New Types Of Education
( Originally Published 1921 )
ENGLISH education has developed from its two poles. It began, at the one end with the two universities and a few public schools, at the other with the monitorial schools of Bell and Lancaster. The middle was filled in last. The age of leaving the elementary school was gradually raised, " ex-VII standards" were added, evening continuation schools were attempted, till the Fisher Act of 1918 finally completed the growth that came from the bottom upwards. Concurrently there was taking place another development from the top downwards. The reform of public schools was followed by a revival of the smaller grammar schools along similar lines in the seventies. The success of this experiment led to a further demand for secondary education, and the beginning of the twentieth century saw the creation of municipal and county schools. The two growths thus met in the middle. When the continuation school clauses of the Fisher Act come into full force, it will be possible to say that all English boys and girls between five and eighteen are being educated. The period from 1815 to 1918 has secured the quantity of schooling; future improvements must be in its quality.
For thirty years after 1815 the universities, the public schools, and the monitorial schools were almost the only ancestors of our present educational institution which had any vitality. It is obvious, however, that two universities and less than a dozen public schools were educating only a fraction of the population which was over the very low elementary school age of that time; and we must consider how the rest were provided for, so far as they were provided for at all.
The Report of the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1868 is a mine of information concerning the old grammar schools. There were no less than 782 endowments for secondary education, though in fifty cases the schools had ceased to exist at the time of the Commission. Of these schools, 209 or 27 per cent. were nominally classical, though 132 of them sent no boys to the universities; 183 or 23 per cent. taught Latin but no Greek, and 340 or 43 per cent. were non-classical. They taught 9279 boarders and 27,595 day boys. The classical schools mostly dated from the Middle Ages or from the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the non-classical foundations were later. The early foundations almost invariably provided for the work being carried on by "one schoolmaster and one usher." Such an arrangement was almost unworkable, however small the number of pupils; yet the numbers were rarely sufficient to permit of more, and sometimes the funds were barely adequate for that. The Leeds judgment (1805) had forbidden a grammar school to be turned into a non-classical school, even where there was no demand for a classical education. It became, however, more and more difficult to enforce this decision, and in 1840 an act was passed allowing the Court of Chancery to relax it. The Commission found great variations both in curriculum and in efficiency according to locality; but whatever improvements had taken place were much more recent than 1815. The classical teaching was generally poor. The decadence was most noteworthy in Cumberland, Westmorland, and Cornwall, where the main function of classics seemed to be " to furnish the pretext for the neglect of all other useful learning1." In Staffordshire and Warwickshire there were only 97 boys who with unlimited time and with the help of dictionaries "would be able to make out an ordinary passage of Cicero or Vergil2." In Lancashire, however, many had recently adopted a "commercial" curriculum, not without improvement. Generally speaking, the non-classical schools were even worse than the classical; science was not taught at all, and French and mathematics were badly taught. In fact no one had a clear idea what a non-classical school should do In many cases the state of things amounted to a positive scandal. At Whitgift School, Croydon, now a first-grade school of over 300 boys, the headmaster had held office for thirty years but there were no pupils ! Sedbergh, which earlier in the century a headmaster named Evans had conducted with great success, and which has risen again to a prominent position, had dropped to thirteen boys, but the governors had no remedy against the headmaster. Much the same happened at Wakefield, the head having discovered that his tenure was a freehold. At Kingston the dormitory had been turned into a billiard-room, and the headmaster complacently assured the investigators that "it was not worth while with 'zoo a year." At Skipton the head employed his son and nephew as assistants and the teaching was hopelessly bad. At Bingley the headmaster taught his own son and the vicar's and neglected the rest. Since the Restoration, governors had far too often been guilty of neglect and sometimes of actual jobbery and misappropriation. Probably at any given time, however, there were a few schools, though not always the same schools, in which a good scholar was giving a sound classical foundation to a few boys who would proceed to the universities, as was the case with Dr Johnson. And in such cases the boys may have had other advantages. Charles Kingsley, for instance, though he laments that he was not sent to a public school, from a notion, probably mistaken, that it would have cured his shyness, would probably never have had the same opportunities for pursuing his botanical and geological hobbies as he had at Helston Grammar School; and Kingsley did not miss his first in classics through his scientific pursuits.
Besides the endowed schools there were about 10,000 private schools. These no commission ever investigated, and nothing like an adequate history of them will ever be told. They were of every variety of kind and quality. Their pupils would now be found in public schools, in municipal and county schools, in technical schools, in elementary schools. Wealthy parents might send their sons to a private school from fear of bad tone or bullying in a public school or to secure their own form of religious influence. Country clergymen, lawyers, and doctors had no fixed tradition in the matter; it depended on such accidental factors as acquaintance with the headmaster where a boy was sent. Farmers and shopkeepers had no other provision than private schools in districts which had no neighbouring grammar school or where it was totally inefficient. Social distinctions operated more powerfully to prevent parents from sending their children to elementary schools when elementary schools where charitable and not public institutions. Cheapness or dearness, the efficiency of the headmaster or the inefficiency of his grammar school rival, the success with which Latin was taught or the fact that Latin was not taught at all, the desire to keep a boy at home or the desire to get rid of him from home, might any of them be reasons for choosing for him a private school. Quite a substantial proportion of boys reached the universities who had never been to any endowed school.
One characteristic only did private schools possess in common, that the boys were much more closely supervised. This was what Cotton referred to when he told his Marl-borough boys that he would not govern them as a private school. The words would call up to his youthful hearers a vision of boys marching two by two and watched every moment of day and night. There had been a time when this was a deliberate ideal in England, as it has always been in France. Public school liberty arose because it spelt liberty for the masters long before it was accepted as good for the boys. The really devoted parent and the really devoted teacher believed in supervision. Locke was an Englishman to the core; but he believed in the private tutor. This older attitude was by no means dead. With the aristocracy Eton, Harrow, or Winchester had undoubtedly become the fashion, but it was not de rigueur; the professional classes still halted between two opinions.
The methods of teaching both in classical and in non-classical schools would be inconceivable today. Outside the public .schools, the text-books which were in use are our main source of evidence; but they are amply sufficient. A modern teacher would fling them away and dictate his own. In classical schools the Eton Grammar, a descendant of Lily's, was in common use. Garretson's Exercises chiefly astonish us by assuming that the whole of the accidence is learned before the pupil attempts to write the simplest Latin sentence. On the very first page words of all declensions and all conjugations are showered on the learner, who apparently writes Latin by rule before he has seen it written. The exercises follow the order of the rules in the Eton syntax, but assume a rate of progress which we know to be impossible. The dictionary confuses its user by giving from half-a-dozen to a score of English equivalents for a Latin word and vice versa, with no examples to show their meaning. When the pupil reached the stage of reading authors, no edition with vocabulary and notes welcomed him. The Eton books of extracts were indeed editions, but they were intended for the upper forms only, and they perplexed more than they elucidated. Plain texts of Vergil, Caesar, and Nepos were the rule. To make beginners look out every word in the dictionary and hammer out the sense for themselves was regarded as part of the mental discipline. It rarely occurred to anyone that the method by which the learner starts should bear some relation to the methods by which his mind must work if he is to become expert. A method which eliminated Sprachgefühl and unconscious use of analogy could not lead up to a sense of style or a power of translation at sight. It created the habit of regarding Latin sentences as brick puzzles—the idea that Latin translation consists in forcing the words by rule into grammatical but nonsensical English. The Gradus created the same brick-puzzle conception of the way to piece together Latin hexameters and pentameters. It may be safely assumed that Butler's improvements in the teaching of classics were long in reaching the grammar and private schools, save in occasional instances such as that of Don-caster (1808–1846) at Oakham, who practised them with success. A few teachers like the Hills1 may have freed our main source of evidence; but they are amply sufficient. A modern teacher would fling them away and dictate his own. In classical schools the Eton Grammar, a descendant of Lily's, was in common use. Garretson's Exercises chiefly astonish us by assuming that the whole of the accidence is learned before the pupil attempts to write the simplest Latin sentence. On the very first page words of all declensions and all conjugations are showered on the learner, who apparently writes Latin by rule before he has seen it written. The exercises follow the order of the rules in the Eton syntax, but assume a rate of progress which we know to be impossible. The dictionary confuses its user by giving from half-a-dozen to a score of English equivalents for a Latin word and vice versa, with no examples to show their meaning. When the pupil reached the stage of reading authors, no edition with vocabulary and notes welcomed him. The Eton books of extracts were indeed editions, but they were intended for the upper forms only, and they perplexed more than they elucidated. Plain texts of Vergil, Caesar, and Nepos were the rule. To make beginners look out every word in the dictionary and hammer out the sense for themselves was regarded as part of the mental discipline. It rarely occurred to anyone that the method by which the learner starts should bear some relation to the methods by which his mind must work if he is to become expert. A method which eliminated Sprachgefühl and unconscious use of analogy could not lead up to a sense of style or a power of translation at sight. It created the habit of regarding Latin sentences as brick puzzles—the idea that Latin translation consists in forcing the words by rule into grammatical but nonsensical English. The Gradus created the same brick-puzzle conception of the way to piece together Latin hexameters and pentameters. It may be safely assumed that Butler's improvements in the teaching of classics were long in reaching the grammar and private schools, save in occasional instances such as that of Don-caster (1808–1846) at Oakham, who practised them with success. A few teachers like the Hills1 may have freed themselves from the incubus of the text-book by oral teaching on their own lines.
The non-classical schools provided a curriculum hardly as wide as that of elementary schools at the present day. Outside the " three R's" the text-books indicate cram of the worst kind. Most of them were set out in the form of a catechism, and were clearly intended to be learned by heart, the teacher's sole function being to ask the questions prescribed in the book. Among the opponents of the traditional classical course had arisen a passion for " useful knowledge such as excited F. D. Maurice's query, "Useful for what? " The seventeenth century might be thought to have exhausted the possibilities of abstracts and epitomes; but the sum of human knowledge was greater now than in the age of Comenius, and closer packing was needed to get it into the required space. Here are the contents of a little text-book of 340 pages bearing the date 1821, which was presumably popular, since this is the eighteenth edition. It is styled An Easy Introduction to the Arts and Sciences. It deals in catechetical form with religion, logic, morality, atmospheric phenomena, sound, earthquakes and volcanoes, the tides, metaphysics, jurisprudence, medicine, chemistry, botany, grammar, rhetoric, metre, mathematics, architecture, painting, sculpture, mechanics, chronology, astronomy, geography, history, mythology, natural history, mineralogy, pneumatics, hydrostatics, electricity, galvanism, artificial memory, and the drama. The reasons for the sequence are not indicated. Only when he reaches mythology does the writer really launch out, this section occupying thirty pages, an amount beaten only by natural history with thirty-six. A small amount of mind-building material could possibly be extracted from this book, but Mangnall's Questions probably accomplished, more completely and more distastefully than any book ever written, the task of conveying to the learner an impression of familiarity with every classical, historical, political, or legal allusion, without giving a grain of real knowledge.
Even the text-books which limited themselves to one subject were in other respects no better. Guy's Geography a standard class-book in the middle of the century, boasts eloquently of a "new plan" "which was pursued by the compiler for years in the Royal Military College, and in no place of Education is this branch of Knowledge taught more expeditiously or more thoroughly." The "plan" is nothing else than this:—" Only the pages printed in the larger Roman type [fifteen pages entirely composed of strings of names of the features of each continent] should first be learned by heart. The divisions printed in Italics at the head of each country may form a second course [mainly provinces and chief towns]. And, if the pupil's time will permit, a third course of very careful reading through the smaller type (so as to enable him to answer the General Questions subjoined, page 163) will communicate a much greater body of valuable information than can be derived from any other school treatise." These questions are, "Is the country divided into provinces, governments, departments, states or counties, etc.? and how many? Have their names changed? If so what are they? Repeat the chief cities and say for what noted," etc., etc. Some history text-books were in catechetical form, but the best at least gave a continuous narrative. Though modern text-books of history do not inform their readers that Homer was the most famous of Greek historians, they have not made so great an advance on the pedagogic side as have the best geographical text-books. Popular astronomy benefited more than any other scientific subject from the love of presenting the results of modern science to schoolboys and schoolgirls; and, the present writer, having as a boy of eight lighted on an old school-book used by his aunt, is able to affirm that much of it was intelligible1. The same, however, cannot be confidently asserted of the teaching which had been given from it, as his aunt could scarcely have been trusted to recognise Jupiter with certainty. With what success the "Use of the Globes," which properly handled would have been a fine exercise for the intelligence, was taught must, we fear, be left a matter of conjecture. Would that we had as clear an idea how an early nineteenth century teacher proceeded with the following problem as we have of the way in which Brinsley taught Latin in the early seventeenth century!
To find at what time any star rises, culminates, and sets at any given latitude and day.
Adjust the globe to the state of the heavens for that day and place at noon, bring the star to the eastern verge of the horizon, the horary circle will then show the hour of its rising; bring the star to the meridian, the circle will then show the time of its culminating; and the time of its setting will be shewn by bringing the star to the western verge.
What is the time of Aldebaran's rising, culminating, and setting June i6 at London? Ans. About 1/2 past 3 in the morning; culminates at 11 A.M., and sets at 1/4 past 6 P.M.
The more enlightened text-books of popular science, dealing with light, mechanics, hydrostatics, etc., in a non-mathematical way, bear a strong impress of Rousseau, both in subject-matter and in the idea of experimenting with improvised apparatus. The omniscient tutor who appears in this class of book is clearly cousin german to Mr Barlow of Sandford and Merton. They were presumably meant for tutors and parents of Edgeworth type rather than for schools.
We can hardly condemn the schools or the parents of the period for clinging to their classics. The weapons of the "reformers" were hardly of a kind to drive classics from the fortress in which it had been ensconced for centuries. Before new subjects could demand admittance, their supporters must show that they could be taught as intelligently as Butler and Arnold were teaching classics.
Contemporary literature preserves for us some recollections of the private school. Dickens, in Mr Squeers's Dotheboys Hall, has created one immortal picture of the worst type. It may be well therefore to give a short account of one of the best.
Private schools have at least the liberty to experiment.
A remarkable experiment was made in the early years of the century in a private school near Birmingham by two brothers who afterwards became famous in other spheres, Rowland Hill, the author of penny postage, and Matthew Davenport Hill, the criminal law reformer. Not only so, but their experiment was an application to school conditions of the very principles which they afterwards so successfully applied to the body politic, that punishment should be reformatory, and that up to a certain point by demanding less you get more. The Hazelwood scheme gave far more self-government to the boys than any form of the prefect system. The closest modern parallel is the George Junior Republic. It is thought to have had some influence on Thomas Arnold.
The brothers Hill took over their father's school in Birmingham. He was so poor a financier that Rowland managed his business affairs from the age of seventeen. The boys had been brought up in the school atmosphere; Rowland had begun to teach at twelve. They were therefore largely self-educated, but this was not without advantage both to the scope of their interests and to their pedagogic attitude. A formal schooling might have confined them to classics; as it was, their interests covered not only mathematics but subjects so unusual in those days as surveying and various manual crafts. They avoided, how-ever, the growing craze among educational modernists for the mere pouring forth of knowledge; indeed the most striking feature in their teaching was their constant use of the pupils' activity. Classics, mathematics, French, and English constituted the class syllabus; but rarely has a system of options been so well devised to encourage the pupils to devote serious attention to hobbies of their own choice. It is, nevertheless, sad to think that it was the lack of that prestige which comes from university distinctions which prevented their experiment from having a wider influence and left them without successors.
Their methods of government and teaching were so interdependent that neither would retain its identity with-out the other. Both depended on two premises, the first that the motives which influence adults are among those which influence boys, though they never regarded them as the sole motives ; the second that a right training for life should therefore embrace the direction of these motives which commonly guide life. The second of these propositions would commend itself to modern educationalists if they could convince themselves of the truth of the first. But the first is truer than is often thought. The old mistake was for scholarly men to picture all boys as budding scholars; the new mistake is to forget that the majority of men have never grown up either intellectually or morally, but remain big schoolboys—good-hearted, energetic, impulsive, short-sighted, changeable, tireless over a self-imposed task but ready to use any device to shirk a task imposed by others, straight in their dealings with their own companions but inclined to regard all other types of mankind as unreasonable. Personally we are convinced that the minority of men who think ahead and regulate their conduct by logical principles begin to do so at school and that the rest remain such as we have described.
The Hills' experiment then was an attempt to readjust the balance between the motives for study which might be brought to bear on boys. Of these, love of the subject, joy in successful activity, competition, reward, and punishment have at different times been in favour. The Hills took a very sensible view concerning the scope of the first motive. In few cases will boys really prefer classics or mathematics to lighter pursuits. Hence this motive was restricted to choice of options—general reading, composition, and various manual subjects, such as drawing, model-ling, and surveying. Even in these congenial subjects they saw that interest alone will not make a boy wish to continue when difficulties become rife and steady application is needed: so in every case they required the definite completion of some piece of work before any account was taken of it. The same principle was applied in the regular class subjects: as soon as the pupil had done his work without a mistake, he could leave the class. In no subject was passive receptivity allowed except in the early stages of learning languages, which they reasonably regarded as an essentially imitative process. The use of the dictionary was therefore postponed and very careful class work took its place. The Hills had hit on the right principle, though it has been left to recent times to work it out in the direct method. But for subjects like history, descriptive geography, and popular science, the bold plan was adopted of letting the pupils read what they liked so long as they were willing to stand an oral test on it, a method which would win the approval of Miss Charlotte Mason at the present day. Joy in successful activity was therefore well recognised; and this joy is identical with the play motive, which was at one time thought to be peculiar to childhood, but is now recognised as the spring of energy not only in the artist but in every worker who approaches his work in the artist's spirit.
The three motives of competition, reward, and punishment were rolled into one. The Hills had no false illusions about the sense of duty, which they recognised to be the goal of education rather than its spring. Schoolboys have a sense of duty just as soldiers have. Soldiers will face death, but they will not dig trenches, from a sense of duty. Adult work, save when it is done in the spirit of the artist—and preliminary spade-work can hardly be done in that spirit—is mainly based on one of these three motives. To the Englishman or American competition means "beating the other fellow," not, as with the Latin races, hoping for a statue to record your victory. He neither brags over his success nor, like the old Assyrian kings, wishes to engage inferior rivals in order to secure a soft victory. Competition was accepted at Hazelwood as an honourable motive. The shape, however, which it assumed was peculiar. A foreigner might say that it was the natural shape for it to assume among a "nation of shopkeepers." Among adults in a mercantile community money is the usual reward of industry, and want of it the usual punishment for idleness. If, as Spencer afterwards asserted, the consequences of action in childhood ought to be made as like as possible to those of mature life, the corollary seems to be obvious, and the Hills did not shrink from it. But the Hills were acquainted with political economy, and knew that money is only a symbol of value and a medium of exchange, the true value residing in the commodities which it will purchase. They therefore invented a school coinage which would purchase those commodities which schoolboys desire, holidays, privileges, and the like. Punishments consisted in the loss of these counters or "marks." Marks, i.e. dummy coins, were won for place in class, but mainly for the performance of options, while they were lost wholesale for even a single mistake in set work. Punishments for work, in the strict sense, only began with bankruptcy, when detentions were imposed until enough optional work had been done to render the defaulter once more solvent.
Ardent supporters of the Liberal movement, the Hills introduced the methods of constitutional government into their school. The masters regulated the curriculum, but the boys, through elected committees, controlled the discipline. The constituencies were so arranged as to give great weight to position in the school. The criminal code was the work of the boys, though masters were, so to speak, ex officio magistrates in class. In cases of doubt the boys themselves furnished judge and jury. The authors of this system, which reads at first like a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, claimed that it worked so well that justice rarely miscarried. Corporal punishment was abolished; fines, loss of privileges, temporary interdiction of social intercourse and, in the last resort, confinement in the dark being the recognised penalties.
Fortunately we have the impressions of an old pupil, who seems to be a man of commonsense, on the effects of the system. W. L. Sargant, in his Essays by a Birmingham Manufacturer', writes: "By juries and committees, by marks, and by appeals to a sense of honour, discipline was maintained. But this was done, I think, at too great a sacrifice : the thoughtlessness, the spring, the elation of childhood were taken from us; we were premature men: one of my younger schoolfellows told me that as an elder boy, being appointed after I left a guardian over his juniors "—this was the way in which the happy-go-lucky juniors were by a kindly but steady pressure broken in to the system—"the responsibility weighed on him so heavily that he meditated suicide; and yet there was not a tinge of morbidness in his temperament. The school was in truth a moral hotbed, which forced us into a precocious imitation of maturity. I have heard an Oxford friend say that Arnold's men had a little of the prig about them: I know too well that some of us had a great deal of the prig about us : I have often wished that I had the 'giftie to see ourselves as others see us'; but I have comforted myself with observing that in later life my schoolfellows (perhaps therefore I myself) outgrew this unamiable character."
With this verdict that it was a hotbed of prigs some readers may be content to leave it. Clearly it was not an aggregate of units struggling each against each like the world of the Manchester School. It did not produce an "economic boy": there was no " de'il tak' the hindmost." The smaller and weaker, who were slaves at the public school, were treated as colts to be trained at Hazelwood. And is not this the only judicious relation which can subsist between older and younger boys? The system clearly escapes the Scylla of encouraging a "mercantile spirit," if indeed it was not a moralising of that spirit : what of the Charybdis of training prigs? A prig, we take it is one who does by rule good actions which other people, if they do them at all, do automatically. Consequently, every time he does a good action, he is aware of the fact. He is there-fore in risk of being conceited, and he may also become a casuist. He is inclined to become self-centred, in which case his separate virtues become an aggregate vice. He may be suspected of being censorious; for his habit of finely weighing his own motives may be transferred to those of others. If priggishness be accompanied by none of these derivative qualities, it annoys us only mildly, in the same way as a halting speech, a clumsy stroke at cricket, or any other action in which the effort seems disproportionate to the achievement. A prig is like a man who has learned etiquette from a book: he does not know how to be good neatly or naturally. Most boys pass through a hobbledehoy stage of awkwardness before their manners become automatic; may it not be that they have to pass through a stage of mild priggishness before their morals become so? If so, our aim is to keep this priggishness within its proper limits; and unfortunately a system, whatever it is, which suits the average boy, may over-develop it in a specially susceptible boy. It is extremely probable that the Hills' system did make for overmuch introspection and for an over-developed sense of responsibility. But it was an experiment, and a slight modification may be all that was needed to achieve success. Possibly the absence of group games, for which running, jumping, swimming, and gymnastics were not a complete substitute, and the number of hours spent indoors, even though many of them were spent on music and hobbies, were the factors which needed to be changed. To feel responsibility all day long is enough to drive any man, much more any boy, mad; but a system which encourages a sense of responsibility is good, as. long as a time limit is set.
Even the curious system of self-government must not be dismissed too lightly. Introduced into an old-established institution in which " schoolboy trade unionism" had long prevailed, it would doubtless lead to anarchy as surely as the change from autocracy to Soviet government did in Russia. But it is conceivable that, once firmly established, a system by which boys devise the scale of penalties might work at least as easily as the prefect system by which the senior boys administer them. The danger of a boy State is more likely to be ultra-cònservatism than ultra-radicalism. The Hills argued that public opinion alone is really effective in enforcing rules and that a slight inferiority in the rules is amply compensated for by a real enforcement. The insuperable difficulty in rejecting it is that it worked; and, till it is given a fair trial again by a believer in it and found not to work, that is a powerful argument. The history of the experiment is a further caution against a belief that the internal management of schools could only have developed on one set of lines. Here, slightly before Arnold's time, was an experiment different from his; but Arnold was a man of known attainments, working in a famous school, who found imitators, while the Hills were men of moderate education, working in a private school, who found none.
Having glanced at various types of secondary schools, we naturally ask next what part was played by private tutors or parents. Private tuition was not popular among the wealthy class in England, the only class which could afford it, as it had been in Renaissance times, or as it was in France to a much later date. Except those who entered the navy or army at an early age, the bulk of persons sufficiently distinguished to have found their way into the Dictionary of National Biography seem to have been at a school. Rousseau's writings initiated a real movement in. connection with home education, but it mainly concerned children below school age. It was probably one factor which contributed to the raising of the usual age for entry to a secondary school. At the Renaissance the usual age was six; Fox entered Eton at nine, Salisbury at ten, Gladstone at eleven : in the forties twelve was a usual age; by the sixties entrance was deferred till fourteen, and a preparatory school course preceded. In the case of day schools, eight or nine was a common age for entry in the first half of the century. Before preparatory schools became standardised it is not always easy to distinguish between a school and a tutor who took a number of pupils, as Arnold did at Laleham.
The Edgeworths were, in the British Isles, the pioneers of reform in the home education of children. Their work does not fall within our period, but its effects lasted into it. R. L. Edgeworth's Practical Education defended private education as ideally the best, but, where expense forbade, urged the postponement of schooling as late as possible. But, more than this, it suggested a reasonable scheme of home education to occupy these years of childhood. Home education in fact was reformed before the reform of school education had begun. The modern parental tradition dates from this period. Toys became a recognised educational agency; games began to come into their rights; hobbies were encouraged. This civilising of children before they were sent to school has been of inestimable value. So long as boys were thought to have no inclinations except towards the exercise of their muscles and no opportunity was given for the development of other parts of their nature, the results naturally seemed to justify the belief. As soon as they were offered playful exercises which involved a use of their senses, of dexterity, of resource, of inventiveness, and of imagination, they responded with alacrity. The mere winning of parents' interest in such matters was itself a gain; for, the more parents came to take part in the life of their children, the more influence did they come to exercise over their characters. The days when a father was regarded as properly an object of "awe " to his children—Locke's ideal—were over. " Sir " was exchanged for " papa," and "papa," in the less affected days that followed, for "dad."
These results have extended to multitudes who never heard the names of Rousseau or of the Edgeworths. The effects on definite instruction, such as playful methods of teaching reading, arithmetic, geometry, and drawing, and especially the attempt to teach elementary popular science, were more the mark of their conscious followers. The reason is not far to seek. The mother has inherited the tradition more than the father. Untrained maternal instinct was able to execute the programme in the one case, whereas considerable knowledge and thought are required in the other. It is, however, marvellous how a little judicious encouragement by parents who are without any special equipment will conduce to forming in a child a permanent taste for such subjects as history, geography, or popular science, even if the help be no more than assistance in reading a book. Till the spread of Kindergartens, it is doubtful whether professional teaching ever succeeded as well as such encouragement by parents and other relatives.
On the whole, however, formal education fell into the hands of governesses and small preparatory schools rather than of parents. As private schools lost ground, with older boys, they gained it with younger children. The earlier stages of the rise in the age of entering school gave scope to the type of small preparatory school kept by elderly spinsters, while the later rise in the age of admission to large boarding schools introduced the more ambitious preparatory school of recent times. The latter may have to fight hard against preparatory departments instituted by the bigger schools : the former have already had to yield to a considerable extent to the Kindergartens which have become popular since the eighties. Doubtless they shone in part with a lustre borrowed from a few " teachers by the grace of God" such as Mrs Barbauld; but the majority taught the three R's, the counties of England, the dates of the English monarchs, and the Latin declensions to children from seven to eleven, unaffected by modern views as to the use of play, or constructive work, or experiment.
The Rousseau-Edgeworth movement differed in many ways from that of the Froebelians. It often forgot that children are children; it believed that character could be formed by an incessant iteration of moral saws; and it exalted the importance of "useful information." The spirit of Dr Watts and Dr Watts's prose imitators was everywhere. But home education is less liable than school education to be spoiled by a craze : almost any movement which stimulates parents is good; for the parent, watching more closely than the teacher the progress of his child's mind and supplied by Nature with the gift of under-standing it, will usually know when a theory is being ridden to death. Hence the Edgeworth movement exhibited little of that too close adherence. to the methods of its founder which, in the case of Pestalozzi's followers in elementary education, spoiled most of the good which might have come from following his spirit.
Hitherto we have been speaking only of the education of the upper and middle classes. At a time when the community as a whole was hardly yet convinced of the desirability of elementary education for the working classes it was hardly likely that it should contemplate their further education. Higher education had always been a possession of the minority. The Middle Ages, in one sense, had been more democratic than subsequent periods ; poor boys were not altogether debarred from a clerical education; but the clergy were a class by themselves, outside social distinctions, and the boy who entered their ranks ceased to be a member of any secular class. A manual calling had always been considered incompatible with a knowledge of more than the three R's. From the strictly utilitarian stand-point of the Middle Ages, there was no unfairness in this; book-learning was merely one form of technical training, and King John, not being a priest, could no more sign his name than the humblest villein. But the Renaissance treated education as having some other end than utilitarian; it made for complete living, and was therefore sought by all who could afford it. Its restriction was therefore an injustice, based on notions which are now passing away.
Sooner or later the doctrines of the French Revolution were bound to lead to a demand by the workers for levelling up or levelling down—for education or bolshevism. The years following 1789 were a time of party bitterness such as it is hard to realise to-day. The High Tories were under no illusions. The "stupid party" they were in one sense, that they had not the imagination to conceive that a more equal world would be a happier world. But they were not stupid, if stupidity means wrong judgment as to cause and effect. They were quite right in recognising that the Reform Bill was the first step towards political and social democracy, and therefore in treating the aristocratic Whigs as conscious or unconscious revolutionaries. After 1832 they saw that the battle was lost, and were content to be a brake on the democratic wheel—a function indispensable at times, though only intermittently needed. Till 1832, how-ever, they were powerful enough, had they pleased, to suppress, and even after 1832 to hinder, any attempt at the adult education of working men.
It was therefore fortunate that the initial attempts came in a form which they did not recognise as the thin edge of the wedge. They held that workmen should not be educated " above their class," lest they should be unwilling to follow the drudgery of manual labour. This principle did not seem to apply to teaching them how to perform that labour. Here was a gap through which education could creep. The gap was quite recent. Fifty years earlier little which could stimulate the mind could have been taught in connection with the technical equipment of any manual craft. But natural science was just reaching the stage when it could be applied to industry. It was after all perhaps fortunate that the educated classes of those days—who were included in the middle and upper classes, though not identical with them—did not generally recognise experimental science as a branch of liberal education, otherwise they might have annexed it. As it was, owing to its technical character, they gave the working classes access to this branch of liberal education ; for such we must call any knowledge which enlarges the horizon, stimulates thought, and creates a sense of proof and of the relation between cause and effect.
Though school science rarely did any of these things in its early days, very elementary science in the hands of men like Birkbeck certainly did. It was almost an accident which led to the beginnings of artisans' education. Anderson, a professor at Glasgow, had begun to hold systematic evening classes in 176o and encouraged the attendance of working men. He was an early pioneer of science and fore-saw its industrial bearings. He left all his money by will to found a new type of university in which science should have priority; but, as his property only amounted to £1000, his trustees had to be content with establishing one chair of physics. Birkbeck, a Lancashire boy, educated at Edinburgh University, where he became acquainted with Scott, Jeffrey, Sydney Smith, and others of the galaxy of Edinburgh notables, was appointed to this chair. He needed apparatus and he had to instruct workmen how to make it. He was surprised at the zeal with which they listened to his directions, and he invited some of them to his lectures. Lack of space led him to propose lecturing to them separately. His committee opposed. "If invited, the mechanics would not come; if they came, they would not listen; if they listened, they would not comprehend." Birkbeck insisted; they came, listened, and comprehended. Birkbeck had grasped the art of explaining technical matters in non-technical language—an art needed for other audiences besides mechanics. His topic was the mechanical properties of solid and fluid bodies, and his audience soon rose to five hundred. In a few years Birk-beck left Glasgow to start a medical practice in London, but the classes at "Anderson's Institution" continued till 1823, when, owing to a dispute with the management about the use of the library, the mechanics seceded and formed their own organisation. They copied the name of the parent body and so arose the name of Mechanics' " Institutions " or "Institutes." In two years there were 1300 students and a library of 1639 volumes. The students appointed the lecturers and re-elected them annually. In one case five candidates were subjected to a lecturing competition ! The sequel is instructive; the selected candidate proved a complete failure. In course of time a more normal type of organisation was adopted, and appointments were made by a committee. Though the first enthusiasm died out, the Institution continued to do sound work, attracting to its classes even students of the University such as the future Lord Kelvin. Professors from Anderson's, which was developing into something more like a university, often lectured there. In 1879 it was swallowed up by the more modern organisation of technical instruction and its old democratic government passed away. Since 1881 it has been known as the Glasgow College of Science and Arts, and forms with Anderson's and two other colleges a part of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, whose diploma qualifies for all but the final year of the degree of Glasgow University.
The London Mechanics' Magazine now proposed the establishment of a similar institution in the metropolis, which was supported by Francis Place, " the radical tailor," who exercised a great political influence over artisans. He and Birkbeck collaborated and, after considerable difficulty due to personal matters, the Institute was started. The scheme was advertised by the radical newspaper the Morning Chronicle, and 2000 was raised by Lord Brougham, always a friend to popular education, and others. Birkbeck had to lend a large sum to make up the deficiency. In 1826 the Institute was opened by the Duke of Sussex, one of George III's sons, who had previously helped Lancaster. The apparatus cost 250 guineas, and there was a museum and a chemical laboratory. The movement met with some opposition, in which unfortunately the clergy took no in-considerable share, but a swarm of similar institutions followed, the movement spreading to many foreign countries. By 185o there were 610 institutions with 102,050 members1; and 1837 Unions of Institutes were formed to engage common itinerant lecturers, though these unions were for the most part short-lived.
Perhaps the most elaborate example was that at Liver-pool, to which William Ballantyne Hodgson was appointed secretary in 1838 at the age of twenty-three. Hodgson was one of the many men filled with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to convey it to his fellow-men whom Scotland produced in the first half of the nineteenth century. The son of strict Calvinist parents, he would in any case have known little of the joys of childhood; but he allowed himself less. He never slept more than six hours and spent the rest in omnivorous reading. From Edinburgh University he went to Liverpool. There he had no easy time. Lectures of one kind or another went on from 8.30 in the morning till nine' o'clock at night. Forty-eight lecturers contributed. But Hodgson proved himself even at this early age a con-summate manager of men ; he smoothed away all difficulties, and proved a regular master of , method to elderly and distinguished lecturers who were unskilled in adapting their subject-matter to their audience. He spent his holidays in going round Scottish high schools to pick up hints, and was one of the first vigorous critics of the prevalent catechetical teaching. From 1847 to 1851 he was headmaster of a school in Manchester, but was then seized with a travel mania. The experience which he thus acquired made him a valuable member of the Newcastle Commission. From 1871 to his death he was the first occupant of the chair of political economy in Edinburgh.
Mechanics' Institutes, however, did not long fulfil their original object. Two changes became noticeable. By 185o the membership had largely ceased to be composed of working-men, who were replaced by clerks and apprentices. At the same time the educational side was subordinated to the recreational, and definite courses of instruction gave way to occasional popular lectures. Henceforth their history belongs less to that of education in its more restricted sense1 than to that of clubs, libraries, Athenaeums, mutual improvement societies, village reading rooms, and the like, which form an honour-able chapter in the history of mid-Victorian endeavour. J. W. Hudson, writing in 18512, says that the Watt Institute in Edinburgh was then the only establishment in Great Britain which deserved the title of a " People's College."
The interaction of English and Scottish education has been of immense advantage. Two substances are necessary before chemical action can take place; and the meeting of English and Scottish ideas set up a ferment in educational thought. The English system was aristocratic.. When the awakening came, it was therefore bound in England to take the form of an improvement in the quality of education, for aristocracies like things good of their kind: not in its distribution, for aristocracies are exclusive ; . nor in its character, for aristocracies are conservative. It was also likely to concern itself with the humanities rather than with the physical world; for statesmanship is the hereditary occupation of aristocracies. Probably the reason why English education was aristocratic was that the English Church was aristocratic, which in its turn was because Henry VIII and Elizabeth had secured that the bishops should be virtually state-appointed officials. What the State was, the Church became; what the Church was, the universities became; and what the universities were, education became. In Scotland the Church was presbyterian, that is, as democratic as the state of popular education permitted. And so strong was theology in Scotland that, what the Church was, both State and education tended to become. The parish school was the citadel of Scottish education. The four universities taught boys of the same age as those in the English public schools; but they drew from the parish schools and therefore from all classes. When the awakening came in Scotland, it consequently took the form of a demand for a wider extension of education, for democracy stands for equal opportunities; and for a change in its subject-matter, because the plain citizen was not looking forward to becoming a member of parliament or an ambassador. An uncongenial climate had made the Scotsman a keen man of business and, after the Industrial Revolution, a keen manufacturer. His interest was in political economy, in natural science, and in whatever else "paid."
Both tendencies were needed. The community needs a select body of carefully educated persons, in the interests alike of capable administration, of increase in the national wealth, of discoveries which promote the general happiness, and of the diffusion of ideals of culture which make for the fuller life of all. But it is likewise necessary that the area of choice should be as wide as possible, so that all who are born with the requisite ability should find their way into the select circle. Further, the whole community should be educated in the manner and up to the point which makes for fulness of living. Lastly, the highest education must be specialised along all the paths which lead the community to wealth, happiness, good government, and intellectual, aesthetic, and moral excellence.
The English striving for the higher education of the few in certain limited directions needed supplementing by the Scottish demand for a wider diffusion and a wider range of education.
That these tendencies were really inspired from Scotland there can be little doubt. Lancashire and Yorkshire were industrially in advance of the northern kingdom, but it was only after they had been stirred from Scotland that educational need created an educational demand. In elementary education Bell and Lancaster were English, for Scotland already had a school in every parish, but its great reformers, Robert Owen, Wilderspin, and Stow, all worked in Scotland. The Edinburgh Review was the main critic of the English universities and public schools. The early advocates of science—George Combe, Birkbeck, Hodgson, and William Ellis—were all either Scots or educated in Scotland. Adult working-class education started there. The new subjects were welcomed in the Scottish universities.
The democratic tendency had close relations with the scientific and the secularist movements. The reasons are not far to seek. The English Church, being aristocratic and conservative, sided with the old classics against the new science. Nonconformity was therefore drawn to democracy, innovation, and science. On the other hand, the French Revolution had been at once anti-Christian and anti-monarchical; hence there tended to be an alliance between Radicalism (a very different thing from Whiggism) and unorthodoxy, whether unitarian, agnostic, or atheistic. The Church and aristocracy being in possession, the two oppositions tended to act together and to be regarded as the right and left wings of one party. The practical question was the exclusion of non-Churchmen from the universities and from opportunities of higher education. The Non-conformist Academies, which met the need in the eighteenth century, had strangely decayed. They would not, even if they had survived, have met the needs of the secularists. An opposition composed of so many elements could adopt only one solution, the exclusion of theology altogether from the university which they desired. This was a peculiarly British solution. Elsewhere, save where secularists are in the majority, there are either separate universities for different persuasions, or two denominational faculties of theology in the same university, or faculties in which two or more denominations consent to sink their differences. The last solution is now-a-days becoming popular in Great Britain; but, whereas now our tendency is to harmonise differences, then it was to emphasise them. The opposition were anxious therefore to found a university in London from which theology should be excluded, and in which of course there should be complete equality as regards appointment to the secular chairs. To-day the second point would be taken for granted; and the opposition to the exclusion of theology would be based on the very opposite grounds, namely, that it is desirable that the future clergy should mix with men destined for other professions and with men holding other beliefs. In those days isolation was regarded as essential for the tender plant of orthodoxy. The new University College was opened in 1827 by the Duke of Sussex, ever a liberal in educational matters; but even Arnold denounced " that godless institution in Gower Street," and some of the Nonconformists, including the headmaster of Mill Hill, shared his opinion.
But the Church soon saw that the new college fulfilled other purposes than disseminating unorthodox views. It taught subjects which could not be found in the curriculum of the universities and public schools; it was incomparably cheaper and brought education to the student's very doors. In self-defence these attractions must not be allowed to lure the sheep from the fold. King's College was founded in 1828, and was soon housed in the Strand. University College had, however, been intended to become a university. A compromise was reached, and a charter was given in 1836 to a federal university, which should consist of University and King's Colleges and of any other institutions which should be founded to provide education of a university type.