideals. Now, the
universal aim of all education is, or rather should be, to correlate the
child with the civilisation of his time; to lead him to acquire those
experiences which will in after-life enable him to perform ably and
rightly his duties as a worker, as a citizen, and as a member of an
ethical and spiritual community organised for the securing of the
well-being of the individual. And the higher the civilisation, the more
difficult, the more complex, and the more lengthened must be this
process of acquiring experiences necessary to fit the individual to his
environment. Hence, whatever the particular nature of the environment
may be, the aim of education must be the fitting of the individual to
his natural and social environments. Hence also any organisation of the
means of education must have as its threefold object the securing of the
physical efficiency, of the economic efficiency, and the ethical
efficiency of the rising generation. In short, as Mr. Bagley[7] puts
it, the securing of the social efficiency of the individual must be the
ultimate aim of all education. To be socially efficient implies that as
the result of the process of education certain experiences, and the
power of applying them, have been acquired by each individual, so that
by this means he is enabled to perform some particular social service
for the community of a directly or indirectly economic nature. For if,
as the result of the educative process, we establish systems of means
for the realisation of ends which have no social value, then so far we
have failed to make the individual socially efficient. "The youth we
would train has little time to spare; he owes but the first fifteen or
sixteen years of his life to his tutor, the remainder is due to action.
Let us employ this short time in necessary instruction. Away with your
crabbed, logical subtleties; they are abuses, things by which our lives
can never be made better."[8] In these words Montaigne writes against
the false ideal that the mere accumulation of knowledge apart from any
purpose it may serve in enabling us better to understand either the
world of nature or of history should be the aim of education, and
throughout all education we must ever keep in mind that knowledge
acquired must be capable of being used and applied for the realisation
of some social purpose, otherwise it is so much useless lumber, to the
individual a burden, soon dropped, to society valueless, since it can
maintain and further no real interest of the community.

But to be socially efficient implies not merely that the individual
should be fitted to perform some service economically useful to the
community, it further implies that as the result of the process of
education there should have been acquired certain capacities of action
which restrain him from unduly interfering with the freedom of others.
He must acquire certain experiences which restrain him from hindering
the full and free development of others; he must be trained to use his
freedom rightly, to acquire those capacities for action which fit him to
take his place in the moral cosmos of his time and generation. Further,
as Mr. Bagley also points out, to be socially efficient implies in
addition that the individual should contribute something further to the
advancement of the civilisation into which he is born, and thus pass on
to his successors an increasing heritage.

The threefold aim of all education, then, is to secure the physical, the
economic, and the ethical efficiency of the future members of the
community; and our educational agencies must throughout keep this
threefold aspect in view.

To secure the physical efficiency of the child is necessary, in the
first place, because a strong, healthy, vigorous body is a good in
itself, apart from the fact that without sound health the other ends of
life cannot, or can be only imperfectly realised. It is an erroneous
point of view to maintain that many men have done good intellectual work
in spite of physical ill-health, and even in cases where there was
present some physical defect. The real thing to keep in mind is that
these individuals do not represent the average, and that for the normal
individual weak health or the presence of physical defect lessens his
intellectual and moral vigour. We can, in the light of modern
psychology, no longer regard mind and body as separate entities having a
development independent of each other, but must regard them as
conditioning and conditioned by each other.

In the second place, the care of the physical health of the child is
important, because any impairment or defect in the sense organs--the
avenues of experience--implies a corresponding defect or want in mental
growth, and as a consequence tends to render the individual economically
and socially less efficient in after-life.

In the third place, and this truth is being gradually put into practice
in the education of the weak-minded and of the physically defective,
sound physical health is one of the conditions of right moral activity.
This truth Rousseau emphasised when he declared: "that the weaker the
body, the more it commands; the stronger it is, the better it obeys. All
the sensual passions find lodgment in effeminate bodies, and the less
they are satisfied the more irritable they become. The body must needs
be vigorous to obey the soul: a good servant ought to be robust."

We shall inquire further into this question when we come to treat of the
physical education of the child, but what we wish to point out is that
one aim of all our educational efforts must be to secure the physical
efficiency of the rising generation, on the grounds that sound physical
health is a good in itself; is a means to the securing of the economic
efficiency of the individual and of society; and is a condition of
securing the ethical efficiency of the individual.

In the second place, the securing of the economic efficiency of the
individual must be one of the aims of our educational efforts. This does
not imply that our educational curriculum should be based on purely
utilitarian lines, and that all subjects whose utilitarian value is not
immediately apparent should be banished from the schoolroom. But it does
imply that whether in the education of the professional man or of the
industrial worker all instruction either directly or indirectly must
have as its final result the efficiency of the individual as a worker.
An education which fits the individual to use his leisure rightly may
have as much effect in increasing the productive powers of the
individual as that which looks more narrowly to his technical training.
Further, we must remember that the larger number by far of the children
of the modern State must in after-life become industrial workers, and
that any system of education which neglects this fact, which makes no
provision for the technical training of the children of the working
classes, and has no adequate system of selecting and training those who
by innate capacity are fitted to become the leaders in industry, is a
system not in harmony with the characteristics of modern life, and that
unless this economic efficiency is secured, then the opportunity for the
development of the other ends of life cannot be secured.

Lastly, the securing of the ethical efficiency of the future members of
the State must be one of our ultimate aims. The ethical aim of education
may be said to be the supreme end, in the sense that it is the essential
condition for the security, the stability, and the progress of society;
and also from the fact that the ethical spirit of doing the work for the
sake of the work should permeate all education.

In concluding this chapter what needs to be emphasised is that while the
process of education remains ever the same, ever consists in acquiring
and organising experience, in and through the working of reason incited
to activity by the need of satisfying some natural or acquired interest,
in order that future action may be rendered more efficient, and whilst
the general nature of the ends to be attained may be said to be
permanent and unchangeable, yet the particular and concrete ends at
which we should aim in the education of our children is a practical
question which every nation has, from time to time, to ask and answer
afresh in the light of her national ideals and in view of her national
aspirations. Nay, further, it is a question which with every necessary
change in her internal organisation, and with every fundamental
alteration in her relation to her external neighbours, has to be asked
and answered anew by each and every State desirous of retaining her
place amongst the nations of the world and of securing the welfare and
happiness of her individual members. It is mainly because we as a nation
have not realised this truth that our educational organisation has,
neither in the explicitness and clearness of its aims, nor in the
distinction, gradation, and co-ordination of its means, attained the
same thoroughness and self-consistency as that possessed by the
educational systems of some of our Continental neighbours.

FOOTNOTES:

[6] Cf. Professor Findlay, _Journal of Education_ (Sept. 1899), also
"_Principles of Class Teaching_," p. 2.

[7] Cf. _The Educative Process_, chap. iii., esp. pp. 59, 60
(Macmillan).

[8] Montaigne, _The Education of Children_, L. E. Rector, Ph.D.
(_International Education Series_), Appleton, New York.



CHAPTER IV

THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE PROVISION OF EDUCATION


The end of education is, as we have seen, the securing of the future
social efficiency of the rising generation, and the method in every case
is through the evoking of the reason-activity of the individual to
organise and establish in the minds of the young and immature, systems
of ideas which will hereafter function as means in the attainment of
ends of definite social worth.

The question now arises as to whether the provision and organisation of
the agencies of education may be safely left to the care and
self-interest of the individual parent, or whether on principle such
provision is a duty which devolves upon the State.

The principle of the State provision of the means of elementary
education has now practically been admitted, and whether wisely or
unwisely, the larger part by far of the cost of this provision now falls
upon the shoulders of the general and local taxpayer. _E.g._, in England
in 1902 there were six hundred and thirty-three thousand fee-paying
children in the Public Elementary Schools, and over five millions
receiving their education free.[9] Further, by the Education Act
(England) of 1902 and by the Education and Local Taxation Account
(Scotland) Act of the same year the principle of the State aid for the
provision of the means of secondary and technical education may be said
also practically to have been recognised. By the former Act certain
Imperial funds derived from the income on Probate and Licence duties
were handed over to the Councils of counties and boroughs for
expenditure on the provision of the means of education other than
elementary, and at the same time these bodies were empowered, if they
thought it necessary, to impose a limited rate for the same purpose. In
Scotland at the same time a certain part of Scotland's share of the
"whisky" money was set aside for the provision of secondary education in
urban and rural districts, and Secondary Education Committees were
appointed in the counties and principal boroughs charged with the
allocation of the funds towards the aid and increase of the provision of
higher education in their respective districts.

But while this has been done, the question as to whether and to what
extent the State should undertake the provision of the means of higher
education is still one on which there is no general agreement. If it is
the duty of the State to see that the provision of the means of
education, elementary, secondary, technical, and university, is adequate
to the attainment of the end of securing the future social efficiency of
all the members of the community, then it must be admitted that the
means at present provided for this purpose are totally inadequate, and
that the method followed in furnishing this provision is not of a kind
to ensure that the funds granted are spent in the manner best calculated
to extend the agencies and to increase the efficiency of the higher
education of the children of the nation. This latter objection applies
more especially in the case of Scotland. In that country certain
nominated bodies who are responsible only to themselves and to the
Scotch Education Department are entrusted with the expenditure of the
monies received for the extension of the means of higher education, and
since these bodies stand in no intimate connection with the
representative bodies entrusted with the control of elementary
education, no efficient co-ordination of the two grades of education is
possible. Further, in some cases sectional interests rather than the
educational interests of the district as a whole are the main motives at
work in determining the distribution of the funds amongst the various
bodies claiming to participate in its benefits. The uncertainty of the
amount of income available for this purpose, and the limitation in
England of the power of rating, might also be urged in objection to this
peculiarly English method of providing the means for the higher
education of the youth of the country.

Similar reasons to those urged prior to 1870 in favour of the State
provision of elementary education may be urged in favour of the
extension of the principle to higher education. These reasons are
nowhere more clearly stated than in the writings of John Stuart Mill.

In discussing the functions of government, Mill lays down that education
is one of those things which it is admissible on principle that a
Government should provide for the people, and although in adducing the
reasons for the State undertaking this duty he is concerned mainly with
the provision of the means of elementary education, yet looking to the
altered social conditions of our own time, and taking into account the
difference in the economic relations which exist now between Great
Britain and her Continental rivals, the arguments advanced by Mill are
no less applicable now to the extension of the principle of State
provision. Let us consider these arguments.

In the first place, Mill declares that there are "certain primary
elements and means of knowledge that all human beings born into the
community must acquire during childhood." If their parents have the
power of obtaining for them this instruction and fail to do so, they
commit a double breach of duty. The child grows up an imperfect being,
socially inefficient, and members of the community are liable to suffer
seriously from the consequences of this ignorance and want of education
in their fellow-citizens.

In the second place, Mill urges that unlike that the giving of other
forms of help, the provision of education is not one of the things in
which the tender of help perpetuates the state of things which renders
help necessary. Instruction strengthens and enlarges the active
faculties; its effect is favourable to the growth of the spirit of
independence--it is help towards doing without help.

In the third place, he declares that the question of the provision of
elementary education is not one between its provision by the Government
on the one hand, and its provision through voluntary agencies on the
other. The full cost of the education of the children of the lower
working classes in Great Britain as in other countries has never been
wholly paid for out of the wages of the labourer, and hence the question
lies between the State provision of education and its provision by
certain charitable agencies. As a rule, when provided by the latter, it
is both inefficient in quantity and poor in quality.

Lastly, Mill lays down that in the matter of education the intervention
of Government is necessary, because neither the interest nor the
judgment of the consumer is a sufficient security for the goodness of
the commodity.

But at the same time he strenuously insists that there should be no
monopoly of education by the State. It is not desirable, he declares,
that a government should have complete control over the education of the
people. To possess such a control and actually to exert it would be
despotic. The State may, however, require that all its people shall have
received a certain measure of education, but it may not prescribe from
whom or where they may obtain it.

At the present day, and under the changed economic conditions which now
prevail, it can no longer be asserted that the imparting of the mere
elements of knowledge is adequate either to secure the future social
efficiency of the children of the lower classes of society or that such
a modicum of instruction as is provided by our Elementary Schools is
sufficient to protect the community from the ignorance of its ill
educated and badly trained members. The "hooliganism" of many of our
large cities is due to our system of half educating, half training the
children of the slums, of laying too much stress on the acquisition of
certain mechanical arts in our Primary Schools and in conceiving them as
ends in themselves. Further, our system of primary education fails on
its moral side, and this in two ways. It seems unaware of the fact that
all moral education is an endeavour to implant in the minds of the young
desires that shall impel them hereafter to good rather than to evil, and
that this end can only be attained in so far as the natural instinctive
tendencies of the child's nature which make for good are cultivated and
trained, and in so far as those other instinctive tendencies which make
for social destruction are inhibited by having their character altered
so as to be directed into channels which make for the social welfare. In
the second place, we leave off the education of the children at too
early an age. We hand over the children of the poorer classes during the
most critical period of their lives to the influences of the streets and
of the bad home, counteracted only by the efforts of the slum visitor or
the missionary. After furnishing them with the mere instruments of
knowledge, we entrust either to them or their parents the liberty of
using, misusing, or non-using the instruments provided. Moreover, we do
nothing of a systematic nature to instil into the youth of our poorer
citizens the fact that they are members of a corporate community and
future citizens of a State, and that hereafter they have duties towards
that State the performance of which is the only rational ground of their
possession of rights as against the State. _E.g._, in many of our slums
we have the best examples of individualism run mad, of the conception
that the individual is a law unto his private self, and that all
government is something alien, something forced upon the individual from
the outside and impinging upon his private will, instead of law being
what it really is, an expression of the social conditions under which
the welfare of the individual and of society may be attained.

Further, it must be maintained that our present policy in education is
economically wasteful. To spend, as we do yearly, larger and larger sums
of money on the elementary education of our children, and then, in a
large number of cases, to fail to reach the ends of securing either the
social efficiency of the individual or the protection of society against
the ignorance of its members, is surely, to say the least, unwise.
Again, if we really set before us this aim of the social efficiency of
the future individual, we must do something to carry on the education of
the children of the poorer classes after the Elementary School stage has
been passed.

One of the strongest points in the German system of education, as
compared and contrasted with our own, is the care which is taken of the
higher education of the children of the working classes during the
period when it is most important that some control should be exercised
over the youth of the country, throughout the time when the boy is most
open to temptation, and when the moral forces of society are potent for
good and evil in shaping and forming his character. The great majority
of the children in a modern State are and must be destined for
industrial service; the great majority of the children of the working
classes must, at or about the age of fourteen, leave the Primary School
and enter upon the learning of some trade. But manifestly at this early
stage the larger number are not fitted to guide and control their own
lives; and if moral education aims, as it ought to aim, at fitting the
individual for freedom, at fitting him to guide and direct his own life
in the light of a self-accepted and a self-directed ideal, then some
measure of control, of guidance, and of regulation is necessary in the
years when the child is passing from youth to manhood. Now, it is this
fact, this truth, which the Germans as a nation have realised. They
declare that it is neither wise nor prudent nor for the ultimate benefit
of the State to leave the vast majority of the youth without guidance,
and sometimes even without proper moral control exercised over them
during the great formative period of their lives. Nay, further, they
believe that a State which neglects its duty here is not doing what it
ought to do for the future moral good, for the future economic welfare,
and for the future happiness of its individual members. Hence, in
several of the German States, the State control over the child does not
cease when at fourteen years of age he leaves the Elementary School, but
is continued until the age of seventeen; and this is effected by the
establishment of compulsory Evening Schools. In particular, by a law
which came into force in Berlin on the 1st April 1905, every boy and
girl in that city, with certain definitely specified exceptions, must
attend at an Evening Continuation School for a minimum of not less than
four hours and a maximum of not more than six hours per week. Moreover,
this enactment has been rendered necessary not to level up the majority,
but to level up the minority. This development is a development for
which the voluntary Evening Continuation School prepared the way; and
compulsory attendance has become possible on account of the willingness
of the German youth to learn, and of his desire to make himself
proficient in his particular trade or profession. Further, the school
authorities, in this matter of compulsory attendance at an Evening
Continuation School, have with them the hearty co-operation of the great
body of employers; and the burden of seeing that the pupil attends
regularly is not put upon the parent but upon the employer. By these
means, and by other agencies of a voluntary character, every care is
taken that the Berlin youth shall have the opportunity of finding that
employment for which by nature he is best suited, and that thereafter he
shall learn thoroughly the particular trade or calling he may enter
upon.

Contrast what we do, or rather what we do not do, in this matter of
providing higher education for the sons and daughters of the working
classes. In our large towns the great majority of our boys and girls
leave the Elementary School at or before the age of fourteen. In many
cases the instruction given during this period soon passes away, and
leaves little permanent result behind. Evening Continuation Schools are
indeed provided, but only a small proportion of our youth takes
advantage of this means of further instruction. The larger number of the
children of the lower working classes drift, for a year or two, into
various forms of unskilled employment, chosen in most cases because the
immediate pecuniary reward is here greater than in the case of learning
a trade; and after spending two or three years in employments which do
nothing to educate them, some drift, by accident, into this or that
particular trade, while the others remain behind to swell the number of
the unskilled. During this period nothing of an organised nature is done
to secure the physical efficiency of the youth of our working classes;
nothing or almost nothing is done to secure his future industrial
efficiency; and, as a consequence, year after year, as a nation, we go
on fostering an army of loafers, increasing the ranks of the unskilled
workers, and even in our skilled trades adding to the number of those
who are mere process workers, at the expense of producing workers
acquainted both theoretically and practically with every department of
their particular calling. No wonder that the delegates of the
brass-workers[10] of Birmingham, contrasting what they have seen in
Berlin with what they daily see in their own trade at home and in their
own city, bitterly declare that the Berlin youth has from infancy been
under better care and training at home, at school, at the works, and in
the Army; and consequently, as a man, he is more fitted to be entrusted
with the liberty which the Birmingham youth has perhaps from childhood
only abused.

Space does not permit me to go at fuller length into this question, but
before leaving the particular problem let me put the issue plainly,
because it is an issue which we as a nation must soon clearly realise,
and must answer in either one or other of two ways. We may go on as at
present, insisting that a certain amount of elementary education is
compulsory for all, and leaving it a matter for the individual parent
and the individual youth to take advantage of the means of higher
education provided voluntarily, and as a rule without any great direct
cost to them. In this way, trusting to the voluntary agencies at work in
society, we may hope that either through enlightened self-interest, or
through a higher conception of the duty of the individual to the State,
or through a loftier moral ideal becoming prevalent and actual in
society, an increasing number of parents will see that the means
provided for the higher education of their children are duly taken
advantage of, and that the majority of the youth will make it their aim
to use these means to secure their physical and industrial efficiency.
If we adopt this course, then it must be the duty of the school
authorities of the various districts to see that Evening Schools of
various types suited to the needs of the various classes of students are
duly provided, and that no insurmountable obstacles are placed in the
way of those desirous and anxious to take advantage of the means of
higher education. Further, it must become the duty of the employers of
the country to see that the youth are encouraged in every way to take
advantage of instruction designed with the above-named end in view, and
moreover the general public must do all in their power to co-operate
with and to aid the endeavours of school authorities and employers of
labour. In this way, as has been the case in Berlin, the voluntary
system of Evening Continuation and Trade Schools may gradually and in
time pave the way for the compulsory Evening School. Without doubt this
were the better way, if it could be effected and that quickly.

But if in this matter we have delayed too long--if we have allowed our
educational policy in the past to be guided by a one-sided and narrow
individualism--if for too lengthened a period we have permitted our
political action to be determined by the false ideal that, in the
matter of providing for and furthering his education as a citizen and as
an industrial worker, liberty for each individual consists in allowing
him to choose for himself, regardless of whether or not that choice is
for his own and the State's ultimate good, then it may be necessary in
the immediate future to take steps to remove or remedy this defect in
our present educational organisation. For it is necessary--essentially
necessary--on various grounds that the education of the boys and girls
of our working classes should not cease absolutely at the Elementary
School stage,[11] but that, with certain definite and well-considered
exceptions, all should continue for several years thereafter to fit
themselves for industrial and social service. If this result can be
effected by moral means, good and well; if not, legal compulsion must,
sooner or later, be resorted to. For it is, as it has always been, a
fundamental maxim of political action that the State should and must
compel her members to utilise the means by which they may be raised to
freedom.


The second line of argument which Mill follows in his advocacy of the
State provision of education is that instruction is one of the cases in
which the aid given does not foster and re-create the evil which it
seeks to remedy. Education which is really such does not tend to
enervate but to strengthen the individual. Its effect is favourable to
the growth of independence. "It is a help towards doing without help."

On similar grounds, we may urge that it is the duty of the State to see
that the means for the higher education of the youth of the country are
adequate in quantity and efficient in quality. The better technical
training of our workmen is necessary if we are to secure their economic
self-sufficiency and fit them to become socially useful as members of a
community. One aim therefore underlying any future organisation of
education must be to secure the industrial efficiency of the worker and
to ensure that the results of science shall be utilised in the
furtherance of the arts and industries of life. This can only be
effected by the better scientific training, by the more intensive and
the more thorough education of those children of the nation who by
natural ability and industry are fitted in after-life to guide and
control the industries of the country.

Mr. Haldane,[12] during the past few years, in season and out of season,
has called the attention of the public of Great Britain to the fact that
in the organisation and equipment of their system of technical education
Germany is much in advance of this country, and that the German people
have thoroughly and practically realised that, if they are to compete
successfully with other nations, then one of the aims of their
educational system must be to teach the youth how to apply knowledge in
the furtherance and advancement of the economic interests of life. With
this end in view we have the establishment throughout the German States
of numerous schools and colleges having as their chief aim the
application of knowledge to the arts and industries. In our own country
this branch--this very important branch--of education has been left, for
the most part, to the care of private individuals, and although the
State has done something in recent years to encourage and develop this
side of education, yet much more requires to be done; and, above all, it
is desirable that whatever is done in the future should be done in a
regular, systematic, and organised manner and with definite aims in
view.

But it is not merely in the higher reaches of German education that the
industrial aim is kept in view. It pervades and permeates the whole
system from the lowest to the highest stages. Even in the Primary School
the requirements of practical life are not left out of sight. In school,
said a former Prussian Director of Education, "children are to learn how
to perform duties, they are to be habituated to work, to gain pleasure
in work, and thus become efficient for future industrial pursuits. This
has been the aim from the earliest times of Prussian education; and to
this day it is plainly understood by all State and local administrative
officers, as well as by all teachers and the majority of the parents,
that the people's school has more to do than merely teach the vehicles
of culture--reading, writing, and arithmetic"--that the chief aim is
rather "the preparation of citizens who can and will cheerfully serve
their God and their native country as well as themselves."

In the third place, the question of the provision of the means of higher
education is not one between its provision on the one hand by means of
the Government, and on the other by means of purely voluntary agencies.
Higher education, _e.g._, in Scotland has rarely been provided and paid
for at its full cost by the individual parent or by associations of
individual parents, but has been maintained, in some cases in a high
degree of efficiency, by endowments left for this purpose. These
endowments are now in many cases insufficient to meet the demand made
for education, and the stream of private benevolence in providing the
means of education has either ceased to flow or flows in an irregular
and uncertain fashion. Further, the incomes of even the moderately
well-to-do of our middle classes are not sufficient to bear the whole
cost of the more expensive education required to fit their sons and
daughters for the after-service of the community. Hence, just as in
Mill's time the question of the provision of elementary education lay
between the State provision and the provision by means of charitable
agencies, so to-day the problem of the provision of secondary and
technical education is between its adequate provision and organisation
by the State, and its inadequate, uncertain provision by means of the
endowments of the past and by the charitable agencies of the present.
Manifestly, in the light of modern conditions, with the economic
competition between nation and nation becoming keener and keener, and
knowing full well that the future belongs to the nation with the best
equipped and the best trained army of industrial workers, we can no
longer rest content with any haphazard method of providing the means of
higher education: whatever the cost may be, we must realise that the
time has come to put our educational house in order and to establish and
organise our system of higher education so that it will subserve each
and every interest of the State. This can only be effected in so far as
the nation as a whole realises the need for the better education of the
children, and takes steps to secure that this shall be provided, and
that there shall be afforded to each the opportunity of fitting himself
by education to put his talents to the best use both for his own
individual good and the good of the community. Lastly, as Mill urges,
the self-interest of the individual is neither sufficient to ensure that
the education will be provided, nor in many cases is his judgment
sufficient to ensure the goodness of the education provided by voluntary
means.

But, in addition to the reasons urged by Mill for the State provision
and control of the means of elementary education, and these reasons are,
as we have seen, as urgent and as cogent to-day for the extension of the
principle to the provision of the means of secondary and technical
education, still further reasons may be advanced.

In the first place, there can be no co-ordination of the different
stages of education until all the agencies of instruction in each area
or district are placed under one central control. Until this is effected
we must have at times overlapping of the agencies of instruction. In
some cases there may also be waste of the means of education. In every
case there will be a general want of balance between the various parts
of the system.

In the second place, one object of any organisation of the means of
education should be the selection of the best ability from amongst the
children of our Elementary Schools and the further education of this
ability at some one or other type of Intermediate or Secondary School.
In order that this may be economically and efficiently effected, the
instruction of the Elementary School should enable the pupil at a
certain age to fit himself into the work of the High School, and our
High Schools' system should be so differentiated in type as to furnish
not one type of such education but several in accordance with the main
classes of service required by the community of its adult members.
Manifestly such a co-ordination of the means and such a grading of the
agencies of education, if not impossible on the voluntary principle, is
at least difficult of complete realisation.

Hence, on the ground that the higher education of the young is necessary
for the securing of their after social efficiency, on the ground that it
is necessary for the economic and social security of the community, on
the ground that aid in higher education is a help towards doing without
help and that its provision in many cases cannot be fully met by the
voluntary contribution of the individual, we may urge the need for the
State's undertaking its adequate and efficient provision.

Further, we must remember that the State must take a "longer" view of
the problem of education than is possible for the individual. At best
the latter looks but one generation ahead. He is content to secure the
education and the future welfare of his children. In the life of the
State this is not sufficient. She must look to the needs of the remote
future as well as of the immediate present, and hence her educational
outlook must be wider and go farther than that of any mere private
individual. Lastly, if we understand the true nature and function of the
State, we need have no fear that the State should control the education
of all the people. What we have to fear on the one side is the
bureaucratic control of education, and on the other its control and
direction by one class in the interests of itself. The State exists
for--the reason of its very being is to secure--the welfare of the
individual, and the State approaches its perfection when its
organisation is fitted to secure and ensure the widest scope for the
full and free development of each individual.

The evil of bureaucracy can be removed only by our representative bodies
becoming more effective voices of the social and moral will of the
community, just as the evil of class control can only be effectually
abolished by the rise and spread of the true democratic spirit, ever
seeking that the agencies of the State shall be directed towards the
removing of the obstacles which hinder the full realisation of the life
of each of its members.

FOOTNOTES:

[9] Cf. Graham Balfour, _Educational System of Great Britain_, p. 27,
2nd ed.

[10] _Brass-workers of Berlin and Birmingham_ (King).

[11] "It must not be forgotten that the instruction of the common
schools (_Volksschule_), closing with the pupil's fourteenth year, ends
too soon, that the period most susceptible to aid, most in need of
education, the years from fifteen to twenty ... are now not only allowed
to lie perfectly fallow, but to lose and waste what has been so
laboriously acquired during the preceding period at school." In the
rural parts of Northern Germany efforts are being made to remedy this
evil by the institution of schools providing half-year winter courses.
Cf. Professor Paulsen's _The German Universities and University Study_,
p. 117 (English translation).

[12] Cf. _Education and Empire_.



CHAPTER V

THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE COST OF EDUCATION


But while we may hold that it is the duty of the State to see that the
means for the education of the children of the nation is both adequate
in extent and efficient in quality, and so organised that it affords
opportunities for each to secure the education which is needed to equip
him for his after-work in life, it by no means follows as a logical
consequence that the whole cost of this provision should be borne by the
community in its corporate capacity and that the individual parent
should, if he so chooses, be relieved from any direct payment for the
education of his children. To assert this would be implicitly to affirm
that the education of a man's children is no part of his duty--that it
is an obligation which does not fall upon him as an individual, but only
as a member of a community, and that so long as he pays willingly the
proportion of the cost of education assigned to him by taxes and rates,
he has fulfilled his obligation. Education, on such a view, becomes a
matter of national concern in which as a private individual the parent
has no direct interest. This position carried out to its logical
conclusion would imply that the child and his future belong wholly to
the State, and it would also involve the establishment of a communal
system of education such as is set forth in the _Republic_ of Plato.
Further, such a position logically leads to the contention that the
other necessities of life requisite for securing the social efficiency
of the future members of the State should also be provided by the State
in its corporate capacity acting as the guardian of the young, and from
this we are but a short way from the position that it belongs to the
community to superintend the propagation of the species, and to regulate
the marriages of its individual members. This is State socialism in its
most extreme form, and is contrary to the spirit of a true liberalism, a
true democracy, and a true Christianity.

The opposing position--the position of liberalism untainted by
socialism--is that it is the duty of the State to see that as far as
possible the social inequalities which arise through the individualistic
organisation of society are removed or remedied, and that equality of
opportunity is secured to each to make the best of his own individual
life. In the educational sphere this implies that any obstacles in the
way of a man's educating his children should be removed, if and in so
far as these obstacles are irremovable by any private effort of his own,
and that the opportunity of obtaining the best possible education should
be open to the children of the poor if they are fitted by nature to
profit by such an education. It further implies that the means of higher
education, provided at the public expense, should not be wasted on the
children of any class if by nature they are unfitted to benefit by the
means placed at their disposal; _i.e._, a national system of education
must be democratic in the sense that the means of higher education shall
be open to all, rich and poor, in order that each individual may be
enabled to fit himself for the particular service for which by nature he
is best suited. It must see, further, that any obstacles which prevent
the full use of these means by particular individuals are, as far as may
be possible, removed. A national system of education, on the other hand,
must be aristocratic in the sense that it is selective of the best
ability. Lastly, it must be restrictive, in order that the means of
higher education may be utilised to the best advantage, and not misused
on those who are unfitted to benefit therefrom.

Closely connected with the position that it is the duty of the State to
see not merely to the adequate and efficient provision of the means of
education, but also that the whole cost of the provision should be borne
by the State, is the contention that because the State imposes a legal
obligation upon the individual parent to provide a certain measure of
education for his children, it is also a logical conclusion from this
step that education should be free. "The object of public education is
the protection of society, and society must pay for its protection,
whether it takes the form of a policeman or a pedagogue."[13]

But the provision of the means of elementary education, and the imposing
of a legal obligation upon each individual parent to utilise the means
provided, is not merely or solely for the protection of society.
Education confers not only a social benefit upon the community, but a
particular benefit upon the individual. Its provision falls not within
the merely negative benefits conferred by the State by its protection of
the majority against the ignorance and wickedness of the minority, but
it belongs to the positive benefits conferred by Government upon its
individual members. The State in part undertakes the provision of the
means of education, as Mill pointed out, in order to protect the
majority against the evil consequences likely to result from the
ignorance and want of education of the minority. As this provision
confers a common benefit on all, so far, but only in so far, as
education is protective, can its cost be laid upon the shoulders of the
general taxpayer.

But the provision by the State of the means of education is not merely
undertaken for the protection of any given society against the ignorance
and the lawlessness of its own individual members, it is also undertaken
in order to secure the increased efficiency of the nation as an economic
and military unit in antagonism, more or less, with similar units. At
the present day this is one main motive at work in the demand made for
the better and more intensive training of the industrial classes. To
secure the industrial and military efficiency of the nation is
explicitly set forth as the main aim of the German organisation of the
means of education. We may deplore this tendency of our times. We may
condemn the rise of the intensely national spirit of the modern world,
and regret that the ideal of universal peace and universal harmony
between the nations of the earth seems to fade for ever and for ever as
we move. But we have to look the facts in the face, and to realise that
the educational system of a nation must endeavour to secure the
industrial and military efficiency of its future members as a means of
security and protection against other competing nations and as one of
the essential conditions for the self-preservation of the particular
State in that war of nation against nation which Hobbes so eloquently
describes: "For the nature of war, consists not in actual fighting; but
in the known disposition thereto, during all the time there is no
assurance to the contrary."[14]

In so far, then, as the provision of education by the State is
undertaken with this end in view, it may be maintained that part, at
least, of the cost of its provision should be borne by the general
taxpayer in return for the greater national and economic security which
he enjoys through the greater efficiency of the nation as an economic
and military unit.

But the spread and the higher efficiency of education confers in
addition both a local and an individual benefit. It confers a local
benefit, in so far as by its means advantages accrue to any particular
district. It confers an individual benefit, in so far as through the
means of education placed at his disposal the individual is enabled to
attain to a higher degree of social efficiency than would otherwise have
been possible.

Further, if we look at this question not from the point of view of
benefit received, but from that of the obligation imposed, we reach a
similar result. It is an obligation upon the State to see that the
means of education and their due co-ordination and organisation are of
such a nature both in extent and in quality as to furnish a complete
system of means for the training up of the youth of the country to
perform efficiently all the services required by such a complex
community as the modern State. This duty devolves upon the State chiefly
for the reason set forth by Adam Smith in his discussion of the
functions of government. It is the duty of the sovereign, he declares,
to erect and maintain certain "public institutions which it can never be
for the interest of any individual to erect and maintain, because the
profit could never repay the expense to the individual, or small number
of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a
great society."[15]

It becomes further an obligation placed upon the local authority to aid
the central authority of the State in the establishment and distribution
of the means of education. The local authority by its more intimate
knowledge of local circumstances is the most competent to judge of the
nature of the education suited to serve its own particular needs, and is
best qualified to undertake the distribution of the means.

But the obligation to take advantage of the means for the future benefit
of his children is a moral obligation placed upon the shoulders of the
individual parent. It becomes a legal obligation only when, and in so
far as, the moral obligation is not realised by a certain number of the
community. Certainly one reason for the making of the education of a
man's children a legal obligation is the protection of society against
the ignorance and wickedness of the minority, but the other and
principal aim is to endeavour to secure that what at first was imposed
as a merely external or legal obligation may pass into a moral and
inherent obligation, so that the individual from being governed by
outward restraint may in time be governed by an inward and self-imposed
ideal.

It is no doubt difficult in any particular case to determine exactly
what precise part of the cost should be allocated to each of the three
benefiting parties, but in any national organisation of the means of
education this threefold distribution of cost should somehow or other be
undertaken.

From this it follows, that while it may legitimately be laid down that
upon the State must fall the obligation of securing the adequate
provision and the due distribution of the means of education, yet the
further duty of the State in this respect is limited to the removing of
obstacles which stand in the way of the fulfilment of the parent's
obligation to educate his children, and to the securing to each child
equality of opportunity to obtain an education in kind and quality which
will serve to fit him hereafter to perform his special duty to society.

Although since 1891 elementary education has been practically free in
this country and the whole cost of its provision is now undertaken at
the public expense, yet except from the socialistic position that the
provision of education is a communal and not a personal and moral
obligation, this public provision of the funds for elementary education
can be upheld from the individualistic point of view only on two
grounds. In the first place, it might be maintained that the protective
benefit derived from the imparting of the elements of education is so
great to all that its cost may legitimately be laid upon the community
in its corporate capacity. It is on this ground of education being
beneficial to the whole society that Adam Smith declares that the
expense of the institutions for education may, without injustice, be
defrayed by the general contributions of the whole society. But at the
same time Adam Smith recognises that education provides an immediate and
personal benefit, and that the expense might with equal propriety be
laid upon the shoulders of those benefited.

In the second place, it may be maintained that the imposition of school
fees created such a hindrance in a large number of cases to the
fulfilment of the moral obligation that it was expedient on the part of
the State to remove this obstacle by freeing education as a whole. In
support of this, it might be further urged that the difficulty of
discriminating between the marginal cases in which the imposition of
school fees really proved a hindrance and those in which it did not is
great, and that the partial relief of payment of school fees laid the
stigma of pauperism upon many who from unpreventable causes were unable
to meet the direct cost of the education of their children.

But, except on the grounds that either the protective benefit to society
is so great and so important, or that the charging of any part of the
cost directly to the parent imposes a hindrance in a large number of
cases, there is no justification for the contention that because the
State compels the individual to educate his children, therefore the
State should fully provide the means.

If this be so, then the further contention that the means of education
from the elementary to the university stage should be provided at the
public expense, and that no part of the cost should be laid directly
upon the individual parent's shoulders, must also be judged to be
erroneous.

The first duty of the State, in the matter of the provision of higher
education, is limited to seeing that the provision of the means of
higher education is adequate to the demand made for it; further, it may
endeavour to encourage and to stimulate this demand in various ways. The
means being provided, the second duty of the State is to endeavour to
secure that any hindrance which might reasonably prevent the use of
these means by those fitted to benefit therefrom should be removed. But
the only justification for the interference of the State is that the
compulsion exacted in the matter of taxes or otherwise is of small
moment compared with the capacity for freedom and intellectual
development set free in the individuals benefited. In other words, the
cost involved by the removal of the hindrance must be reckoned as small
compared with the ultimate good to the community as manifested in the
higher development--in the higher welfare of its individual members.

But the practical realisation of the ideal need not involve that
education should be free from the lowest to the topmost rung of the
so-called educational ladder. It is indeed questionable whether the
ladder simile has not been a potent instrument in giving a wrong
direction to our ideals of the essential nature of what an educational
organisation should aim at. Education should indeed provide a system of
advancing means, but the system of means may lead to many and various
aims instead of one. However that may be, what we wish to insist upon is
that the State's duty in this matter can be fulfilled not by freeing
education as a whole, but by establishing a system of bursaries or
allowances, enabling each individual who otherwise would be hindered
from using the means to take advantage of the higher education provided.

In the awarding of aid of this nature, the two tests of ability to
profit from the education and of need of material means must both be
employed. If the former test only is applied, then the result is that in
many cases the advantage is secured by those best able to pay for higher
education. If the objection be made that the granting of aid on mere
need shown is to place the stigma of pauperism upon the recipient, then
the only answer is that in so thinking the individual misconceives the
real nature of the aid, fails to understand that it is help towards
doing without help--aid to enable the individual to reach a higher and
fuller development of his powers, both for his own future welfare and
for the betterment of society.

FOOTNOTES:

[13] _National Education and National Life_, ibid. p. 101.

[14] Hobbes, _Leviathan_, p. 1. chap. xiii.

[15] Adam Smith, _Wealth of Nations_, ed. J. Shield Nicholson (Nelsons).



CHAPTER VI

THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND
INSPECTION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN


In considering the question of the relation of the State to education,
we have adopted the position that it is the duty of the State to see to
the adequate provision of the means of education, to their due
distribution and to their proper organisation. At the same time we found
that the obligation of the State in this respect did not necessarily
involve that the whole cost of this provision should be borne at the
public expense, and that no part of the burden should be placed on the
shoulders of the individual parents. As regards the provision of
elementary education, we indeed found that the whole burden might be
legitimately laid upon the general taxpayer, upon the grounds either
that the protective benefit of elementary education to the community was
great, or that the hindrance opposed by the imposition of school fees to
the fulfilment of a man's moral obligation to provide for the education
of his children was so general that a case might be made out for freeing
elementary education as a whole. But except from the position that the
provision of education was a communal and not a personal obligation, we
found no grounds for the contention that education throughout its
various stages should be a charge upon the community as a whole.

But the provision of the means of education may involve much more than
the mere provision of adequately equipped school buildings and of fully
trained teachers, and we have now to inquire what other provision is
necessary in order to secure the after social efficiency of the children
of the nation, and what part of this provision rightly may be included
within the scope of the duties of the State.

Is the medical inspection of children attending Public Elementary
Schools one of these duties, and, if so, what action on the part of the
State does this involve?

The importance of the thorough and systematic medical examination of
children attending school as a necessary measure to secure their after
physical and economic efficiency as well as for their intellectual
development and welfare during the school period has been recognised by
many Continental countries. To take but one or two illustrative
examples, we may note that in Brussels every place of public instruction
is visited at least once in every ten weeks by one of the sixteen
doctors appointed for this purpose. The school doctor amongst other
duties has to report on the state of the various classrooms, their
heating, lighting and ventilation, and also upon the condition in which
he has found the playgrounds, lavatories and cloakrooms attached to the
school. Cases of illness involving temporary absence from school are
reported to him as well as the cases involving prolonged absence from
school.

Children are medically examined upon admission to school, and a record
is made of their age, height, weight, chest measurement, etc. "Any
natural or accidental infirmity is chronicled, state of eyes and teeth,
dental operations performed at school, etc. This examination is repeated
annually, so as to keep a record of each child's physical development."
Great attention, moreover, is paid to the cleanliness of the children
attending school, and the children are examined daily by the teacher
upon their entrance to school.[16]

In most of the large towns of Germany a system of periodical medical
examination and inspection of children attending school has also been
established. _E.g._, in 1901 Berlin appointed ten doctors for this
purpose, with the following amongst other duties:--


     1. To examine children on their first admission as to their fitness
     to attend school.

     2. To examine children with the co-operation of a specialist for
     the presence of defect in the particular sense organs (sight,
     hearing).

     3. To examine children who are supposed to be defective and who may
     require special treatment.

     4. To examine periodically the school buildings and arrangements
     and to report on any hygienic defects.[17]


In England, although there is no specific provision for the incurring of
the expense of conducting the medical inspection of children attending
the Public Elementary Schools, it is generally held that the expense may
be legitimately included in the general powers assigned to educational
authorities under the Act of 1870; and, especially since 1892, in
several areas, a definite system of medical inspection has been
established, and in many others there is a likelihood that some system
of medical inspection will be organised in the immediate future.
According to the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the
Medical Inspection and Feeding of School Children, published in November
1905, out of 328 local education authorities, 48 had established a more
or less definitely organised system of medical examination, whilst in
eighteen other districts teachers and sanitary officers had undertaken
organised work for the amelioration of the physical condition of
children attending Public Elementary Schools. As a rule, this inspection
is limited "to the examination of the children and to the discovering of
defects of eyesight, hearing, or physical development." When the
existence of the defect is discovered, the parent is notified, but as a
general rule the public authority does not include within its duties the
treatment of the ailments and defects or the provision of remedial
instruments when required.

Further, in no case has there been carried out a thorough anthropometric
record, such as that in vogue in the schools of Brussels, of the
condition of the physical nature of the child upon admission to school
and his subsequent physical development.

In Scotland we find no general or adequate system of medical inspection
carried out by the local school authorities. The Report of the Royal
Commission on Physical Training (Scotland), issued in March 1903,
declares, however, that such a system is urgently needed, mainly for
remedial purposes. By this means defects in the organs of sight or
hearing, in mental development, in physical weakness, or in state of
nutrition, such as demand special treatment in connection with school
work, might be detected, and by simple means removed or mitigated. But
although in the Education (Scotland) Bill of 1905 provision was made for
the institution of medical inspection at the public expense, yet through
the failure of the Bill to pass nothing of a systematic nature has been
done to organise the medical inspection of Elementary School children in
any district in Scotland.

From this brief account of what either has been already done or is
proposed to be done, it is apparent that there is a gradual awakening of
the nation to the fact that the care of the physical nature of the child
during the school period is of fundamental importance from the point of
view of the future welfare and efficiency of the nation. In the
endeavour to reach this aim it is necessary that the examination of the
child should be undertaken in a systematic manner, and that means should
be adopted for the remedy of any defects. In particular every child on
admission to school should be examined in order to discover whether
there is any defect present in the special organs of sense,[18] and
periodical examinations should be made in order to discover whether the
school work is tending to produce any injury to the various senses. For
it is a well-known fact that often cases of seeming stupidity and
seeming carelessness are not due either to the want of intelligence on
the one hand or of inattention on the other, on the part of the child,
but may be traced to slight defects of eyesight and of hearing. In order
that they may discover these defects teachers ought to be trained in the
observation of the main symptoms which imply defects, and should be
practised in the art of applying the simpler and more obvious remedies
for eye and ear defects. More difficult cases should be referred to the
medical officer of the school. Again, it ought to be a matter of inquiry
at the beginning of the school period as to whether the child possesses
any physical defect which would make it difficult for him to undertake
the full work of the school. In some cases it would be found that the
child was altogether unable to undertake this work, and measures should
be taken to remedy the defect before the child enters upon the school
course. Lastly, it is now realised that more attention must be paid to
the differences that exist between individual children, and that in the
case of children with a low degree of intelligence it is much better
both for themselves and for the school generally to institute special
classes or special schools for their education.

But in order that this medical examination may be thoroughly and
systematically carried out, special legislative authority must be given
to education authorities to incur expense under this head, and
regulations must be laid down by the central authority for the carrying
out of this inspection so as to secure something like a uniform system
of examination throughout the country. For this purpose there should be
attached to each school area a medical officer, or officers, charged
with the sole duty of attending to the hygienic conditions under which
the school work is carried on, and of periodically examining the
children attending the schools of his district.

That the duty of carrying out the medical examination of school
children falls upon the State and should be met out of public funds may
be justified on various grounds. In the first place, it is necessary as
a measure of protection, in order to prevent the child's growing up
imperfectly, and thus becoming in adult life a less efficient member of
society. School work often accentuates certain troubles, and these if
neglected tend gradually to render the individual more and more unfitted
to undertake some special occupation in after-life. Any eye specialist
could furnish evidence of numerous cases in which the eyes have been
ruined through some slight defect becoming intensified through misuse.

In the second place, the examination for physical and mental defect
cannot in a large number of cases be left to the self-interest and
judgment of the individual parent, and unless undertaken by the public
authority will not be undertaken at all.

In the third place, if it is left to merely voluntary agencies, it is
imperfectly done, and in many cases recourse is had to the various
voluntary agencies when the trouble has become acute, and in some cases
impossible of remedy.

On these three grounds--of its necessity for the future public welfare,
that the self-interest of the parent often proves but a feeble motive
power, and that the voluntary agencies placed at the disposal of the
poor are unable systematically to undertake this work--we may maintain
that the duty may legitimately be laid upon the State.

But the further question as to how far it becomes the duty of the State
to undertake the provision of remedial measures either in the way of
supplying medical aid or in the provision in necessitous cases of
remedial measures, as _e.g._ spectacles in the case of defective
eyesight, is a question of much greater difficulty.

At present any positive help of this nature is the exception rather than
the rule, and is undertaken by agencies worked on the voluntary
principle, and the remedial measures adopted are limited to the
treatment of certain minor ailments. _E.g._, in Liverpool, Birmingham,
and other places, Queen's nurses regularly visit the schools, and
undertake either in school or at the homes of the children simple
curative treatment of minor surgical cases. But while it may be held
that the duty of the State is limited to the medical examination of
school children in order to discover the presence of physical and mental
defects, and that this being done, any further responsibility, whether
in the way either of providing or procuring remedies, falls upon the
individual parent, yet we have sufficient evidence to show that, in many
cases, either through the poverty or the apathy and indifference of the
parents, no steps are taken in the way of providing the necessary
remedies, and as a consequence we have growing up in our midst children
who in after-life will, through the lack of simple curative treatment
undertaken at the proper time, become more or less socially inefficient.

Moreover, it is to be noted that in this matter the State has already
recognised its public obligation to provide remedial aid in its
provision for the education and lodging of the blind, the deaf and the
dumb, and in the measures taken within recent years for the special
education of the defective and the epileptic. The provision for these
purposes may indeed be justified on the grounds that the expense of the
education of children of the industrial classes so afflicted is beyond
the powers of any one individual, or group of individuals, to supply,
and that unless undertaken by the State it would not be efficiently
made, with the consequence of throwing the maintenance hereafter of
these particular classes upon the community: on the ground, therefore,
of the future protective benefit to society, such expense may be
legitimately laid upon the community as a whole. Further, in these
cases, the danger of the weakening of the sense of parental
responsibility is not an extreme danger to the Commonwealth, since the
aid is definitely limited to a restricted number of cases, and since
the moral obligation imposed upon the individual to provide for the
education of his children could in many cases not be fulfilled without
the by far greater portion of the expense being provided by means of
public or voluntary aid.

In like manner, the expense of the special education of the morally
defective in Industrial Schools and in other institutions may be
justified on the ground of the present and future protective benefit to
society. In these cases parental government has either altogether ceased
or become too weak to act as an effective restraining force, and as a
consequence the community for its own self-preservation has to undertake
the control and education of the actual or incipient youthful criminal.
In their Report the Royal Commissioners on Physical Training (Scotland)
sadly declare that Industrial and similar institutions certainly give
the boys and girls who come under their influence advantages in feeding
and physical training which are not open to the children of independent
and respectable though poor parents. _The contrast between the condition
of children as seen in the poorer day schools and children in Industrial
institutions, whose parents have altogether failed to do their duty, is
both marked and painful._[19]

And yet it might be urged that the protective benefit likely to be
derived in the future by the provision of remedial means for the removal
of the simpler defects in the case of the children of parents unable
without great difficulty to supply these themselves is no less evident
than in the more extreme cases. But here the only sound principle of
guidance is to ask whether the remedial measures required are reasonably
within the power of the parent to provide. If they are not, no community
which exercises a wise forethought will suffer children to grow up
gradually becoming more and more defective, more and more likely in
after-life to be a burden upon its resources. But this question of the
provision of remedial aid involves a much larger question, which we
shall now discuss.


APPENDIX

As showing the need for the systematic examination of the special sense
organs, I append a summary of the results arrived at and the conclusions
reached by Dr. Wright Thomson after examination of the eyesight of
children attending the Public Elementary Schools under the Glasgow
School Board:--


     "The teachers tested the visual acuteness of 52,493 children, and
     found 18,565, or 35 per cent., to be below what is regarded as the
     normal standard.

     "I examined the 18,565 defectives by retinoscopy, and found that
     11,209, or 21 per cent. of the whole, had ocular defects.

     "The percentage with ocular defects was fairly constant in all the
     schools, but the percentage with defective vision was very
     variable--_i.e._, many children with normal eyes were found to see
     badly.

     "The proportion of these cases was highest in the poor and
     closely-built districts and in old schools, and was lowest in the
     better class schools and in those near the outskirts of the city.

     "The proportion of such cases in the country schools of Chryston
     and Cumbernauld was much lower than in any of the city schools; and
     in Industrial Schools, where the children are fed at school, the
     proportion was lower than among Board School children of a
     corresponding social class.

     "Defective vision, apart from ocular defect, seems to be due,
     partly to want of training of the eyes for distant objects, and
     partly to exhaustion of the eyes, which is easily induced when work
     is carried on in bad light, or the nutrition of the children
     defective from bad feeding and unhealthy surroundings.

     "Regarding training of the eyes for distant objects, much might be
     done in the infant department by the total abolition of sewing,
     which is definitely hurtful to such young eyes, and the
     substitution of competitive games involving the recognition of
     small objects at a distance of 20 feet or more.

     "Teachers can determine the visual acuteness, but they cannot
     decide whether or not an ocular defect is present.

     "Visual acuteness, especially among poor children, is variable at
     different times.

     "Teachers should have access to sight-testing materials at all
     times, and should have the opportunity of referring suspected cases
     for medical opinion.

     "An annual testing by the teachers, followed by medical inspection
     of the children found defective, would soon cause all existing
     defects to be corrected, and would lead to the detection of those
     which develop during school life."


An examination of 502 children attending the Church of Scotland Training
College School, Glasgow, as regards defects in eyesight and hearing, was
made by Drs. Rowan and Fullerton respectively, with the following
results:--


     "As regards eyesight--

     "61.55 per cent. were passed as normal, while of those defective
     7.57 were aware of the fact; some few of these had already received
     treatment, but 30.88 were quite unaware that there was anything
     wrong, these unfortunates being expected to do the same work as,
     and hold their own with, their more fortunate classmates.

     "As regards hearing--
       54.4 per cent. were found normal.
       27.6  "   "    were defective.
       18.   "   "    were distinctly defective."

     I append the very valuable suggestions and conclusions of Dr.
     Rowan, who conducted the examination on the eyesight of children:--

     "After examining 502 children, which involved the examination of
     1004 eyes, one is forced to certain conclusions. These children are
     taken at random, and in this way they may be considered as a fair
     sample of their age and class.

     "I think one of the first things that force themselves on our
     notice is the difficulties under which many of those children
     labour, and of which they, their parents and teachers are quite
     unaware. The children are considered dull, careless, or lazy, as
     the case may be: they themselves, poor unfortunates, do not know
     how to complain, and seem just to struggle along as best they can,
     though this struggle, without adequate result, must discourage
     them, and in this indirect way, too, make their future prospects
     more hopeless.

     "Some would be considerably benefited by treatment and operation,
     or both, while for some little can be done. Some of those who could
     be benefited are deprived of help by their parents' ignorance or
     prejudice.

     "In the case of those for whom little or nothing can be done, and
     whose sight is very defective, it seems to me the question ought to
     be raised as to whether their present mode of education should not
     be replaced by some other, which would endeavour to develop their
     abilities in other ways than through their eyesight; in short, they
     should have special training with the view of fitting them for some
     form of employment for which they are more fitted than the ordinary
     occupations of everyday life. This raises a difficult question, and
     each case would have to be settled on its merits. The difficulty
     must be faced; otherwise the children will simply drift and become
     idle and useless, while, if educated, at any rate partly, on the
     system for the blind, they would become useful members of society.

     "I think no one, after studying the result of this examination of
     what may be by some considered a small number of children, can
     doubt that a thorough medical examination of all school children
     should be made when they enter school, and this examination
     repeated at regular intervals.

     "I hold this applies not only to the children of the poor, but to
     children in all ranks of life, as one constantly, and that, too, in
     private practice, meets with cases where children are considered
     dull and lazy, while the real fault lies with the parents, who have
     not taken the trouble to ascertain the physical fitness or
     unfitness of their children.

     "I am glad to say it is now becoming more common for children to be
     taken to the family doctor, to a specialist, or to both, to be
     thoroughly overhauled before starting school-life; and in many
     cases with most satisfactory results, as their training can be
     modified or treatment ordered which prevents the development of
     those pathological conditions which, in many cases, would limit the
     choice of occupation, or, if these are already present, they can at
     least be modified or even overcome.

     "I wish to emphasise the fact that those thorough medical
     examinations should be repeated in the case of all children at
     regular intervals, as in this way alone can a proper physical
     standard be maintained, and deviations from the normal detected
     promptly and in many cases cured before the sufferer is aware of
     their presence.

     "How often in examining our adult patients do we find them much
     surprised when they are told and convinced by actual proof that all
     their life they have depended on one eye only! This fact, of
     course, they sometimes accidentally discover for themselves, and
     come with the statement that the eye has suddenly gone blind. In
     the majority of these cases the weaker eye is useless, and the
     possibility of making it of any use is, at their age, practically
     _nil_."


FOOTNOTES:

[16] Cf. _Special Report on Educational Subjects_, vol. ii.

[17] Cf. _Report on Elementary Schools of Berlin and Charlottenburg_, by
G. Andrew, Esq.

[18] Cf. Appendix, pp. 62-65.

[19] _Report Royal Commission on Physical Training_ (_Scotland_), vol.
i. (Neill & Co,. Edinburgh).



CHAPTER VII

THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO EDUCATION--THE FEEDING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN


A much more important and far-reaching question than that of the State
provision for the medical examination and inspection of children
attending Public Elementary Schools is the question of whether, and to
what extent, the State should undertake the provision of school meals
for underfed children.

Of the existence of the evil of under and improper feeding of children,
especially in many of our large towns, there is no doubt. The numerous
voluntary agencies which have been brought into existence to cope with
the former are sufficient evidence that the evil exists and that it is
of a widespread nature. Again, the high rate of infant mortality amongst
the children of the lower classes is largely due to ignorance on the
part of parents of the nature and proper preparation of food suitable
for children. Further, the social conditions under which many of the
poor live in our large towns is a contributing cause of this improper
feeding. In many cases there is no adequate provision in the home for
the cooking and preparation of food, and in others the absence of the
mother at work during the day necessitates the children "fending" for
themselves in the providing of their meals. However, in considering this
question we must carefully distinguish between three distinct causes
operating to produce the condition of underfeeding, and as a consequence
resulting in three distinct classes of underfed children. As the causes
or groups of causes are different in nature, so the remedies also vary
in character. Moreover, in many cases we find all three causes
operating, now one and now the other, to produce the chronic
underfeeding of the child.

In the first place, the underfeeding of the child may arise through the
temporary poverty of the parent due to his temporary illness or
temporary unemployment. In normal circumstances, in these cases relief
is best afforded by means of the voluntary agencies of society. In
abnormal circumstances, such as are caused by a widespread depression of
industry, the evil may be met by a special effort on the part of the
voluntary agencies or by municipalities or other bodies providing
temporary relief-work.

In the second place, the underfeeding of the child may be due to the
chronic and permanent poverty of the parent. The wages of the
breadwinner even when in full work may be insufficient to afford
adequate support for a numerous family. This condition of things is not
peculiar to Great Britain, but is a common characteristic in the life of
the poor of all civilised nations. This is where the real sting of the
problem of underfeeding lies, and the causes at work tending to produce
this condition of things are too deep-seated and too widely spread to be
removed by any one remedy. Moreover, in endeavouring to cure this
disease of the Commonwealth we are ever in danger of perpetuating and
intensifying the causes at work tending to produce the evil.

In the third place, the underfeeding of the child may arise through the
indifference, the selfishness, or the vice of the parents. In such cases
the parents could feed their children, but do not. Manifestly in cases
of this character there is no obligation placed upon the State and no
rightful claim upon any charitable agency to provide food for the
children. To give aid simply weakens further the parental sense of
responsibility, and leaves a wider margin to be spent on vicious
pleasures. But while there is no obligation placed upon the State to
provide the necessaries of life for the child, there is need and
justification in such cases for the intervention of the State. There is
need, for otherwise the child suffers through the criminal neglect of
the parents, and the community must interfere for the sake of the future
social efficiency of the individual and of the nation. There is
justification, for here as in the case of the parents of the morally
defective, parental responsibility has either ceased to act or become
too weak a motive force to be effective in securing the welfare of the
child. As the individual parent neglects his duty, so and to the
corresponding degree to which this neglect extends, must the duty be
enforced by the State. But in the enforcing of this or of any duty we
must be quite sure that the neglect is really due to the weakened sense
of responsibility of the parent, that it is a condition of things which
he could remove if he had the moral will to do so, and that the neglect
is not due to causes beyond the power of the parent to remove.

Cases in which there is culpable neglect of the child due not to
poverty, but to the fact that the money which should go to the proper
nutrition of the child is squandered in drink, or on other enervating
pleasures, are therefore cases in which recourse must be had to measures
which enforce upon the parent the obligation to feed and clothe his
children. The really difficult question is as to the best means of
enforcing this obligation. Manifestly to punish by fine or imprisonment
does little in many cases to alleviate the sufferings of the children.
The punishment falls upon them as well as upon the parent, and where the
latter is dead to, or careless of, the public opinion of his fellows, it
fails to initiate that reform of conduct which ought to be the aim of
all punishment. If indeed by imposition of fine, or by imprisonment, the
individual realises his neglect of duty, repents, and as a consequence
reforms, then good and well, but as a rule the neglect of the child is
in such cases a moral disease of long standing and not easily cured, and
so we find often that neither punishment by fine nor imprisonment, even
when repeated several times, is effective in making the parent realise
his responsibility and reform his conduct. All the while the child goes
on suffering. He is no better fed during the period of fine or
imprisonment, and the wrath of the parent is often visited upon his
unoffending head.

The second method of cure proposed is to feed the children at the public
expense and to recover the cost by process of law. But the practical
difficulties in carrying out this plan are similar in kind to those
formerly experienced in the recovery of unpaid school fees. The cost of
recovering is often greater than the expense involved, and as a
consequence local authorities are not inclined to prosecute. Further,
there is the difficulty of discriminating between underfeeding due to
wilful and culpable neglect and underfeeding due to the actual chronic
poverty of the parent. If this plan is to be effective, some simpler
method of recovery of cost than that which now prevails must be adopted.
_E.g._, it might be enacted that the sum decreed for should be deducted
from the weekly wages of the parent by his employer. Here again many
difficulties would present themselves in the carrying out of this plan.
In the case of certain employments this could not be done. In other
cases, employers would be unwilling to undertake the invidious task.
Moreover, the cost of collection might equal or be greater than the cost
incurred. Above all, such a method would do little to alleviate the
sufferings and better the nutrition of the child. In most cases the
school provides but one meal a day. Experience has shown that in the
case of children of the dissolute the free meal at the school means less
food at home. Were the cost deducted from the weekly wages of the
parent, the result would be intensified. So great have been the
difficulties felt in this matter that with one or two exceptions no
foreign country has made the attempt to recover the cost of feeding from
the parent. Yet the disease requires a remedy. The evil is too dangerous
to the future social welfare of the community to be allowed to go on
unchecked and unremedied. Moreover, to endeavour to educate the
persistently underfed children of our slums is to do them a twofold
injury. By the exercises of the school we use up, in many cases, with
little result, the small store of energy lodged in the brain and nervous
system of the child, and leave nothing either for the repair of the
nervous system or for the growth of his body generally. We prematurely
exhaust his nervous system, and by so doing we hinder his bodily growth
and development. To make matters worse, we often insist that the child
in order to aid his physical development must undergo an exhausting
system of physical exercises when what is most wanted for this purpose
is good and nourishing food and a sufficiency of sleep. At the same time
that we are neglecting the nutrition of his body we are spending an
increasing yearly sum on the so-called education of his mind. What,
then, is the remedy? If fining and imprisonment of the parent only
accentuate the sufferings of the child, if they fail to make the parent
realise his responsibility and reform his conduct, if the provision of a
free meal at school means less food at home, then there is only one
thorough-going remedy for the evil, and that is to take the child away
from the parent, to educate and feed him at the public expense, and to
recover the cost as far as possible from the parent. In Norway this
drastic method has been adopted. Under a law passed on the 6th January
1896, the authorities are empowered "to place neglected children in
suitable homes or families at the cost of the municipality, the parent,
however, being liable, if called upon, to defray the cost."[20]

The reasons for taking this extreme step are obvious. By no method of
punishing the persistently dissolute and neglectful parent can you be
assured of securing the proper nutrition and welfare of the child.
Parental affection in these cases is dead, and parental responsibility
for the present and future welfare of the child has ceased to act as a
motive force. As a consequence, the child grows up to be, at best,
socially inefficient, and liable in later life to be a burden upon the
community. In many cases, the evil and sordid influences of his home and
social environment soon check any springs of good in his nature, and
more than likely he becomes in later life not merely a socially
inefficient member of the community but an active socially destructive
agent. Hence, on the ground of the future protective benefit to society,
on the ground of securing the future social efficiency of the
individual, on the ground that it is only by some such system we can
ever hope to raise the moral efficiency of the rising generation of the
slums, the method above advocated is worthy of consideration.

Against the adoption of such a method of treatment of the dissolute
parent many objections may be urged, and it would be foolish to minimise
the dangers which might follow its systematic and thorough carrying into
practice. But the possible injury to the community through the weakening
of the sense of parental responsibility seems to me small in comparison
with the future good likely to result from the increased physical,
economic, and ethical efficiency of the next generation which might
reasonably be expected to follow from the rigorous carrying out of such
a plan for a time. The fear lest a larger and larger number of parents
might endeavour to rid themselves of the direct care of their children,
if this plan were adopted, need not deter us. If this plan were carried
into practice, then some extension of the scope of the Industrial Acts
would be rendered necessary, and some such extension seems to have been
in the minds of the Select Committee in their Report on the Education
(Provision of Meals) Bill, 1906, in considering their
recommendations.[21]

But the importance of the two classes of cases already considered sinks
into comparative insignificance compared with the third class of cases.
Temporary underfeeding caused by temporary poverty can be met in many
ways without to any appreciable degree lessening the sense of the moral
obligation of the parent to provide the personal necessities of food and
clothing for his children. In the case, again, of the persistently
dissolute and neglectful parent, moral considerations have ceased to
operate, and so the individual by some method or other must be forced to
perform whatever part of the obligation can be exacted from him.

But in the third class of cases parental responsibility may be an active
and willing force, yet the means available may be so limited in extent
that the child is in the chronic condition of being underfed. No one who
carefully considers the information recently supplied by the Board of
Education as to the methods of feeding the children attending Public
Elementary Schools in the great Continental cities and in America can
arrive at any other conclusion than that here we are in the presence of
an evil not local but general, and apparently incidental to the
organisation of the modern industrial State. For whether by voluntary
agencies, by municipal grants, or by State aid, every great Continental
city has found it necessary to organise and institute some system of
feeding school children.

The only inference to be drawn from such a condition of things is that
in a large number of cases the normal wages of the labourer are
insufficient to maintain himself and his family in anything like a
decent standard of comfort. How large a proportion of the population of
our great cities is in this condition it is difficult exactly to
estimate, but there is no doubt that a very considerable number of cases
of the chronic underfeeding of school children may be traced to the
insufficiency of the home income to support the family. The moral
obligation to provide the personal necessities of food and clothing for
his children is active, but the means for the realisation of the
obligation cannot be provided in many cases the endeavour fully to meet
the needs of the child results in the lessened efficiency of the
breadwinner of the family.

The real causes at work tending to keep the wages of the unskilled
labourer ever hovering round a mere subsistence rate must be removed, if
anything like a permanent cure of this social evil is to be effected. We
must endeavour on the one hand to lessen the supply of unskilled labour.
By so doing the reward of such labour will tend to be increased
materially. On the other hand, we must during the next decade or two
endeavour by every means in our power to ensure that a larger and larger
number of the children of the very poor shall in the next generation
pass into the ranks of skilled labour.

But in the meantime something must be done. The children are there; they
still suffer; and their wrongs cry aloud for redress. It is certainly
true that any aid given to the child will tend meanwhile to keep the
wages at bare subsistence rates. It is also true that the distribution
of relief only tends to make the poor comfortable in their poverty,
instead of helping them to rise out of it. All this and much more might
be urged against the demand to institute and organise the systematic
public feeding of school children. But these evils are evils which fall
upon the present adult population. Education has, however, to do with
the future, with the next generation and not with this. Its aim is to
secure that as large a number as possible of the children of the present
generation will grow up to be economically and ethically efficient
members of the community. To secure this end the problem of underfeeding
is only one of the problems that must be solved. If we adopt some
systematic plan for securing the full nutrition of the children of the
present, this must go hand in hand with other remedies. During the stage
of transition we shall have to take into account that for a time the
wages of the poorest class of labourer will tend to remain at their
present low rate; we shall have to face the danger that by giving such
aid we may in some cases still further weaken the sense of moral
obligation of the parents of the present generation. If, on the other
hand, we do nothing, or if we look to the present voluntary agencies to
go on doing what they can to remedy the evil, what then? Will the evil
be lessened in the next generation? Assuredly not, if the experience of
the present and of the past are safe guides as to what we may expect in
the future.

Hence we have no hesitation in urging that the feeding of children
attending the Public Elementary Schools should be organised on lines
similar to the recommendations laid down in the _Special Report from the
Special Committee on Education_ (_Provision of Meals_) _Bill_, 1906.[22]

But if we carry out these recommendations and do nothing else, then it
may be that we shall partially remedy the evil in the next generation,
but we shall to a large extent perpetuate the present condition of
things. Side by side with this, we must institute and set other agencies
at work. By the institution of Free Kindergarten Schools in the poorer
districts of our large towns, by postponing the beginning of the formal
education of the child to a later age, by a scientific course of
physical education, by better trade and technical schools, and if need
be by the compulsory attendance of children at evening continuation
schools, we must bend our every effort to secure that the ranks of the
casual, the unskilled, and the unemployable shall be lessened, and the
ranks of the skilled and intelligent worker increased.

As the freeing of elementary education can be justified on the ground
that the education of the child is necessary for the future protection
of the State, so on similar grounds it may be urged that the nutrition
of the child is also necessary. Without this our merely educational
agencies can never adequately secure the social efficiency of the coming
generation. At the same time, unless in the future the need for free
education and free food becomes less and less, and unless by the means
sketched above we rear up a generation economically and morally
independent, then truly we have not discovered the method by which man
can be raised to independence and rationality.


APPENDIX

_Recommendations of the Select Committee on Education_ (_Provision of
Meals_) _Bill_, 1906.


     "The evidence, verbal and documentary, placed before the Committee
     has led them to arrive at the following general conclusions:--

     "1. That it is expedient that the Local Education Authority should
     be empowered to organise and direct the provision of a midday meal
     for children attending Public Elementary Schools, and that
     statutory powers should be given to Local Authorities to establish
     Committees to deal with school canteens.

     "2. That such Committees should be composed of representatives of
     the Local Education Authority, representatives of the Voluntary
     Subscribers, and where thought desirable a representative of the
     Board of Guardians, and of the local branch of the Society for the
     Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where such exists. That the Head
     Teacher, the School Attendance Officer, and the Relieving Officer
     should work in association with such Committee.

     "3. That power should be given for the Local Education Authorities,
     when they deem it desirable, to raise loans and spend money on the
     provision of suitable accommodation and officials, and for the
     preparation, cooking, and serving of meals to the children
     attending Public Elementary Schools.

     "4. That only in extreme and exceptional cases, where it can be
     shown that neither the parents' resources nor Local Voluntary Funds
     are sufficient to cover the cost, and after the consent of the
     Board of Education as to the necessity for such expenditure has
     been obtained, a Local Authority may have recourse to the rates for
     the provision of the cost of the actual food; the local rate for
     this purpose to in no case exceed ½d. in the £.

     "5. That the Local Education Authority should, as far as possible,
     associate with itself, and encourage the continuance of, voluntary
     agencies in connection with the work of feeding of children.

     "6. That whatever steps may be necessary, by way of extension of
     the Industrial Schools and the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
     Acts or otherwise, should be taken to secure that parents able to
     do so and neglecting to make proper provision for the feeding of
     their children shall be proceeded against for the recovery of the
     cost; and that the Guardians, or where available the Society for
     the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and not the Local Education
     Authority, be empowered to prosecute in any cases coming under the
     law in respect to the neglect of parents to make proper provision
     for the feeding of their children.

     "7. That payment for meals, prior to the meal, whenever possible,
     should be insisted upon from the parents.

     "8. That it is undesirable that meals should be served in rooms
     habitually used for teaching purposes, and that the Regulations of
     the Board of Education should carry this recommendation into
     effect.

     "9. That whilst strong testimony has been placed before the
     Committee to the effect that the teachers have given and are giving
     admirable service in the way of supervising the provision of meals
     to the children, it is the opinion of the Committee that it ought
     not to be made part of the conditions attaching to the appointment
     of any teacher that he (or she) shall or shall not take part in
     dispensing meals provided for the children, and that the Board of
     Education should carry this recommendation into effect."


FOOTNOTES:

[20] Cf. Underfed Children in Continental and American Cities (presented
to Parliament, April 1906).

[21] Cf. _Report on Education_ (_Provision of Meals_) _Bill_, especially
Recommendation 6, Appendix, p. 75.

[22] Cf. Appendix, p. 75.



CHAPTER VIII

THE ORGANISATION OF THE MEANS OF EDUCATION


Throughout we have assumed that it is the duty of the State to see to
the adequate provision, to the due distribution, and to the proper
co-ordination of all the agencies of education, and we have taken up
this position mainly on the ground that neither the adequate provision
nor the proper co-ordination of the means of education can be safely
left to the self-interest of the individual or any group of individuals.
If left to be accomplished by purely voluntary agencies, both the
provision and the co-ordination will remain imperfect, and as a nation
we can no longer neglect the systematic organisation and grading of the
means of education.

But a misapprehension must first be removed. In declaring that all the
agencies of formal education should be under control of the State, it is
not to be inferred that this control should be bureaucratic. In many
minds State control is synonymous with government by inspectors and
other officials of the central authority. But bureaucratic control in a
nation whose government is founded on a representative basis is a
disease rather than a normal condition of such government. In a country
where the sovereign power is vested in an individual or in a limited
number of individuals, bureaucratic control is and must be an essential
feature of its government. On the other hand, where the government is
founded upon the representative principle, the appearance of bureaucracy
is an indication of some imperfection in the organisation of the State
itself. The introduction of the representative principle may have been
too premature or its extension too rapid, and as a consequence the
government of the people by themselves is ineffective through the
general want of an enlightened self-interest amongst the majority of the
nation. In such a condition of affairs, if progress is to be made, it
can only be accomplished effectively through an enlightened minority
forcing its will upon the unenlightened and ignorant majority, and as a
result we may have the creation of an army of official inspectors whose
chief duty becomes to secure that the will of the central authority is
realised. In such a condition of things the tendency ever is for more
and more power to fall into the hands of the permanent officials.

But this condition of things may arise in a government founded upon the
representative principle in another way. The organs through which the
will of the people makes itself known may be imperfect, so that as a
consequence it fails to find adequate expression, or its expression is
felt only at infrequent intervals. If, for example, the central
authority is so overburdened with work that little or insufficient
attention is given to many matters of supreme importance for the welfare
of the nation, then it follows that more and more power will pass into
the hands of its executive and advisory officers. This condition of
things will be further intensified if the governing bodies charged with
the local control of national affairs are too weak or too unenlightened
to make their voice effective. Now, the tendency to the bureaucratic
control of the educational affairs of our own country may be traced to
all three causes. The want of an enlightened self-interest in the matter
of education amongst a large number of the people, the ineffectiveness
of Parliament to deal thoroughly with purely educational questions, and
the weakness in many cases of the local governing bodies have all
contributed to the gradual creation of the bureaucratic control of
education in Great Britain. But this form of control is not entirely
evil, and in certain cases it may be a necessary stage in the
development of a democracy passing from unenlightenment to
enlightenment. The remedies for this imperfection, this disease of
representative government in the matter of educational control, are (1)
the spread of a more enlightened self-interest as to the value of
education as a means of securing the social efficiency of the nation and
of the individual, (2) the effective control of education by the central
authority, and (3) the strengthening of the local authorities by
devolving upon them more and more important educational duties. By this
means the control of education by the State will become more and more
the control of the people by themselves and for themselves, and the
chief function of officials and inspectors will then be to advise
central and local authorities how best to realise the educational aims
desired by the common will of the people.

Let us now consider the main principles which should guide the State in
her organisation of the means of education.

In the first place, and upon this all are agreed, the control of all
grades of education, primary, secondary, and technical, should be
entrusted to one body in each area or district. For there can be no
co-ordination established between the work of the various school
agencies, and there can be no differentiation of the functions to be
undertaken by the various types of school, until there has been
established unity of control.

In England, by the Act of 1902, a great step was taken towards the
unification of all the agencies of education. According to its
provisions, the School Board system was abolished. "Every County Council
and County Borough Council, and the Borough Councils of every non-county
borough with a population of over 10,000, and the District Council of
every urban district with a population over 20,000, became the local
education authority for elementary education, while the County Council
and the County Borough Council became the authorities for higher
education, _with the supplementary aid of the Councils of all non-county
boroughs and urban districts_." By this means the unification of
educational control has been realised, and already in many districts of
England much has been done to further the means of higher education and
to co-ordinate this stage with the preceding primary stage.

In Scotland the question of the extension of the area of educational
control and of the unification of the various agencies directing
education still awaits solution. Several plans have been put forward to
effect these ends.[23]

In the first place, it has been proposed to retain the present parish
School Boards for the purpose of elementary education, and to combine
two or more School Boards for the purposes of providing secondary and
technical education. This plan, however, meets with little favour. It
would be difficult to carry into practice, and if realised would
imperfectly fulfil the end of co-ordinating the work of the various
school agencies. Its only recommendations are its apparent simplicity,
and the fact that it could be carried out with the least possible change
in the existing conditions.

In the second place, it is proposed to retain the School Board system,
but to extend the area over which any particular educational authority
exerts its control, and to place under its direction all grades of
education. In the practical carrying out of this plan the present
district areas of counties selected for other purposes have been
proposed as educational units. On the other hand, it has been declared
that in many cases these areas are unsuitable for educational purposes,
and it has been proposed that new areas should be delimited for this
purpose.

The chief merit, if it be a merit, of this plan is the retention in
educational control of the _ad hoc_ principle--_i.e._, of the principle
of entrusting one single national interest to a body charged with the
sole duty of conserving and furthering the interest. The only reasons
advanced are the great importance of the educational interest and the
fear that if it is entrusted to bodies charged with other duties this
interest may tend to be neglected. But although both sentiment and the
interests of political parties are involved in the advocacy of the _ad
hoc_ principle, it must be kept in mind that the School Board system in
Scotland is universal and that the difficulties of the system which
prevailed in England before its abolition do not exist in Scotland. As a
consequence, it has been much more effective in Scotland than in
England, and has a much firmer hold on the sentiments of the people.

In the third place, it has been proposed to hand over the educational
duties of the country to the County Councils and to the Burgh Councils
of the more important towns, to adopt, in principle, a system of
educational control similar to that established in England by the Act of
1902.

Many reasons may be urged for the adoption of the last-named plan, and
we shall briefly state the more important.

1. An _ad hoc_ authority by its very nature is necessarily weaker than
an authority entrusted not merely with the care of a single interest but
with the care of the public interests as a whole. If there is to be
decentralisation of any part of the functions of the central authority,
then any form of decentralisation which consists in the handing over of
particular interests to different local bodies, however it may be for
the advantage of the particular interest is radically bad for the
general interests of the community. The calling into existence of a
number of local authorities each having the care of one particular
interest, each pursuing its own aim independently and without
consideration of the differing and often conflicting aims of the other
bodies, each having the power of rating for its own particular purpose
without any regard for the general interest of the taxpayer, is
radically an unsound form of decentralisation.

2. The establishment of such a form of control fails, and must
necessarily fail, in the local authorities securing the maximum of
freedom and the minimum of interference from the executive officers of
the central legislative authority. So long as the separate interests of
the community are entrusted to different local authorities, so long must
there remain to the central authority and to its executive officers the
power of regulating and harmonising the various and often contending
interests so as to secure that the general interest of the individual
does not suffer, and the more keenly each particular body furthers the
particular interest entrusted to its care the greater is the necessity
for this central control and interference, and that the central control
should be effective.

3. The separation of the so-called educational interests from the other
interests of the community is not for the good of education itself. The
real educational interests which have to be determined by the adult
portion of the community are the exact nature of the services which a
nation such as ours requires of its future members. This determined, the
method of their attainment is best entrusted to the educational expert.
The first-named end will be better realised by a body composed of men of
diverse interests than by one which is made up of men with one intense
but often narrow interest.

4. The larger the powers entrusted to any body and the more freedom
possessed by it in devising and working out its schemes, the better
chance there is of attracting the best men in the community to undertake
the work.

5. It is questionable whether the interests of the teacher would not be
better furthered by a local authority entrusted with the care of the
interests of the community as a whole than by a body having charge of
education alone. Men entrusted with the larger interests of the
community are usually more ready to take wider views than the man who is
narrowed down to one interest. As a rule, they know the value of good
work done, and are ready and willing to pay for it wherever they find
it.

6. Lastly, we may urge the test of practical experience. In England,
and especially in London, since the control of education has passed into
the hands of the County Councils a great advance has been made both in
the furthering and in the co-ordination of the means of education.

Whether ultimately the control of education be vested in District School
Boards or in the County and Burgh Councils, one reform is urgently
needed in Scotland, and this is the extension of the area of educational
control, under a strong local authority, and with the entire control of
elementary, secondary, and technical education.

In the second place, whatever the area of control chosen it should be of
such a nature as to admit within its bounds of schools of different
grades and of different types, so that children may pass not only from
the Elementary School to the Secondary, but may pass to the particular
type of Secondary or Higher School which is best fitted to prepare them
for their future life's work. In many cases, in Scotland, we cannot make
the same clear distinction between the various types of school as they
do in Germany, but must remain content with the division of a school
into departments; yet in our large towns and in our most populous
centres of industry we must establish schools of different types and
with differing particular ends in view.

The third principle of organisation follows from the second. We must see
that our educational system is so organised as to provide an efficient
and sufficient supply of all the services which the community requires
of its individual members. In particular, our Higher School system must
be designed not merely for the supply of the so-called learned
professions, but must also make due and adequate provision for the
training of those who in after-life are destined for the higher
industrial and commercial posts. In particular, we must see that there
is due provision of Trade and Technical Schools, where our future
artisans may become acquainted with the theoretical principles
underlying their particular art.

Fourthly, we must endeavour to make our Elementary School system the
basis and point of departure of all further and higher education. This
would not involve that every child should be educated at a Primary and
State-aided School, but it does mean and would involve that the
Preparatory departments of our present Secondary Schools should model
their curriculum on the lines laid down in our Elementary Schools.

Fifthly, in the organisation of the means of education, our system, as
we have already pointed out, must be democratic in the sense that the
means of higher education shall be open to all, rich and poor, in order
that each may be enabled to find and thereafter to fit himself for that
particular employment for which by nature he is best suited. It must
further be aristocratic in the sense that it is selective of the best
ability; and finally, it must be restrictive in order that the means of
higher education may be utilised to the best advantage, and not misused
on those who are unfitted to benefit therefrom.

Unity of control; adequacy of area; schools of various types, sufficient
in number, and suited to meet the need for the supply of the various
services required by the State; a common basis in elementary education;
means of higher education open to all who can profit thereby; selection
of the best; restriction of those unable to benefit from higher
education--these are the principles which must in the future guide the
State organisation of the means of education.

FOOTNOTE:

[23] For a fuller discussion of this question, see _Scotch Education
Reform_, by Dr. Douglas and Professor Jones (Maclehose).



CHAPTER IX

THE AIM OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION


"A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy
state in this world. He that has these two has little more to wish for,
and he that wants either of them will be but little the better for
anything else."[24] In these words Locke sets forth for all time what
should be aimed at in the physical education of the child, and in the
light of modern physiological psychology the position must be emphasised
anew that one of the essential conditions of sound intellectual and
moral vigour is sound physical health, and that body and mind are not
things apart, but that the health of the one ever conditions and is
conditioned by the health of the other.

Moreover, at the present time, it is all the more necessary to insist
upon the need for the systematic care of the physical culture of the
child, since in many cases the conditions under which the children of
the poor live in our great towns are most prejudicial to the full and
free development of the organs of the body. The narrow, overbuilt
streets in the poorer parts of our towns, the overcrowding of the people
in tenements, the unhygienic conditions under which the vast majority of
our very poor live and sleep, are all active forces in preventing the
full and free development of the physical powers of the child. Thus the
purely educational problem of how best to promote the physical health
and development of the child by the systematic exercises of the school
is involved in the much larger and more important social problem of how
to better the conditions under which the very poor live. The agencies of
the school can do little permanently to improve the physique of the
children until, concurrently with the school, society endeavours to
improve the social conditions under which the poorest of the population
of our great cities herd together. For a similar reason much of the
endeavour of the school to found and establish in the child's mind
interests of social worth is counteracted by the evil influence of its
home and social environment. If the physical, economic, and ethical
efficiency of the children of the slums is ever to be secured, if we are
ever to attain a permanent result, then concurrently with the creation
of new and higher social interests must go hand in hand changes in the
social environment of the child. Mere betterment of the physical
conditions under which our slum population live is of no avail unless at
the same time we have a corresponding change in the slum mind by the
rise and prevalence of a higher ideal of the physical and material
conditions under which their lives ought to be spent.

For experience has shown in many cases that the mere betterment of the
material conditions under which the poor live without any corresponding
change of ideals soon results in the re-creation of the miserable
conditions which formerly prevailed. On the other hand, the mere
instilling of new ideals into the minds of the rising generation will
effect little, if during the greater part of the school period and
altogether afterwards we leave the child to overcome the evil influences
of his environment as best he may. The ideals of the school are too
weak, too feebly established, to prevail against the ever present and
ever potent influences of the environment unless side by side with the
rise of the new ideals we at the same time endeavour to lessen, if we
cannot altogether remove, the obstacles which prevent their realisation
and prevalence. This problem of how to raise by education and by means
of the other social agencies at work the children of the slums to a
higher ideal of life and conduct and to secure their future social
efficiency is the most urgent problem of our day and generation. Mere
school reforms in physical and intellectual education will effect little
unless the other aspects of the problem are attacked at the same time.

Further, our school system, which requires that the child should
restrain his instinctive tendencies to action, and for certain hours
each day assume a more or less passive and cramped attitude, is also
prejudicial to the development and free play of the organs of the body
which have entrusted to them the discharge of certain functional
activities.

Hence the evil effects of the school itself must be removed or remedied
by some means having as their aim the increased functional activity of
the respiratory and circulatory systems of the body. And therefore the
aim of any system of physical exercises should be not merely increase of
bone and development of muscle but also the sustaining and improving of
the bodily health of the child by "expanding the lungs, quickening the
circulation, and shaking the viscera." This, as we shall see later, is
not the only aim of physical education. It may further aid in mental
growth and development, and be instrumental in the production of certain
mental and moral qualities of value both to the individual and to the
community.

Another cause operating in the school to prevent the full and free
development of the body is the method of much of the teaching which
prevails. A quite unnecessary strain is often put upon the nervous
system of the child, and as a consequence a lassitude of body results
which physical exercise not only does not tend to remove but actually
tends to increase. Methods of teaching which fail to arouse any inherent
interest in the attainment of an end of felt value to the child require
for the evoking and maintaining of his active attention the operation of
some powerful indirect interest, and if persisted in, such methods soon
result in the overworking and exhaustion of some one particular system
of nervous centres, and in the depletion through non-nutrition of other
centres. As a consequence, the child is unable to take any part in
physical exercises or in school games with profit to himself. He is
content to loaf and do as little as he can. The evil is further
intensified if there is also present under or improper nutrition of the
child.

Thus along with our schemes for the physical education of the child we
must endeavour to improve the methods of our teachers, to make them
understand that experiences acquired through the arousing of the direct
interest of the child are acquired at the least physiological cost, and
to make them realise under what conditions this direct interest can be
aroused and maintained. No one indeed wishes to make everything in the
school pleasant to the child, or to reduce self-effort to a minimum. But
effort and interest are not opposed terms. The effort which is evoked in
the realisation of an interest or end of felt value is the only kind of
effort which possesses any educational value. The effort which is called
forth in the finding and establishing of a system of means towards an
end which the child fails to see, and which, as a consequence, rouses no
direct interest in its attainment, is an effort which should for ever be
banished from the schoolroom. Such, _e.g._, is the effort evoked in the
mere cramming of empty lists of words or dates or facts. Little mental
good results from such a process, and the physiological cost is often
great.

Let us now consider the conditions necessary for sound physical health,
and inquire how far the school agencies can aid in the providing of
these conditions: they are mainly four in number. In the first place, in
order to secure the full growth and development of the bodily powers,
there is needed a sufficiency of food. But mere sufficiency is not
enough, the food must be varied in quality in order to meet the various
needs of the body, and must be prepared in such a way as to be readily
assimilated and rendered fit for the nutrition of both body and mind.
Manifestly the home ought to be the chief agent in providing for this
need. But, as we have seen in considering the problem of the feeding of
school children, the home in many cases is unable adequately to provide
for it, and, for a time at least, some method of public provision of
good and wholesome food for the children of the poor may be rendered
necessary. But much of the physical evil results from improper
nutrition; and here the school agencies may do a great deal in the
future by furthering the teaching of domestic science to the girls of
the working classes. Such teaching, however, if it is to be effective,
must be real and must take into account the actual conditions under
which their future lives are to be spent. At the present time much of
the teaching is valueless, through its neglect of the actual income and
resources of the working man's home.

The second condition necessary for bodily growth and development is a
sufficiency of pure air. This is necessary, since the oxygen of the air
is not only the active agent in the maintenance of life, but is also
requisite for the combustion of the foodstuffs conveyed into the body.
Much has been done within recent years in our schools to provide
well-ventilated classrooms and to instruct teachers how to keep the air
of the school pure. Here again the problem is to a large extent a social
one, involving the better housing of our great town population.

A third condition necessary for the physical development of the child is
sleep sufficient in quantity and good in quality. The weak, puny
children in arms to be seen in our crowded slums owe their condition, in
many cases, to the want of sound sleep, to the fact that they never are
allowed to rest, as much as to the under and improper feeding to which
they are subjected. As we shall see in the next chapter, much might be
done by the establishment of Free Kindergarten Schools in our
overcrowded districts to alleviate the lot and to better the education
of the very young children of the poor.

But in addition to the three conditions already named, which may be
classed together as the nutritive factors in bodily growth, there is a
fourth condition essential for all development, whether bodily or
mental--viz., exercise. For "development is produced by exercise of
function, use of faculty.... If we wish to develop the hand, we must
exercise the hand. If we wish to develop the body, we must exercise the
body. If we wish to develop the mind, we must exercise the mind. If we
wish to develop the whole human being, we must exercise the whole human
being."[25]

But any form of exercise will not do. The exercise which is given must
be given at the right time, must be in harmony with the nature of the
organ exercised, and must be proportioned to the strength of the organ,
if true development is to be attained.

In order to understand this in so far as it bears upon the aims which we
should set before us in the physical education of the child, it is
necessary that we should understand what modern physiological psychology
has to teach us of the nature of the nervous system.

If the reader will look back to an earlier chapter,[26] he will find
that education was defined as the process by which experiences are
acquired and organised in order that they may render the performance of
future action more efficient, or alternatively it is the process by
which systems of means are formed, organised, and established for the
attainment of various ends of felt value. The establishment of these
systems of means is only possible because in the human infant the
nervous system is relatively unformed at birth, is relatively plastic,
and so is capable of being organised in such and such a definite manner.
On the other hand, in many animals the nervous system of each is
definitely formed at birth; it is so organised that experience does
little to add to or aid in its further development. Now, while the
nervous system of the child at birth is not so definitely organised as
that of many animals, yet on the other hand it is not wholly plastic,
wholly unformed, so that, as many psychologists and educationalists once
believed, it can be moulded into any shape we please.

Rather, we have to conceive of the nervous system of the human infant as
made up of a series of systems at different degrees of development and
with varying degrees of organisation.[27] Some centres, as _e.g._ those
which have to do with the regulation of certain reflex and automatic
actions, start at once into full functional activity; others, as _e.g._
those which have to do with purely intellectual functions, are
relatively unformed and unorganised at birth, and become organised as
the result of conscious effort, as the result of an educational process,
as the result of acquiring, organising, and establishing experiences for
the attainment of ends of acquired value.

Between the systems at the lowest level and those at the highest we have
centres of varying degrees of organisation at birth. Moreover, these
centres of the middle level reach their full maturity at different
rates. The centres, _e.g._, which have to do with the co-ordination of
hand and eye and with the attainment of control over the limbs of the
body reach their full functional activity before, _e.g._, the centres
having control of the lips and speech. The centres, again, which have to
do with the co-ordination of the sensory material derived through the
particular senses are still longer in reaching their full functional
activity, while the higher intellectual centres may not reach their
highest power until well on in life. Hence, since education is the
process of acquiring experiences that shall modify future activity, it
can do little positively to aid the development of the lowest centres;
it can do more to modify the development of the middle centres; while
the highest centres of all are in great part organised as the result of
direct individual experience.

As regards the systems of the lowest level, what we have then to aim at
is to allow them free room for growth, and to correct as far as possible
faults due either to the imperfections of nature or to the unnatural
conditions under which the child lives. So long as these systems are
provided with nutrition and allowed freedom in performing their
functions, we are unaware of their existence. We, _e.g._, only become
aware that we possess a circulatory system or a respiratory or a
digestive system when the functional activity of these organs is
impeded. The opinion, therefore, that physical exercise has for its
chief aim the sustaining and improving of the bodily health is no doubt
true and correct, but it is not the only aim. On this view we are
considering only the lowest system of centres, and devising means by
which we may maintain and improve their functional activity. Moreover,
it is necessary to endeavour to secure the free development of these
centres and their unimpeded functional activity, because otherwise the
development of the higher centres is hindered, and the whole nervous
system rendered unstable and insecure.

But a wise system of physical education must take into account the fact
that a carefully selected and organised system of exercises can do much
for the development of the centres of the middle level which have to do
with the proper co-ordination of various bodily movements. These are
only partly organised at birth, and education--the acquiring and
organising of experiences--is necessary for their due organisation and
their adaptation as systems of means for the attainment of definite
ends. It is for this reason that the beginning of the formal education
of the child at too early an age is physiologically and psychologically
erroneous. In doing this we are neglecting the lower centres at the time
when by nature they are reaching their full functional activity, and
exercising the higher which are at an unripe stage of development.
Moreover, lower centres not exercised during the period when they are
attaining their full development never attain the same functional
development if exercised later. Hence the difficulty of acquiring a
manual dexterity later in life. Again, it is on this theory of lower and
higher centres maturing at different rates and attaining their full
functional activity at different times that we now base our education of
the mentally defective. We must organise the lower centres; we must
educate the mentally defective child to get control over these already
partially organised centres, before we begin to educate the higher and
less organised centres. Moreover, it is only in so far as we can secure
this end that we can stably build up and organise the higher centres of
the nervous system. Hence also such qualities as alertness in receiving
orders and promptness and accuracy in carrying them out are, at first,
best learned through the organising and training of the centres of the
middle level. What we really endeavour to do here is to organise and
establish systems of means for the attainment of definite ends, which
through their systematic organisation can be brought into action when
required promptly and quickly, and once aroused work themselves out with
a minimum of effort and with a low degree of attention, so that their
performance involves the least possible physiological cost.

From this the reader will understand that the aim of physical education
is the aim of all education, viz., to acquire and organise experiences
that will render future action more efficient.

Moreover, the early training of the centres of the middle level is
important for the after technical training of our workmen. The boy or
girl who has never been educated in early life to co-ordinate and carry
out bodily movements promptly and accurately is not likely to succeed in
after-life in any employment which requires the ready and exact
co-ordination of many movements for the attainment of a definite end.
The proper physical education of the child is therefore necessary for
the securing of the after economic efficiency of the individual, and it
can also by the development of certain mental and moral qualities be
made instrumental in the development of the ethically efficient person.

We must now briefly note two other educational agencies which may be
employed in the securing of the physical and mental efficiency of the
child--play and games. Psychologically, games stand midway between play
and work. In play we have an inherited system of means evoked into
activity and carried out to an end for the pure pleasure derived from
the activity itself. Such systems at first are imperfectly organised,
but through the experience derived the systems become more and better
adapted for the attainment of the ends which they are intended to
realise. In games, on the other hand, the activity is undertaken for an
end only partially connected with the means by which it is attained,
whilst in work the means may have no intrinsic connection with the end
desired. Hence the effort of a disagreeable nature which work often
evokes.

In animals fully equipped at birth by means of instinct for the
performance of actions the play-activity is altogether absent. Their
lives are wholly business-like. On the other hand, in the higher
animals, whose young have a period of infancy, play is nature's
instrument of education. By means of it the systems of the middle level
which form the larger part of the brain equipment of the higher animals
are gradually organised and fitted for the attainment of the ends which
in mature life they are intended to realise. Play is their education--is
the means by which nature works in order that experiences may be
acquired and organised that shall render future action more efficient.
Without this power, "the higher animals could not reach their full
development; the stimulus necessary for the growth of their bodies and
minds would be lacking."[28]

Play also is nature's instrument in the education of the young child.
The first and most important part of his education is obtained by this
means, and, on the basis thus laid, must all after-education be built.
Hence the importance in early life of allowing full freedom for the
manifestation of this activity. Hence also the very great importance of
securing that the children of the poor should be provided with the means
of realising the playful activities of their nature and of being
stimulated and encouraged to play. Hence one aim of the Kindergarten
School is to utilise the play-activity of the child in the development
of his body and mind.[29]

The third agency which we may employ in developing the physical powers
of the child is that of games. Games, however, are not merely useful as
means for the attainment of the physical development of the boy or girl;
they also may be made instrumental in the creation and fostering of
certain mental and moral qualities of the greatest after-value to the
community. No one acquainted with the important part which games perform
in the life of the Public School boy can doubt their great educational
value. By means of them the boy acquires experiences which in after-life
tend to make more efficient certain classes of actions essential for any
corporate or communal life. In the playing-fields he learns what it is
to be a member of a corporate body whose good and not the attainment of
his own private ends must be the first consideration. Through the medium
of the games of the school he may get to know the meaning of
self-sacrifice, of working with his fellows for a common end or purpose,
and of sinking his own individuality for the sake of his side. In
addition he learns the habits of ready obedience to superior knowledge
and ability; to submit to discipline; and to undergo fatigue for the
common good. If found worthy, he may learn how to command as well as to
obey, to think out means for the attainment of ends, and to know and
feel that the good name of the school rests upon his shoulders. These
and other qualities similar in character may be created and established
by means of the games of the school. And just as the utilising of the
play-instinct is nature's method of education in the fitting of the
young animal and the young child to adapt itself in the future to its
physical environment, so we may lay down that the games of the school
may be largely utilised as society's method of fitting the individual to
his after social environment, and in training him to understand the true
meaning and the real purport of corporate life.

On account, however, of the vast size of many of our Public Elementary
Schools and for other reasons, such as the limited playground
accommodation in many cases and the want of playing-fields, organised
games play but a small part in the physical and moral education of the
children attending such schools. But even here much more might be done
than is done at present by the teachers in the playground to encourage
the simpler playground games, and "to replace the disorganised rough and
tumble exercises which characterise the activities of so many of our
poorer population by some form of organised activity."[30] The aimless
parading of our streets by the sons and daughters of the working and
lower middle classes in their leisure time, the rough horseplay of the
youth of the lowest classes, are due in large measure to the fact that
during the school period they have not been habituated to take part with
their fellows in any form of organised activity, have never realised
what a corporate life means, and as a consequence are devoid of any
social interests.

One other question must be briefly considered, viz., How far should we
in the physical education of the youth keep in view the end of securing
the military efficiency of the nation? As Adam Smith pointed out, the
defence of any society against the violence and invasion of other
independent societies is the first duty of the sovereign. "An
industrious, and upon that account a wealthy nation is of all nations
the most likely to be attacked, and unless the State takes some measures
for the public defence, the natural habits of the people render them
altogether incapable of defending themselves."[31] He further asserts
that "even though the martial spirit of the people were of no use
towards the defence of the society, yet to prevent that sort of mental
mutilation, deformity, and wretchedness which cowardice necessarily
involves in it, from spreading themselves through the great body of the
people, it would still deserve the most serious attention of
Government."[32]

On these three grounds, then, that the defence of the country is the
first duty of every Government and therefore the first duty of every
citizen, that a nation engaged in commerce tends to render itself unfit
to defend itself unless means are devised to keep alive the patriotic
spirit, and that the keeping alive of the patriotic spirit is useful for
the cultivation of certain necessary social qualities, we may maintain
that the military efficiency of the youth should be included amongst the
aims of any national system of physical education. If the emphasis which
is laid upon the securing of the after military efficiency of the youth
of the nation occupies too prominent a place in the schemes of physical
education of some Continental countries, we on the other hand have
almost wholly neglected this aspect of the question. Every encouragement
therefore should be given to the formation of cadet and rifle corps in
the Secondary Schools of the country and in the Evening Continuation
Schools attended by the sons of the working classes. The time when
systematic instruction in military exercises and in the use of arms
shall form part of every youth's education has not yet arrived, but the
necessity for some such step looms already on the horizon.

FOOTNOTES:

[24] Locke's _Thoughts on Education_.

[25] Bowen's Froebel (Great Educator Series), p. 48.

[26] Cf. chap. ii.

[27] Cf. MacDougall's _Physiological Psychology_ (Dent); _also_ Sir
James Crichton Browne's article on "Education and the Nervous System,"
in Cassell's _Book of Health_.

[28] _Principles of Heredity_, ibid. p. 242.

[29] Cf. next chapter.

[30] _Suggestions for the Consideration of Teachers_ (English Board of
Education), chapter on Physical Education.

[31] Adam Smith, _Wealth of Nations_, p. 292.

[32] _Ibid._ p. 329.



CHAPTER X

THE AIM OF THE INFANT SCHOOL


It is needless to point out that the method of educating the infant mind
is the method of all education--viz., the regulation of the process by
which experiences are acquired and organised so as to render the
performance of future action more efficient. This, as we shall see
later, is the fundamental truth at the foundation of the Kindergarten
method of Froebel, and it must guide and control our conduct not only
during the earlier stages but throughout the whole process of education.

Moreover, since the early acquisitions of the child are the bases upon
which all further knowledge and practice are founded, we must realise
how important these first experiences are for the whole future
development of the child. Further, we have seen that all education--all
acquiring and organising of experience in early life--must be motived by
the felt desire to satisfy some instinctive need of the child's nature,
and that it is these instinctive needs which determine the nature and
scope of his early activities.

Later, indeed, acquired interests may be grafted upon the innate and
instinctive needs, but at the beginning and during his first years the
child's whole life is determined by the primitive desires of human
nature.

Now, the first instinctive need which requires the aid of education is
the need felt by the child to acquire some measure of control over his
bodily movements and over the things in his immediate physical
environment. Hence the first stage in education is the regulation of the
process by which the child acquires and organises those experiences
which shall give him this control. Nature herself indeed provides the
means for the attainment of this end, but education can do much to aid
in the attainment and to shorten the period of incomplete attainment. By
means of the assistance given, the control exercised and the direction
afforded, we enable the child to organise the lower centres of the
nervous system which have to do with the control of the larger bodily
movements, and thus establish organised systems of means for the
attainment of certain definite ends.

The second stage supervenes when the need is felt by the child for some
measure of control over his social environment. For the young child soon
realises that it is only in so far as he can exert some influence over
the persons intimately connected with his welfare that he can make his
wants known and find means for the satisfaction of his desires. Hence
arises the need for some method of communication with his fellows, and
from this springs the desire for some system of signs and for a language
to enable him to make his wants known. Chiefly by means of the educative
process of imitating the experiences of others, he gradually acquires a
language and finds himself at home in his social world.

During this period the centres called into activity, developed, and
organised are mainly those connected with the lip and speech centres,
and a certain stage of organisation having been attained, the
opportunity is now afforded for the fuller functional development of the
higher centres entrusted with the duty of receiving, discriminating, and
co-ordinating the data of the special organs of sense.

The period during which the child is gradually acquiring control over
his immediate physical and social environments may roughly be said to
extend to the end of his third year.

From that time onwards the worlds of nature and of society for their own
sake become objects of curiosity to the child. Every new object presents
him with a variety of fresh sensations. He feels, tastes, and bites
everything that comes within his reach, and so acquires a world of new
experiences. Hence for "the first six years of his life a child has
quite enough to do in learning its place in the universe and the nature
of its surroundings, and to compel it during any part of that period to
give its attention to mere words and symbols is to stint it of the best
part of its education for that which is only of secondary importance,
and to weaken the foundations of its whole mental fabric."[33]

If, then, during this period the child is left wholly to gather his
experiences as he may, he no doubt acquires by his own self-activity a
world of new ideas, but the result of this unregulated process will be
that the knowledge gained will be largely unsystematised, and much of
the experience acquired may be of a nature which may give a false
direction to his whole after-development. Hence arise three needs. In
the first place, we must endeavour to see that new experiences are
presented to the child in some systematic manner, in order that the
knowledge may be so organised that it may serve as means to the
attainment of ends, and so render future activity more accurate and more
efficient. In the second place, we must endeavour to prevent the
acquisition of experiences which if allowed to be organised would give
an immoral direction to conduct; and in the third place, we must
endeavour to establish early in the mind of the child organised systems
of means which may hereafter result in the prevalence of activities
socially useful to the community.

Now, these three aims are or should be the aims of the Kindergarten
School, and we shall now inquire into the ends which the Kindergarten
School sets before it, and for this purpose we shall state the
fundamental principles which Froebel himself laid down as the guiding
principles of this stage of education.

On its intellectual side the Kindergarten as conceived by Froebel has
four distinct aims in view. The first aim is by means of comparing and
contrasting a series of objects presented in some regular and systematic
manner to lead the child to note the likenesses and differences between
the things, and so through and by means of his own self-activity to
build up coherent and connected systems of ideas. By this method the
teacher builds up in the mind of the young child systems of ideas
regarding the colours, forms, and other sense qualities of the more
common objects of his environment. The second aim is by means of some
form of concrete construction to give expression to the knowledge so
gained, to make this knowledge more accurate and definite, and thus by a
dialectical return to make the experiences of the child definite and
accurate, so as to render future action more efficient, and thus pave
the way for further progress. The third aim is to utilise the
play-activity of the child in the acquisition of new experiences and in
their outward concrete expression. The fourth is to engage the child in
the production of something socially useful, something which engages his
genuine work-activity. In short, what Froebel clearly realised was that
the mere taking in of new experiences by the child mind in any order was
not sufficient. Experiences to be useful for efficient action must be
assimilated--must be organised into a system--and in order that this may
be possible the experiences must be presented in such a manner as will
render them capable of being organised. Moreover, this mere taking in of
new experiences is not enough. There must be a giving out or expression
of the knowledge acquired, for it is only in so far as we can turn to
use new experiences that we can be sure that they are really ours. Now,
since the forms of expression natural to the young child are those which
evoke his practical constructive efforts, all outward expression in its
earlier stages must assume a concrete form. The aim of the so-called
"Gifts" in Froebel's scheme is to build up an organised system of
sense-knowledge; the aim of the "Occupations" of the Kindergarten is to
develop the power of concrete expression of the child. The "Gifts" and
the "Occupations" are correlative methods,--the one concerned with the
taking in, the other with the outward expression of the same
experience,--and throughout either aspect of the process the
reason-activity of the child must be evoked both in the acquisition and
in the expression of the new experience. Physiologically, this twofold
process implies that during the Kindergarten period the sensory areas of
the brain are being exercised and organised and that the associative
activity evoked is concerned with the co-ordination of the impressions
derived through these areas. Psychologically, it implies that during
this period we are mainly concerned with the formation of perceptual
systems of knowledge composed of data derived through the special senses
and through the active movements of the hands and limbs. Such a process,
moreover, is a necessary preliminary for the full after-development of
the higher association centres of the brain and for the formation by the
mind of conceptual systems of knowledge.

For if we attempt prematurely to exercise the higher centres before the
lower have reached a certain measure of development, if we attempt to
form conceptual systems of knowledge, such as all language and number
systems are, without first laying a sound perceptual basis, then we may
do much to hinder future mental growth, if we do not even inflict a
positive injury to the child. For the education of the senses neglected,
"all after-education partakes of a drowsiness, a haziness, and an
insufficiency which it is impossible to cure."[34]

On its moral and social side the aims of the Kindergarten School are no
less important. If left to follow the naive instinctive needs of his
nature and to gather experiences where and how he may, the child is
likely to make acquisitions which later may issue in wrong conduct.
Hence one aim of the Kindergarten is to present experiences which may
eventually issue in right conduct, and to prevent the acquisition of
experiences of an immoral kind. Hence also its insistence upon the need
of carefully selecting the environment of the young child, so that as
far as possible its early experiences--its first acquisitions--shall be
of a healthy nature. Moreover, by means of the organised activities of
the school, and by utilising the play-instinct of the child, it seeks to
form and establish certain habits of future social worth to the
community and to the individual. For, by means of the games and
occupations of the Kindergarten School, the child may first of all learn
what it means to co-operate with his fellows for a common end or
purpose; may learn to submit to authority which he dimly and
imperfectly, it may be, perceives to be reasonable; may be trained to
habits of accuracy, of order, and of obedience. Above all, the
Kindergarten system may rouse and foster in the mind of the child that
sense of a corporate life and of a common social spirit the prevalence
of which in after-life is the only secure foundation of society.

In England the extreme importance of the education of the infant mind
has been, in recent years, clearly acknowledged. The new regulations of
the Board of Education no longer allow children under five years of age
to be included as "an integral part of a three-R grant-earning
Elementary School." A special curriculum has been set forth for their
education. They are to have opportunities provided "for the free
development of their bodies and minds and for the formation of habits of
obedience and attention."[35] What are known as "Kindergarten
Occupations are not merely pleasant pastimes for children: if so
regarded, they are not intelligently used by the teacher. Their purpose
is to stimulate intelligent individual effort, to furnish training of
the senses of sight and touch, to promote accurate co-ordination of hand
movements with sense impressions, and, not least important, to implant a
habit of obedience."

"Formal teaching, even by means of Kindergarten Occupations, is
undesirable for children under five. At this stage it is sufficient to
give the child opportunity to use his senses freely. To attempt formal
teaching will almost inevitably mean, with some of the children, either
restraint or over-stimulation, with constant danger to mental growth and
health."[36]

From these extracts from the _Suggestions for the Consideration of
Teachers_ of the Head of the English Board of Education, it will be
evident that the spirit of the "Kindergarten" now largely enters into
the curriculum of the infant classes. In the future we may hope to see
it carried further and that no formal teaching of the child will be
undertaken during the first six years of his life. Further, we may hope
to see in the future the infant departments of our schools more
thoroughly organised than they are at present on the Kindergarten
principle, and the curriculum of the Infant School so devised that it
shall fit into and pave the way for the curriculum of the Elementary
School. For at the earlier stage much may be done by the methods of the
Kindergarten to lay the basis for the teaching of the arts of reading,
writing, and arithmetic which it is the main business of the Primary
School to lead the child to acquire. _E.g._, at the earlier stage, by
the breaking up and reconstructing of concrete groups of things, the
child can be initiated into the meaning of a number system. By means of
pictures and of concrete forms he can be made gradually acquainted with
alphabetic forms, and this teaching lays the basis for the future
acquisition of the abstract symbols of printed and written words.

But while much has been done in England to recognise the importance of
the early education of the child for the after moral and social good
both of the individual and of the community, and to place the
instruction of the infant classes in the Public Elementary Schools upon
a rational basis, little attention has been paid in Scotland to this
subject. As a rule, children in that country do not enter school before
the age of five, and there is no separate provision made for the
teaching of children under that age; in fact, all scholars under seven
years of age are classified together and form the Junior Division of the
school.

Such a state of matters reflects but little credit on the educational
leaders of Scotland, and indicates an imperfect conception of the real
nature of the educative process. For if education is the process of
acquiring and organising experiences in order to render future action
more efficient, it is surely the height of folly to allow the young
child to gather his early experiences as he may. Moreover, in the case
of the children of the slums, to allow them during their early years to
gather into their brain without any correcting agency "all the sights
and scenes of a slum is sheer social madness." "The child must be
removed, or partially removed, from such an atmosphere, since it has
reached the imitative stage, and is nearing the selective stage of life.
For the moment he imitates anything; presently he will imitate what
pleases him, what gives him momentary pleasure. Before the unmoral
selective stage is reached, the stage which inevitably precedes the
moral and immoral selective stage, it is essential that children should
receive definite and deliberate guidance, that the imitative faculty
should be controlled."[37] In the case of the children of the poorer
districts this can be done only through the agency of the Infant School.
Much may be done by making the instruction of the school attractive, to
counteract the evil influences of the home and social environment, and
to lead the child to acquire and organise experiences which will issue
in moral and not in immoral conduct.

Hence what we need in the poorer districts of our large towns is Free
Kindergarten Schools from which all formal teaching of the three R's is
abolished, where for several hours in each day the child may be trained
to use his senses in the accurate discrimination and accurate
systematisation of sense knowledge; where he may have his constructive
activities evoked by the expression in concrete form of what he has been
led to perceive through the medium of the senses; where he may be
trained to habits of order, of cleanliness, of submission to authority;
and where for a time, at least, he may be accustomed to live in a purer
and healthier atmosphere than he can find at home or in the street, and
where for a brief space he may have that feeling of home which he cannot
find at home.[38]

The establishment in the poorer districts of our great towns of schools
whose education follows the method of the Kindergarten if accompanied by
some system of feeding the child would do much to secure the after
social efficiency of the rising generation, and would by its reaction on
the home-life tend gradually to raise the ideals of the very poor.

FOOTNOTES:

[33] _The Nervous System and Education_, by Sir James Crichton Browne,
_ibid._ p. 345.

[34] _The Nervous System and Education_, by Sir James Crichton Browne,
_ibid._ p. 345.

[35] Cf. on this subject the chapter on "School Nurseries" in _National
Education and National Life_, ibid.

[36] _Suggestions for the Consideration of Teachers_, chap. iii. (issued
by the English Board of Education).

[37] Montmorency's _National Education and National Life_, ibid. p. 143.
The chapter on "School Nurseries" should be read by everyone, and
especially by every Scotsman interested in the education of young
children.

[38] Cf. Charles Lamb's Essay on _Popular Fallacies_.



CHAPTER XI

THE AIM OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL


During the past thirty years no part of our educational system has
received so much attention as the Elementary Schools of the country. If
we compare the condition of things which prevails at the present time
with that which existed previous to 1870, there can be no doubt that a
great advance has been made both in the better provision of the means of
education and in the efficiency of the instruction given. Previous to
1870 a large number of the children of the poor received no
education.[39] Of those attending school many left with but a scanty
knowledge. Now practically every child[40] receives a training in the
primary arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic; and with the gradual
extension of the period during which the child must attend school, it
has become possible to ensure that a larger and larger number of
children leaving our Elementary Schools have received an education which
may be of value for the after-fulfilment of the simpler practical ends
of life. Again, previous to 1870 the school buildings were in many cases
unfit for their purpose; now the Elementary Schools of the country both
in their building arrangements and equipment are as a rule much superior
to the voluntary and endowed schools providing secondary education.
Previous to 1870 anyone was thought good enough to undertake the work of
teaching; since that time more and more attention has been paid to the
qualifications of the teacher and to securing that he shall have
attained a certain standard of education, and have received a certain
measure of training before engaging upon the work of the instruction of
the young. We, _e.g._, no longer entrust the instruction of the younger
children in the school to the older, as was the custom under the
monitorial system of Bell and Lancaster, and with the abolition of the
pupil-teacher the last remnant of a system introduced at the beginning
of the nineteenth century, as the only remedy to meet the dire
educational necessities of the time, will have been removed.

But in spite of the great advances which have been made, there is a
deep-seated feeling now beginning to find expression, that somehow or
other the Elementary School has not realised all the expectations that
were once thought likely to result from the universal education of the
children of the nation, and that in particular the Primary School has
failed to foster and to establish the moral and social qualities
necessary for the welfare of a State whose government is founded on the
representative principle.

This, it seems to me, is largely due to the wrong conception of the aims
which the Primary School is intended to realise--a conception which
prevailed for many years after the introduction of compulsory elementary
education. For some time now, and especially during the past few years,
a counter-reaction has set in against the narrowness of the aims of the
preceding period, and like all reactions it tends to go to the opposite
extreme, and so to broaden the aims of the Primary School as to be in
danger of failing to realise efficiently any one of the ends which it
sets before it.

The state of things immediately preceding 1870 not unnaturally gave rise
to the idea that the acquisition of the arts of reading, writing, and
arithmetic was the one indispensable object to be attained in the
elementary education of the child. This conviction was strengthened by
the system of Government grants introduced into both English and Scotch
schools, payments to school managers being largely based upon the
successes obtained in passes in the three elementary subjects.

Certain results naturally followed. In the first place, no provision was
made for the special education of the infant classes. Since the
after-success of the child was measured by his attainments in the three
R's, the sooner the infant mind was introduced to these subjects the
better the after-result might be expected to be. Thus the grant-earning
capacity of the child became the teacher's chief consideration. In the
second place, the energies of the teacher were directed to secure a
certain mechanical accuracy in the use of the three elementary arts
rather than their intelligent apprehension. As a consequence, these
subjects came in time to be thought of as subjects worthy of attainment
for their own sake and their acquisition as an end in itself. Hence it
was forgotten that the acquisition and organisation of these systems of
elementary knowledge are only valuable because they are the
indispensable means of all intercourse, of all commerce, and of all
culture. Hence also their use as instruments for the after-realisation
of many purposes in life tended to be neglected, or at least to fall
into the background. Individual teachers, no doubt, in many cases
realised the partial error in this conception of the aims of the Primary
School, but the demands of Government inspectors and of school
authorities, with their rule-of-thumb methods of testing the success of
the teacher's work by the percentage of passes gained, tended often to
make the teacher, in spite of his better judgment, look upon the child
mainly as a three-R grant-earning subject and to consider the chief aim
of primary education to be the securing of a certain mechanical
proficiency in the use of the three elementary arts.

Under such a method of examination it was certainly necessary for the
teacher to pay some attention to the individuality of the child. If his
efforts were to be at all successful it was incumbent upon him to
discover as early as possible the range of the child's previous
knowledge in the three grant-earning subjects and to find out in which
of the three the power of acquisition of the child was naturally weak or
naturally strong. Where the number of children in a class was large,
little individual attention could, of course, be paid to the child, and
in such cases the acquisition of the subject was aided by the mechanical
drilling of sections of the class and by recourse to all manner of
devices for ensuring the accurate acquisition of the essential subjects.

As a result of this partial and one-sided conception little attention
was paid to the use to which these subjects may be put in the
realisation of the practical ends of life. Arithmetic, _e.g._, seemed to
the child to be made up of a number of kinds of arithmetic, each process
having its own rules and methods of procedure; but it never entered into
his mind, and but seldom into that of his teacher, that the various
arithmetical processes are at bottom but diverse forms of the one
fundamental process of adding to or subtracting from a group. Proportion
was one kind of arithmetic, simple interest another, but that these
processes symbolised real group-forming processes, or that they had to
do with any of the realities of life, was apprehended, if at all, in the
most imperfect and hazy manner.

In a similar manner, the overcoming of the mechanical difficulties of
language construction occupied the major portion of the attention of the
child during the school period, and the function of language in
conveying a knowledge of things and persons and events received but a
small share of his attention. Meanings of words were indeed tabulated
and learnt by heart, and as a rule the child on examination-day could
make a fair show in deluding the inspector that the passage read was
intelligently apprehended. In very much the same way, the overcoming of
the mechanical difficulties of writing and the drilling of the child to
form his letters in a uniform style received the chief share of the
school-time devoted to the subject.

The interest and attention of the child having been thus mainly occupied
in the overcoming of the mechanical difficulties involved in the
learning of the three grant-earning subjects, and little attention
having been paid to the use of these arts, it followed that upon the
conclusion of the school period the child left the school without any
real interests having been established as the result of the educative
process.

Moreover, except in so far as by their teaching we may establish habits
of order and of accuracy, the three elementary subjects in themselves
possess no moral or social intent; hence unless we can make the child
realise their value as instruments for the attainment of ends of social
worth they in themselves fail to play any important part in the building
up of character.

Let me put this in another way. We have defined education as the process
of acquiring and systematising experiences that will render future
action more efficient, or alternatively it is the process by which we
organise and establish in the mind systems of ideas for the attainment
of ends. But if we make the acquisition of these elementary arts ends in
themselves, then it follows that the more efficient action we seek to
realise is the more efficient manipulation of a number system or a
language system. If, however, we realise that these arts are but means
to the realisation of other ends, then we shall understand that it is
the character of the latter which mainly determines the resulting
character of the education given.

Partly to this erroneous conception of the real function of the
elementary arts, and partly to another cause which we shall mention
later, may be attributed the poor results which our Elementary School
system has attained in the establishment of interests of moral and
social worth. If, moreover, we realise how large a proportion of the
children left and still do leave school at an early age, before such
interests can be permanently established, and in some cases with
anything but an adequate knowledge of the elementary arts necessary for
all further progress, we may rather be astonished that so much has been
done than so little.

But in the reaction against the narrowness and formalism of our early
aims in elementary education, there is a tendency--a strong tendency--at
the present time to go to the opposite extreme, and to make the
elementary instrumental arts the vehicles for the fostering of real
interests at too early a stage. This manifests itself on the one hand in
the desire to make all instruction interesting to the child, and on the
other to introduce the child prematurely to a knowledge of the real
conditions of life, before he can have any intelligent understanding of
these conditions. From the barrenness and formalism of the earlier
period, we now have the demand made that the school should throughout
take into account the real and practical necessities of life.

The former tendency--the tendency to make everything interesting to the
child by lessening or minimising the mechanical difficulties and by
endeavouring in every way to incite the child to become interested in
the content of the lesson--is best exemplified by the character of the
school books which we now place in the hands of our children. The latter
tendency--the tendency to the premature use of the elementary arts--is
exemplified by the craving to make our teaching of arithmetic practical
and real from the very beginning.

In the former case, instead of endeavouring to make the process of
language construction interesting in itself, we divert the child's
attention from the acquiring and organising of the system of language
forms to the premature acquirement of the content of language. What
results is obvious: the main interest being in the content, the
interest in the mechanical construction of the form suffers, and as a
consequence the child never attains a full mastery over the instrumental
art.

In the latter case we attempt to do two things at the same time in our
teaching of arithmetic. In every concrete application of arithmetic
there are two interests involved: in the first place, there is the
number interest--the interest in the analysing and recombining of a
group, undertaken for the sake of the reconstruction itself; in the
second place, there is the business or real interest, which the number
interest indeed subserves, but the two interests are in no case
identical. If we attempt to teach the two together, we as a rule teach
both badly. The pupil will have but a hazy idea of the business
relation, and will run the risk of imperfectly organising the pure
number system. Hence all kinds of impossible problems may be given to
the child without raising any suspicion of error in his mind, and such
cases furnish certain evidence that the business relation does not
really concern him, but that his whole attention is engaged with the
purely constructive aspect of number. Another example of the same error
of confounding two separate things is the "blind mixture we make of
arithmetic and measuring." Because arithmetic is involved in all
measuring we assume that when the child can add together feet and
inches, therefore he has a complete knowledge of these spatial
magnitudes. But manifestly, if spatial magnitude is to be taught
intelligently, it must at first be taught independently of the number
relation, which is a general system instrumental in the realisation of
many concrete interests.

From these considerations, certain general results follow. On the one
hand, the earlier conception of the aim of the Primary School as being
mainly concerned with the acquirement and organisation of the three
elementary arts as ends in themselves must be condemned. Language and
number systems are means to the realisation of certain concrete ends of
after-life, and the school during the later stages of education must
endeavour to lead the child to perceive how these systems may be
utilised in the furtherance of these real concrete interests. On the
other hand, the attempt to combine prematurely these two aims will
result in the imperfect attainment of both. During the earlier stages of
education the main interest must be in the construction for its own sake
of the language system or the number system, and while the real interest
may be introduced it must always be kept subsidiary to the main
interest--must first of all be taught for its own sake, and the
instrumental art only used for its furtherance in so far as the
acquirement of the former is not obstructed. _E.g._, the placing of
geography and history Readers in the hands of the child while he is
still struggling with the difficulties of language construction can only
result in the history and geography being imperfectly understood and the
organisation of the language system being delayed and hindered.

Once the elementary and subsidiary systems have been fairly well
organised and established, their function as means for the furtherance
of real interests should occupy a larger share of the child's attention
and of the time of the school. These real interests, however, must in
every case and at every stage be taught at first for their own sake, and
thereafter their relation to the instrumental art explained and applied.
Gradually, as they become better organised and more firmly established,
the elementary arts occupy a smaller and smaller share of attention,
until finally they function automatically, and the whole attention can
be directed to the furtherance of the real interests to which the
elementary arts are the indispensable means.

Hence we note three stages in the elementary education of the child--the
stage preceding the formal instruction in the elementary arts; the stage
in which the formal instruction should predominate and receive the
greater share of the child's attention; the stage in which the
elementary systems having been in great measure organised and
established, they may be utilised as means to the furtherance of the
real interests. The first stage corresponds to the Infant or
Kindergarten age: here the main object is to build up in the mind of the
child systems of ideas about the things of his environment; to extend,
by conversation and by reading to the child, the vocabulary of his own
language; to give him practice in the combining and recombining of
concrete groups of things, and to introduce him to a knowledge of the
various language forms in a concrete shape.

In the second stage, and here the work of the Primary School begins, the
main emphasis at the beginning must be laid on the acquirement and
establishment of the language and number systems for their own sake. If
right methods are followed, the child can be interested in these
processes of construction without the need of calling into use at every
point some real interest. In the concluding stage the use of these
instruments as means to the realisation of the simpler practical ends of
life should receive more attention.

One reason, then, for the poor moral and social results effected in the
past by our Elementary School system has been the undue emphasis placed
upon the acquisition of the merely formal arts to the neglect of the
real interests to which the former are but the means. Another cause,
however, has been operative in producing this negative result. In the
Elementary Schools, in the past, little attention has been paid to the
individuality of the child, and little heed given to the differences
between children as regards their different rates of intellectual growth
and their differing aptitudes for various branches of study. Under a
system of classification which compelled each individual, whether
intellectually well or moderately or poorly equipped, to advance at an
equal rate, attention to the individual with any other aim than to raise
the weak to the standard of the average child in acquiring the three R's
was impossible. Again, our huge city schools, partly on account of their
vast size, partly on the ground that they are unable to organise school
games, partly on account of their lack of any common school interests,
do not and cannot foster any sense of a corporate life, any feeling of a
common social spirit. Where our English Public School system is strong,
our Elementary and sometimes even our Day Secondary School systems are
weak. If the home fails to foster these qualities, and the school does
not or cannot fill the gap, then as a rule we turn out our boys and
girls poorly equipped to fulfil their duties in after-life as members of
a corporate community and as citizens of a State. Mere teaching of
history or of civics in our schools will do little to attain this end,
unless by some method or other we can foster by means of the school-life
the real civic spirit. It is, of course, easy to point out the nature of
the disease; it is more difficult to prescribe a remedy. But much might
be done to strengthen and increase the moral influence of the school by
a better system of classification, which took into account the
differences in intellectual capacity and in natural aptitude, and which
as a consequence, in the education of the child, paid more attention to
each child's individuality. This would involve much smaller classes than
exist at present, and would further involve that the children should be
under the care of one teacher for a longer time than is now the rule. At
the present time, in many cases, the teacher is employed in teaching the
same subjects, at the same stage, year after year, to a yearly fresh
batch of sixty or seventy children. Consequently he learns to look upon
his pupils as mere subjects to whom must be imparted the required
measure of instruction. Of the children in themselves, of their
home-life, of their interests outside school, he knows nothing, and as a
rule cares less.

If in addition to this we ceased erecting barracks for the instruction
of children and erected schools for their education, we should make even
a further advance in this direction. If it is impossible for other
reasons to lessen the size of our city Elementary Schools, then the
remedy lies in the division of the schools into departments in which the
Head should be entrusted with the supervision of the education of the
children during several years. In this way it would be possible for the
teacher to get to know each child individually, to direct his education
in accordance with his aptitudes, and to exert an influence over him.
Thus, by giving more attention to the organised games of the school and
by the creation of school interests, much might be done to remedy the
defects of the school on the side of moral and social education. At
best, however, when the home fails, the Elementary School can do little,
and we must put our trust in the ethical agencies of society to assist
and promote the efforts of the school in the furthering of a right
social spirit and in the creation of a common corporate feeling.

FOOTNOTES:

[39] _E.g._, in 1861 it was calculated that only 6 per cent. of the
children of the poor in England were receiving a satisfactory elementary
education. Cf. Balfour Graham's _Educational System of Great Britain and
Ireland_, p. 14.

[40] _E.g._, in 1872 in Scotland school places were provided for only
8.3 per cent. of the population. In 1905 places were provided for 21.22
of the population. Cf. _Report on Scotch Education_, 1905, p. 6.



CHAPTER XII

THE AIM OF THE SECONDARY SCHOOL


We have seen that on its intellectual side the Primary School has two
main functions to perform in the education of the child. In the first
place, the school must endeavour to secure that the elementary arts of
reading, writing, and arithmetic are well organised and well established
in the mind of the child. The more effectively the language and number
systems are organised and established the more efficiently will they
function in the performance of future action. Moreover, it is only when
they have become so organised as to function automatically that they
reach their highest efficiency as instruments for the further extension
of knowledge or of practice.

In the second place, the Primary School must train the pupil to the use
of these systems as instruments for the realisation of other and
concrete ends or interests. _E.g._, the number system may be used in the
furtherance of the measuring interest, the weighing interest, and so on.
The two dangers we have to avoid are on the one hand the barren
formalism of treating the acquisition of these arts as ends in
themselves, and on the other of supposing that the real interests can be
intelligently understood merely through the instrumentality of the
elementary arts and that they do not require independent treatment of
themselves.

If the child is destined to go no farther than the Elementary School
stage, then at least the concluding year of the school should be mainly
devoted to training him to the use of the primary instrumental arts in
the establishment of systems of knowledge necessary for the realisation
of the simpler practical ends of life.

If, however, the child is selected for a course of higher education, the
educative process becomes different in nature. In the first-named case
we are content to give the child practice in the application of an
already established system to concrete problems. In the second case we
endeavour, using the elementary systems as means, to establish other
systems of knowledge as means to the attainment of still further ends.
We may, _e.g._, on the basis of the vernacular language build up a
foreign language system as a means either to commercial intercourse or
to literary culture. In short, the aim of the Secondary School is, using
the elementary systems as the basal means, to organise and establish
other systems of means for the attainment of the more complex interests
of after-life, practical and theoretical. The object of establishing a
system of knowledge is not to pass examinations,--this is the
schoolmaster's error,--but to render future action more efficient, to
further in after-life some complex interest of a practical or
theoretical nature. To the few, indeed, the establishment and
systematisation of knowledge may be an end in itself. To the many, the
systematisation and establishment is and ought to be undertaken as a
means to the more efficient furtherance of some practical end. Further,
the only justification for the seeking of knowledge for its own sake is
that thereby it may be better understood, better established and better
systematised, and so become better fitted to make practice more
efficient.

Hence the question as regards secondary education resolves itself into
the question as to the nature of the systems of knowledge which we
should endeavour to establish systematically in the mind of the child,
and before we can answer this question we must know the length of time
which the child can afford to spend at the Higher School and his
possible vocation in after-life. For if education is the process by
which the child is led to acquire and organise experiences so as to
render future action more efficient, we must know something of the
nature of this action, something of the nature of the future social
services for which his education is to train him, and the school period
must be of sufficient length to enable the required systems to be
established permanently and thoroughly.

Neglect of these two obvious considerations has led in the past and even
in the present leads to two errors in our organisation of the means of
secondary education. In the first place, until quite recently, we have
been too much inclined to the opinion that secondary education was all
of one type, and even where this error has been recognised, as in
Germany, the tendency still exists to emphasise unduly the particular
type of education which has as its main ingredients the ancient
classical languages. We spend years in the attempt to reconstruct and
establish in the mind of the youth a knowledge of these language
systems, and in a large number of cases we fail to attain adequately
even this end. We build up laboriously systems of means which in
after-life function _directly_ in the attainment of no end, and as a
consequence, in many cases, the dissolution of the system is as rapid as
its acquisition was slow. At the time of the Renascence and when first
introduced into the curriculum of the Secondary School, these languages,
and especially Latin, did then possess a high functional value, since
they were the indispensable means to the furtherance of knowledge and to
social intercourse. To-day they possess little functional value, and
their claim for admission into the school curriculum is chiefly based
upon their so-called training and disciplinary values.

Let us consider this for a moment: in the reconstruction of, say, the
Latin language, the pupil is being trained in the reconstruction and
re-establishment of a language system whose methods and rules of
construction are much more complex and intricate than those of any
living language, and whose forms are so designed as to bring out
exactly varied shades of meaning. Hence, in its acquisition the pupil
receives practice in the exact discrimination of the meaning of words,
and in their accurate placing and reconstruction within the
sentence--the unit of expression--in order to bring out the exact
interpretation of the thought or statement of fact intended by the
writer.

Further, we may train the pupil during the school period to self-apply
the language system in the further interpretation of relatively unknown
passages. In short, we can train him in the processes of language
construction and of language application. Moreover, in considering this
question, we must take into account that during the school period the
main interest must necessarily be directed to the acquisition and
establishment of the system itself, that little attention can be
directed towards the content for its own sake, and that the
establishment of the system so that it shall function automatically in
the interpretation of the content is a stage which is attained in
comparatively few cases, and then only after many years of study.

If we then take into account, and we must take into account, the fact
that the chief value of the ancient languages as Secondary School
subjects lies in their use as training and disciplinary
instruments--that in after-life they function directly in the attainment
of no practical end, and only indirectly in so far as the habits
acquired of the exact weighing of the meaning of words and of the
accurate placing of words are carried over for the attainment of
practical ends in which these qualities of exact interpretation and
exact expression of language are the chief requisites--we shall
understand that while they may be of value in securing the efficient
after-performance of certain social services, they play but a small part
in the furthering of any service which requires an exact knowledge of
the qualities of things and an accurate knowledge of the laws governing
the operations of nature.

In the second place, neglect of the fact that the aim of education is to
establish systems of means for the efficient after-performance of
actions has led us to neglect the fact that in the acquisition and
establishment of systems of knowledge we require to limit the scope of
our aims and to carry on the process of education during a period
sufficiently extended to admit of the stable establishment of the
systems. If, _e.g._, we attempt to establish too many systems, then as a
result we often stably establish none, with the further result that
after the school period has passed the knowledge gained soon disappears.
If, again, we attempt in too limited a time to establish an elaborate
and complex system of knowledge, as _e.g._ that of the Latin language,
then we never reach the stage when it can be self-applied intelligently
in the furtherance of any end. Hence, if a boy leaves the Elementary
School and enters upon a High School course with the intention of
leaving at the age of fifteen or sixteen and entering upon some
employment, the systems of knowledge which can be established during the
school period must be different from those of the boy whose education is
intended to be extended until twenty-one. If, then, a national system of
education is to make adequate provision for the efficient
after-performance of the various social services which the nation
requires at the hands of its adult members; if, in short, it is to be
organic to the life of the State as a whole, then there must be not one
type of higher education but several; for it is to her Higher Schools
that a nation must principally look for the preparation of citizens who
in after-life will discharge the more important services of the
community. This truth has already been realised in other countries,
notably Germany. We are only beginning to realise it, and to take
measures to carry it into practice.

Moreover, in a national system of education we shall need not one system
of advancing means but several; not merely an educational ladder that
may carry the boy to the University, but also educational steps by which
the individual may mount to the Technical or the Commercial or the Art
College.

Hence our aims in the higher education of the youth, and as a
consequence the nature of the systems of knowledge which we should
endeavour to organise and to establish in their minds, will vary in
accordance with the nature of the service which in adult life the boy is
likely to perform. Now, these services may be divided into four main
classes.

In the first place, every nation requires an army of efficient
industrial workers. Partly, in some cases, owing to the decline of the
apprenticeship system, partly owing to the fact that where apprentices
are still employed no systematic measures are taken to instruct the
youth in the principles underlying his particular art, it is becoming
increasingly necessary that the school should supply and supplement the
knowledge required for the efficient after-performance of the industrial
and technical arts. Hence one kind of Higher School urgently required is
the Trade or Technical School. In a large number of cases this need
could be supplied by Evening Continuation Schools. At present, however,
our Evening Schools are too predominantly commercial and literary, and
do not make adequate provision for the trade and technical needs of the
community. Further, we must endeavour to secure that the boy or girl
enters the Evening Continuation School as soon after he leaves the
Elementary School as possible. For in many cases at the present time the
boy after leaving the Primary School loafs at night about the streets,
and in a short time through disuse forgets much of what he learned at
school, and often in addition acquires habits which tend to unfit him
for any future strenuous effort. When, therefore, he feels the need for
more knowledge in order to advance in his trade, the Evening School has
too frequently to begin by doing over again the work of the Elementary
School before it can enter upon the work of establishing the higher
system of knowledge.

In the second place, a nation such as ours requires a trained body of
servants for the efficient carrying on of her commerce. Preparation for
the simpler forms of service could be furnished by the commercial
classes of the Evening Continuation Schools. For preparation for the
higher services, we require a type of school which beginning after the
Elementary School stage has been completed, carries on the boy's
education until the fifteenth or sixteenth year, whose chief aim should
be to lay a sound basis in the acquisition and organisation of one or
two modern languages and in the acquirement of the arts instrumental for
the carrying on of commercial transactions. Further means of advance in
these studies should be provided by the day or evening Commercial
College.

In the third place, every modern nation requires a trained body of
scientific workers for the after carrying on of her industrial and
technical arts. Hence we need a type of school which by making the
physical sciences their chief object of study prepare the way for the
future training of the student in the application of scientific
knowledge to the furtherance of the industrial and technical arts.

Lastly, we require a type of secondary education which shall prepare the
boy for the efficient discharge of the duties which the State requires
at the hands of her physicians, her theologians, her jurists.

Thus, since all education is the acquisition of experiences that will
render future action more efficient, the nature of the secondary
education given must depend on the nature of the services to which the
systems of knowledge are the means. A classical education may be a good
preparation for the after-discharge of the duties of the theologian or
the jurist; it certainly will not do much for the efficient discharge of
the duties of the mechanical engineer and the practical chemist.

But one error must be avoided. Whilst the various types of Secondary
School must fashion their curricula according to the nature of the
services for which they prepare, we must not forget that the school has
other duties to perform than the mere preparation for the social
services by which a man hereafter earns his living. It must in every
case endeavour to organise and establish those systems of means
necessary for the after-discharge of the civic duties of life and
instrumental for the right use of leisure.

Practically we need three types of Higher School--one in which modern
languages form the basal subjects of the curriculum; one in which the
physical sciences are the main systems organised and established; one in
which the classical languages form the main staple of education.



CHAPTER XIII

THE AIM OF THE UNIVERSITY


"All public institutions of learning are called into existence by social
needs, and first of all by technical practical necessities. Theoretical
interests may lead to the founding of private associations such as the
Greek philosophers' schools; public schools owe their origin to the
social need for professional training. Thus during the Middle Ages the
first schools were called into being by the need of professional
training for ecclesiastics, the first learned profession, and a calling
whose importance seemed to demand such training. Essentially the same
necessity called into being the Universities of the Parisian type, with
their artistic and theological faculties. The two other types of
professional schools, the law school and the medical school, which were
first developed in Italy, then united with the former. The Universities
therefore originated as a union of 'technical' schools for
ecclesiastics, jurists, and physicians, to which division the faculty of
Arts was related as a general preparatory school, until during the
nineteenth century it also assumed something of the character of a
professional institution for the training of teachers for the Secondary
School."[41]

Thus the early aim of the University was, as it still continues to be,
to provide the training for the after-supply of those services which the
State requires at the hands of her theologians, her jurists, and her
physicians. In Germany, and to some extent even in our own country, the
Arts faculty of the University is ceasing to perform the function of a
General Preparatory School to the professional schools, and is becoming
an independent school, having for its aim the preparation of teachers
for the Intermediate and Secondary Schools of the country. In Scotland,
indeed, it serves at the present time as a Preparatory School mainly to
the theological faculty. As the Secondary Schools of the country become
more efficient, better differentiated, and better organised, the need of
a Preparatory School within our Universities will gradually become less,
and the University will be able to devote more of her energies to the
training of students preparing for some one or other of the above-named
professions. With this change the philosophical studies of the Arts
faculty will become increasingly important, and the method of teaching
the linguistic and scientific studies receive a larger share of
attention than they do at present.

But the other and perhaps the more important function of the University
is to carry on and to extend the work of scientific and literary
research for its own sake. This is the dominant note of the German and
American Universities of to-day. The emphasis is laid not so much upon
their function as schools for the supply of certain professional
services, but upon them as great national laboratories for the extension
of knowledge and the betterment of practice. In Great Britain, and
especially in Scotland, this conception of the function of the
University has not received the same prominence as, _e.g._, in Germany,
where the intimate union of scientific investigation and professional
instruction gives the German Universities their peculiar character.
Indeed, in the latter country the tendency at the present time is rather
to over-emphasise the function of the Universities in furthering
scientific and literary research to the neglect of the other and no less
important aim. Two dangers must be avoided. In the first place, whenever
the chief emphasis is laid upon the Universities as mainly schools for
professional training, the teaching tends to become narrow and dogmatic.
The teacher ceasing to be an investigator, gradually loses touch with
the spirit of the age, and as a consequence he fails adequately to
perform the duty of efficiently training his students for their after
life-work. In the second place, when the emphasis is laid strongly upon
the function of the University as an institution for the carrying on of
scientific and literary research there is the danger of again lapsing
into the old fallacy that knowledge for knowledge' sake is an end in
itself, that the object of education is to acquire and organise systems
of means which function in the attainment of no practical end, and that
the acquisition of knowledge is valuable for the culture of the
individual mind apart from any social purpose which the knowledge
subserves.

The University must therefore ever keep in view the two aims, of
advancing knowledge not for its own sake but in order that future action
may be rendered more efficient, and of adequately training for
professional services.

But to the older professions for which the University prepares there
have been added during the past century other vocations or professions
which need and demand an education no less important and no less
thorough than the education for the well established recognised
professions. The need for the higher training of the future leaders of
industry and the future captains of commerce has been provided by the
organisation and establishment of technological schools and colleges.
The establishment and organisation of the "Technical University" has
been more thorough in Germany than in this country. There we find
established newer institutions, of which the Charlottenburg College is
the best known and most important, for the higher education of those
intended in after-life to perform the more important industrial services
of the community. These institutions both in their organisation and
instruction are constantly approximating in type to the older
Universities.

The recently established Universities in the North of England attempt,
with what success it is too early yet to declare, to combine both aims
of training for the older and newer professions. In Scotland the latter
work is largely undertaken by the Technical Colleges, and in these
institutions the increasing need is for the extension and development of
the Day-school course.

One other question of some importance remains for brief consideration.
In our own country, but more especially in Germany, there is a tendency
at the present time to effect a complete separation between the work of
the University and the work of the Technical College.

This separation has arisen partly through the operation of external
historical conditions, but it has also arisen partly through the
tendency in certain academic circles to look down upon technical
knowledge and ability as something inferior. The exclusiveness and the
torpor of the older Universities in many cases has been a further cause
tending to the creation of the Technical College separated from the
University.

Such a separation, however, is good neither for the University nor for
the Technical College. The former in carrying out the aim of scientific
research and of the extension of knowledge requires ever the vivifying
touch of actual concrete experience, and this it can only obtain by
keeping in close contact with those whose chief function is the
application of scientific knowledge to practice. The latter in carrying
out its more practical aims requires, if it is to be saved from the
narrowness of mere specialisation and from degenerating into empirical
methods, the constant co-operation of those whose outlook is not
narrowed down to the immediate practical end, but takes in the subject
as a whole, and whose chief function is the better systematisation of
knowledge.

Hence, while the aim of the University is different from that of the
Technical College, they are so intimately correlated that neither can
reach its fullest development without the aid and co-operation of the
other. The Technical Colleges should be the professional schools
attached to the scientific side of the Universities. Moreover, this
division and separation is economically wasteful, since the general
training in science which must precede the practical training has to be
carried on both in the University and in the Technical College.

In Scotland this separation has not advanced to such a stage as is the
case in Germany. In any further reorganisation of university and higher
education it is earnestly to be hoped that the Day Technical College
will find its rightful place as an integral part of the University, and
that the latter may realise that her function is to further and extend
the bounds of knowledge in order that practice in every sphere of life
may be rendered more efficient.

FOOTNOTE:

[41] Cf. Prof. Paulsen, _The German Universities_, p. 111 (Eng. Trans.).



CHAPTER XIV

CONCLUSION--THE PRESENT PROBLEMS IN EDUCATION


The first necessity of the present for teachers and for all concerned
with the upbringing of children is to realise the true meaning of
education--that it is the process by which we lead the child to acquire
and organise experiences that will render future action more efficient;
that by our educational agencies we seek to establish systems of
knowledge that shall hereafter function in the efficient performance of
services of social value; and that the only method which really educates
and can educate is the method which evokes the constructive activity of
reason in the establishment of the various systems of means. Education
does not aim at culture nor at knowledge for its own sake, but at
fitting the individual for social service. Our school system tends ever
to forget this truth. It is in constant danger of losing sight of this
ultimate aim of education by keeping its attention too narrowly fixed on
some nearer and proximate aim. It tends often to lay too much stress on
mere examinations and examination results. It forgets that the only true
test of knowledge gained lies in the pupil's ability to use it
intelligently in the furtherance of some purpose--and of some social
purpose, and that the ultimate test of a system of education is the kind
of social individual it turns out. If our educational system turns out
boys and girls who in after-life become efficient workers, efficient
citizens, and men and women who have learned how to use their leisure
rightly, then it has fulfilled its function. If, on the other hand, it
fails in a large number of cases to attain these three ends or any one
of them, however it may satisfy the other tests applied, it has not
performed its function, is not a system which is "organic" to the
welfare of the State.

The second necessity is to realise the true place of the school as the
formal agent in the education of the child. Mankind by a long and
laborious process has discovered and established many systems of
knowledge. He has created language and invented arts for the realisation
of the many purposes of life. It is the business of the school to impart
this knowledge to the child--to put him in possession at least of some
part of this heritage which has come down to him, and to do so in such a
manner that while acquiring the experience he shall also be trained in
the method of finding and establishing systems of means for himself and
by himself. If, however, we lay the emphasis on the mere imparting of
the garnered experiences of the ages, the danger to be feared is lest
our teaching degenerate into mere dogmatism or mere cram. If, on the
other hand, we lay too much emphasis on the ability to self-find and
self-establish systems, we are in danger of losing sight of the social
purpose of all knowledge--of forgetting that the only justification for
establishing a system of knowledge is that it may efficiently function
in the attainment of some purpose of life.

Of the more important of the practical problems of our own day and
generation the first and most important is to realise that our
educational system as it exists at present is not fitted to produce and
maintain an efficient and sufficient supply of all the social services
which the modern State requires of its adult members, and that we must
consider this question of education as a whole and in all its parts, and
quite clear of mere party interests. Above all, we must get over the
fatal habit of reforming one part of the system and leaving the other
parts alone. The whole problem of education from the Primary School to
the University requires consideration and organisation. We reform now
our Universities, then after a period our Secondary School system, and
so we proceed, advancing here, retrograding there, but of education as
an organically connected whole we have no thought.

But apart from the want of organisation as a whole our educational
system in its parts is at present defective. We require to reconsider
the question of how best to educate the children of the very poor. At
present we fail in a large number of cases to train up the children of
this class to be socially efficient. Economically and morally we fail to
reach any high standard. No doubt the home and social environment is all
against the school influence; but by a more rational system of early
education, by taking more care of the physical development of the child,
and, if need be, for a time, making public provision for the feeding of
the children of the very poor, we might do much to remove this defect.
Above all, we must endeavour to stem the yearly flow of boys and girls
at the conclusion of the Primary School period into mere casual and
unskilled employments, and must endeavour by some means or other to
continue the education of the child for some years further.

Again, we require to make better provision for the technical training of
our workmen. By a system of Evening Continuation Schools having as their
aim the instruction of the youth in the arts underlying or subsidiary to
his particular calling, we might do much to amend this defect. Moreover,
the Evening Continuation Schools might play a much more important part
than they now do in the securing of the future moral and civic
efficiency of the individual and of the nation.

Lastly, and this need is clearly felt by all acquainted with the
subject, we require the development and extension of our Technical
Colleges, in order that we may adequately train those whose duty in
after-life will be the application of advanced scientific knowledge in
the furtherance of the arts and industries of life.


                            _Printed by_
                       MORRISON & GIBB LIMITED,
                             _Edinburgh_





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