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MEETING AT LILLESHALL.-On Monday, the 16th inst., the Annual Meeting of the Clergy and the Schoolmasters and Mistresses of the Deanery of Newport, Shropshire, took place at Lilleshall. The attendance was very good, both of Members and Visitors, notwithstanding an exceedingly wet day.
The day's work began with the examination of forty children (twenty-three boys and nineteen girls) drafted from thirteen schools in the Deanery, by the Rev. H. G. Bunsen, as diocesan inspector. Two hours were given to the children for writing answers to a series of questions; the girls then adjourned to another room to try their skill in needlework, under the inspection of two of the mistresses, and the boys amused themselves as they pleased, while the answers were read aloud before the whole assemblage, and marks given according to the merits of each. Finally, sixteen prizes of books were awarded to the children-three to the boys, and three to the girls above thirteen; and five to the boys, and five to the girls under thirteen. The needlework was then examined by the ladies present, and an extra prize was afterwards given for the best specimen.
At half-past two the clergy and schoolmasters sat down to an excellent dinner in the girls' schoolroom; the mistresses at the schoolmaster's house, and the children in the large schoolroom. The Duchess of Sutherland kindly sent fruit for the occasion.
The Rev. J. P. Norris, her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, delivered an address to the masters and mistresses. The following, however, is a short abstract of what he said in his address of more than an hour's duration:
"I wish to say something that may tend, (1) to our common encouragement in this work, (2.) to mutual improvement. (1.) As to some objections that the teacher might make to the Inspector's work: The teacher may say, The Inspector comes to criticise; but he has not seen the real results of my work. My true test are my old scholars. These are the real results.' Agreed. The result and measure of the teacher's work is to be found in those he turns out. It may be that inspection might be so modified as more accurately to test these results. The evils that arise from the opposite notion, as if the school itself, and not the scholars it turned out, were the important matter, may be seen (a) in the school; (b) in the teacher; (c) in the children. (a) In the school: drill is substituted for discipline, as if the school were to be made a perfect and well-oiled machine. A school may appear to behave well when it is coerced under the pressure of a strong hand, when the children are dragooned as in a regiment; but then, when the restraint is removed there is danger of reaction. There is a tendency to substitute for education the overcharging of the memory. The child's mind is not a box, to be filled with a number of curious and beautiful things; but it is to be drawn and cultivated. This mistake (b) overtasks the teacher; gratuitously multiplying his labour as if all must come from him to the children, and nothing be given back from them to him; producing thereby mischievous labour and excitement to the teacher's mind. The children are ruled, not educated; instead of a quiet waiting on God's Providence, there is a feverish excitement. This mistake is most injurious to the children, putting them into straight waistcoats, forcing their feelings into grooves imposed on them by an arbitrary will, their natures being as masses of plastic clay in the hands of the operator. It fosters conceit, leading the children to claim credit for that to which they have no right; their heads crammed with masses of facts, with ill-arranged undigested knowledge.
Now what is the remedy for this? 1. Make the instruction individual, retain individualities among the scholars, curtail your oral lessons, throw more on the children themselves, increase the time devoted to reproduction. At one time ask one child to teach another what you had just taught him. In this respect there was some good in Bell's system. I recently visited a school of 120 children, where the first class consisted of 30. These were distributed, after they had read themselves, to teach reading over the whole school, each having a class of three. The lessons in reading thus oft repeated became minute, I may say microscopic, to the younger children. 2. Do not tighten the bonds of discipline too closely. There can be no healthy growth of character without freedom of development,without probation there can be little or no improvement. When all is done for the child, the props being withdrawn the weak characters will fall. The purpose of discipline is no restraint, but protection. Avoid scolding and reproof, abstain as much as possible from fault-finding, husband carefully your words of correction. You may, perhaps, with advantage introduce self-government. At Ockham School there is a committee of magistrates taken from a number of the scholars, and holding office for a week-half elected by the master, half by the suffrages of the scholars. These report bad language, repress tyranny, and take notice of failures in cleanliness. The effect on these magistrates is excellent; their self-respect is cultivated. Do not forget you are dealing with boys; they differ from grown men. Society, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, harmonised and kept together as it was by the feudal system, was not like society is now. But the feudal system did for Europe then what such a system of self-government would do for boys in a school; as this is a system of mutual subordination, it would not tend to merge individuality as subordination to one man's will would. Next as to our schoollibraries; I wish to see them reformed. The compendiums of knowledge are mischievous; a chapter out of a big book is preferable to a condensed history, every page of which contains fifty facts. Such a chapter is more likely to give the pupils a taste for history,-far more likely to bite them, and to fasten on their memories, and far less likely to foster conceit. One great end of education is to teach a man his ignorance. In reading books you converse with the past; it is a great help to be admitted into the presence of a great man. In bringing your pupils to a great book you bring them into the presence of a great teacher. A teacher must be less of a book and more of a man. You must preserve your own elasticity, for this, remember, you must preserve your health; you must not sit up at night; keep your wells of knowledge fresh and duly supplied with private study. We teachers do not know half enough. Of all cant, that is the most mischievous and detestable which speaks of a teacher being over-educated. All truth comes from the source of truth; we cannot have too much knowledge if only we have what Bacon speaks of the corrective spice of charity. Carry on your private readings, and form associations for getting knowledge. Lastly, What are your encouragements? You have manifold sources of strength and help. The sympathy, and the heart of all that is good in England, is with you. Results are encour ging. No branch of social amelioration has been so rapid in its growth as the schools for the poor. We may thank God for blessing our work. The material is encouraging; you are different from grammar-school teachers, and from university teachers, in that your pupils do not look upon you as their born foe, but as their friend. They are b. fore you like a nest of young thrushes, their eyes open, their beaks extended for the nutriment you have to supply. What a won derful thing a young child is! how full of capacities of thought and education! with what a consciousness of rights and duties! seeds of all good, in the young child coming to you with his forehead glistening with the waters of baptism.'
If we are anxious that wayward children should learn self-control, there is One who is far more anxious. If we are taking pains, there is One who takes far more pains. If we are devoting our
faculties, there is One who is working with us, and who devoted Himself to the recovery of those with whom we have to deal."
The Rev. H. G. Bunsen conducted a party of the clergy, masters, and children to the gardens of Lilleshall Hall and to the ruins of Lilleshall Abbey, returning about 7 to tea, when the whole company sat down to one more social happy meal in the same room.
An address to the children from the Archdeacon, and the chanting of the Magnificat, concluded this interesting anniversary meeting.
NORTHERN DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.- The Members of this Association met on Friday last at Black Bog, near Bishop Auckland. Mr. Underwood, master of the school, gave a Scripture lesson on the "Good Samaritan," and a dictation lesson was given by Mr. J. Reed, of Bishop Auckland.
The afternoon was devoted to the business of the Association. Among other subjects discussed, were "The best means of teaching writing," and "The necessity of cultivating the feelings and imagination of children.' In reference to the latter subject, it was generally admitted that school songs and choice selections of poetry, when learnt by the children, had a tendency to refine their feelings and elevate their sentiments; and that stories written expressly for them had a great influence on their moral character. Some of the difficulties attending mixed schools, especially in drawing up a timetable, were brought out in the course of the afternoon's proceedings; and the comparative merits of individual and simultaneous teaching were alluded to. A very interesting discussion arose as to the difference in character between children of the north and south of England. It was agreed that such a difference did exist,-a difference favourable to the children of the south; and that it was mainly owing to the character of the parents. The members also gave their sanction to a memorial which the president is about to forward to the President of the Committee of Council on Education. It refers to the working of the present system of pupil-teachers, their scarcity in some districts, the small number of candidates for Queen's Scholarships, the early age at which children leave school, and some other topics connected with Government education. It is proposed to extend further the limits of the. Association by inviting clergymen to become members.
WORCESTER ASSOCIATION.-The following is the Report alluded to in our last Number in an account of the Anniversary Meeting of this Association:
"In presenting the third annual Report to the members and friends, the Secretary has great pleasure in being able to state that the Association continues to gain ground. During the past year there has been an accession of fourteen honorary members and ten ordinary members, so that the numbers for the year have been thirty-five of the former and thirty-four of the latter. During the past year, papers have been kindly given by the Hon. and Rev. W. H. Lyttelton, "On books, and how to read them," by the Rev. J. F. Mackarness, "On the principles of education;" and by Mr. J. Hagger of St. Peter's School, Worcester, "On the Schoolmaster, his present condition and future prospects;" also a series "On the work of the teacher, under the four divisions of physical, intellectual, moral, and religious education;" Mr. James Simpson of St. George's School, Kidderminster, giving the introductory paper, under the title of Our work; what is it? and how shall we do it?" followed by Mr. Stevens of Lord Lyttelton's School, Hagley, "On philosophical education." The intellectual I powers, with the methods for their proper development, comprised four papers, two by Mr. Marcus of Bromsgrove National School, "On consciousness, sensation, perception, attention, and memory;" one by Mr. Holmes of St. Martin's National School, Worcester, "On attention, abstraction, and imagination ;" and one by Mr. Simpson, "On conception, association, and conclusion." Mr. Eaton of Stourport, read an essay on " Moral Education;" and the Rev. D. Melville has kindly promised to finish the course by giving to the members at their next monthly meeting a paper "On religious education." In addition to the benefits resulting from the reading and discussion of these papers, the members have thus tacitly declared their conviction that the proper purpose of education is not merely the development of man's physical powers and the expansion of his intellect, but that its aim ought to be far noblerthat it ought to regulate the moral feelings, and instil, direct, and strengthen religious impressions. The thanks of the inembers are due to Lord Lyttelton for his kind present of thirty-five volumes; to the Rev. Canon Cocks, for a donation of 57.; and to several publishers and others, for presentation copies of educational works. Your Secretary has great pleasure in stating that, through the active exertions of the President, the Rev. Canon Wood, and the Rev. W. Lea (a warm and consistent friend to the national schoolmaster), a room has been secured at the Natural History Museum, Worcester, for the exhibition of school-books and educational apparatus. Your Secretary regrets that he is obliged to state that the drawing class has not answered the expectations of the members; its reconstruction on a fresh basis will, it is to be hoped, have the desired effect. The music class, under the management of Mr. Jabez Jones, is in active operation. The desirableness of regular and punctual attendance at the monthly meetings, both on account of the papers read, as well as the lessons given, cannot be too strongly urged. This Report ought not to close without adverting to the educational measures now before Parliament. As national schoolmasters, we cannot but hope that these legislative measures will be the means of bringing education within the reach of all classes; that they will retain the child in school long enough to prevent the idea that any child's schooling has been a pretence and not a reality; and that, in framing educational measures, it will be borne in mind that the masters of National schools, as Christians and members of the Church of England, consider it to be their bounden duty to base all their teaching upon Christian principles."
BIRMINGHAM ASSOCIATION.-The quarterly meeting of the Birmingham Church Schoolmasters was held at Solihull, on Friday, the 29th ult., and was numerously attended by clergy and teachers. The proceedings of the day were ushered in by attendance at divine service in the fine old parish church, after which two lessons were given in the National School, one on "Grammar," by Mr. Bond the master; and a second on Dictation," by Mr. Heyworth, master of the Saltley Training School. It is not too much to assert that both lessons were models of their sort,-plain, clear, and practical; given with the sole motive of imparting instruction, and free from pedantry or useless displays of the teacher's wit or learning. The physical part of the day's entertainment was wel catered for by Mr. Stewart of the George, and was commendable both for its excellence and the moderation of the charge. When dinner was concluded, an address was delivered by the Rev. Nash Stephenson, Incumbent of Shirley. After a rapid glance at the rise and progress of National Education in this country for the last twenty years, the rev. lecturer proceeded to point out what in his judgment should be the routine of religious instruction that should be imparted by every Church Schoolmaster in our elementary schools. He then addressed himself to the consideration of the provisions and regulations of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, and entered into an explanation of the government system of inspection and its advantages; but at too great length for its insertion in our pre-occupied space.
After the delivery of the address, the day was occupied in tea and criticisms on the lessons, and in the full enjoyment of an unrestrained stroll through the beautiful gardens and grounds of the Rectory. The company included about thirty masters and mistresses, and the following clergy: the Revs. P. M. Smythe. president for the day, G. S. Bull, Nash Stephenson, A. Clifton, W. B. Smith, S. Connor, W. L. Pritt, G. Boyle, F. Aston, and Haille.
TESTIMONIALS.-To Mr. and Mrs. LIDDIARD, from Mr. and Mrs. Shawe, on Resigning the Charge of the Kesgrove District School, after Fourteen Years' Services, a handsome Silver Tea-pot and Mahogany Case. Also a Silver Cream Jug, Two pair of Silver Table Spoons, and half a dozen Silver Tea Spoons, from the Parents of the Children educated at the above Schools.
To Mr. WILLIAM CARTER, a Purse of Sovereigns, by the Committee of St. Mary's School, Bridgnorth, and a handsomely bound Family Bible with suitable Inscription, by the Vicar of the Parish. To Mr. and Mrs. H. WHITEHEAD, on leaving the Blockrod School for New Lane School, Oswoldtwistle, Accrington, a Patent Lever Silver Watch, &c., by the Incumbent, Managers, and Friends. To Mr. LEGG, lately Assistant Master in the Escrick Park School, a valuable Writing Desk, from the Rector, Teachers, Choir, and Children of Escrick.
To Miss GORDON, of Walkden Moor School, near Manchester, a Bible and Prayer Book, by the Girls of the School.
To Mr. THOMAS ARNOLD, a Box of Mathematical Instruments and a Silver Pencil Case, by the Master and Pupil-teachers of Wisbech School.
To Mr. ROBERT LLOYD, late Master of the School at Rhosllanerchrugog, by the Parishioners, a Writing Desk.
To Rev. J. M. COLLYNS, a Bronze Inkstand, &c., from the Teachers and Children of the Boys' and Infants' School, Kirkham.
To Mr. JOHN HENRY HAY, an Inkstand, Carved Arm Chair, &c., by the Pupil-teachers and Boys and Girls of the Kennington Oral Schools.
To H. WOOD, on the Completion of her Apprenticeship, of St. Giles' School, Reading, Bagster's Large Polyglot Bible, and Anderson's Ladies of the Reformation, by the Clergyman, Governess, School Girls, and other contributors.
APPOINTMENTS.-Mr. RICHArd Frederick Lowe, from Hornsey, to the Hebrew School, Palestine Place, Bethnal Green.
Mr. W. MEADOWS, from Standish, to St. Andrew's School, Halstead.
Mr. JOHN HORSMAN, to St. Audrie's School, Bridgwater.
Miss C. HASLEWOOD, from Hathern, to Christ Church School, Waterloo, Liverpool.
Mr. THOMAS ARNOLD, lately Pupil-teacher at Wisbech, to the Union School, Sleaford.
Mr. SAMUEL FOLKETT, from Colsterworth, to Lady Thorold's School, Sedgebrook, Grantham.
Miss MARY PRATT, from Blisworth, to the Infant School, Ashton, Northampton.
Mr. J. T. ALSOP, from St. Paul's, Shadwell, to the Town School of the St. Ann's Society, Aldersgate.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We cannot undertake to notice anonymous communications, nor to insert letters or information received after the 20th. The name and address of our correspondents should always be sent, though not necessarily for publication.
"A. B." The Church Education Directory would show you what exhibitions are available at the different Training Institutions. The Directory is on sale (price One Shilling) at the Society's Depository, or you can see a copy at the Society's Office, Sanctuary, Westminster.
"R. W." Your first query should be addressed to the Secretary of the Committee of Council on Education, Downing Street, London. We have made inquiry for the book you want.
Several communications not noticed above are in type, and we hope may appear in our next.
"J. J. Lindeman." You can obtain the Register recommended by the Committee of Council at the National Society's Depository, Sanctuary, Westminster.
"E. E. G." We cannnot find room for your remarks. Your opinion that corporal punishment can wholly be dispensed with is not generally adopted. The subject has been already discussed in our pages.
"E. P. W." Your query, with respect to Pupil-teachers' leave of absence, is one which rests with the Managers of the school.
"J. Argyle." Your inquiry should be more explicit; it has been inserted more than once without effect. It is presumed that there is no such work.
"J. R." We have not kept your letter; it did not seem to us desirable to insert it. Our Correspondents give us their names, but we do not usually print them. The Outline Maps may be obtained at the Society's Depository. The price of Griffin's Diagram is 3s.; but it may be obtained by Members at the National Society's Depository for 2s.
"R. S." The price of the Bible-Lessons can be ascertained by a note addressed to the Publishers, Messrs. Longman and Co.
"H. D. H." You should consult a Surgeon or an Oculist.
"Rawmarsh." A similar scheme to yours has been tried, but without success, and "Reading Lessons adapted to the typographical pronouncing system of reading" have been published by Messrs. Grant and Griffith, and sold at the National Society's Depository.
"A Schoolmaster," "A. T. C," "a Teacher," "a Schoolmistress," "J. W. G." declined with thanks. "W. M. N." We have not considered it desirable to insert your note. You would injure those whom you wish to assist by the tone of your remarks.
"J. G. G." We received your communication too late to notice it last month, and our space is now so fully occupied that we cannot find room for an account of the Meeting. The Testimonial partakes too much of a general parochial character to be noticed in our pages.
THE Meetings of the Committee of this Society have been attended during the past month by the Bishop of Oxford, Lords Lyttelton and Redesdale; Rev. Sir Henry Thompson, Bart., Rev. Canon Wordsworth, and T. D. Acland, Esq.
An Examination of Candidates for admission into the Female Institution will be held on the 12th and 19th of September. Applications to be made to the Rev. A. Wilson, National Society's Office, Sanctuary, Westminster.
The following Contributions from Parochial Associations, and Collections after Sermons, together with payments from new Subscribers and Donors, have been remitted to the Society during the past month. The Committee thankfully acknowledge these contributions, and trust that further support may be obtained for the Society in other localities by an extension of parochial efforts. Most parishes afford some evidence of the operations of the Society, and therefore its claims might with good effect be advocated, and additional means placed at the disposal of the Committee to carry on the work in which the Society has long been successfully engaged. The List is made up to the 20th August:
Contributions may be paid to MESSRS. DRUMMOND, Bankers, Charing Cross; to MR. HENRY STRETTON, the Society's Receiver, 67 Lincoln's Inn Fields, to whom all Remittances should be made; or they will be received at the National Society's Office, Sanctuary, Westminster, or by any of the Local Treasurers to the Society, or by the Society's Travelling Agents.
Worcester Diocesan Board.
The Report of this Board refers to the Bills recently under the notice of Parliament, and expresses an opinion, "that the hopes of those who desire the exten
sion and improvement of education must rather be fixed on the wider expansion and amelioration of the system now in use than on any fresh enactment."
The following grants have been voted by the Board during the past year: For building Schools-20l. to Badsey, 30l. to Hampton, 40l. to Amblecote, 10%. to Earl's Croome, 201. to King's Heath, Moseley; for support, 51. a-year for two years to St. Andrew's School, Worcester; for fittings, 57. to Offenham; for prizes in Kidderminster Deanery, 251.; for prizes in books of the value of 1s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. each, to be given to deserving scholars by the Diocesan Inspectors, 201.
The services of Mr. E. D. Jones, from the National Society, in organising forty-four schools in thirty-one parishes, are stated to have afforded great satisfaction to the managers; and some statistical particulars of the state of the schools are supplied in the report. In the number of schools inspected during the past year an increase is reported; and tables are appended, showing (1) The number of schools visited in each deanery, the character of instruction, and the number of scholars; (2) Schools of the highest merit; and (3) Schools placed in classes according to a given standard. The following are some of the extracts from the Inspectors' Reports:
"Mr. Lea states, that he has recommended, in some cases, that the elder boys and girls should be placed under the instruction of the master, and only the youngest children, who are of an age for an infant school, under his wife. This plan has been adopted at Severn Stoke, as the best under existing circumstances. In all cases, when the population of the parish or district from which the children are drawn amounts to eleven or twelve hundred, it is desirable that there should be separate schools, each of them under a trained teacher. Mr. Lea also bears testimony to the great improvement which is always produced in a school by the apprenticeship of pupil-teachers. Martley and Pershore Girls' Schools are named with special commendation.
Mr. W. notices the beneficial effects of the prize system, both at Dudley and Kidderminster; . . . thinks it must be guarded by inspection and the appointment of examiners by Diocesan Board, from its tendency to neglect religious knowledge. He notices also the influence which it brings to bear on the parents of the children, giving them an interest which they have not felt before in their children's progress. At the same time,
he would not be understood to expect too much from it. It does not touch the higher motives which ought to govern the parent, but supplies secondary motives, which ought not to be despised."
The Report proceeds:
"A careful examination of the reports shows that the prevailing cause of failure in a school is the incompetency of the teacher; nor can this be wondered at, when the insufficiency of the salary is considered. In some cases where there is a great deficiency of knowledge in the teacher, there is a natural aptitude for teaching and a power of influence, and the consequent production of results better than could be anticipated, especially in the good behaviour and quiet demeanour of the children.
Your Committee cannot help remarking, that before any great good can be effected in schools of inferior quality, better tools must be provided to work with. Difficulties there will be of no ordinary kind, even when an efficient school has been provided, in securing the regular attendance of the children. It will be a wise measure which can be so devised as to counteract the indifference, cupidity, and poverty of parents, and overcome the reluctance of employers to education, upon a scale to do real good to the children, without violating at the same time that individual freedom of action which is so dear to Englishmen, and which has been and is, in many ways, productive of so much good to England.
The imperfect education which the greater part of children receive can be of little value in determining the character for good, and the small amount of knowledge acquired is soon lost-the children being at an early age employed constantly in bodily labour, sometimes the Sunday not being reclaimed from the world, for the worship of God and cultivation of the inner man.....
Prize Exhibitions.-The plan for distributing prizes to the older pupils in parochial schools, of which an outline was given in the Report of 1854, has been successfully carried into effect at Kidderminster. The examiners appointed by the Diocesan Board were cordially supported by an association formed for the purpose in that town and neighbourhood, by which a considerable sum was readily subscribed. An examination took place on the 2d of June, at which 77 boys presented themselves; 34 of these were above twelve years of age; they were examined in religious knowledge, reading, writing from dictation, arithmetic, and in the elements of geography and