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Minutes (1854-5) appears to the Committee of Council to be as much as, under all circumstances, can prudently be done in favour of a second year's training.
In order to bring an ordinary student in the course of the second year within the operation of the rule which applies to a Queen's Scholar of that standing, he must be put into the same position, i. e. he must have no college-fee to pay.
If the case of a student so circumstanced (for instance, the holder of a private exhibition equal in value to the college-fee) were presented to my Lords by the authorities of a college as one in which a second year's training, having been commenced, was wilfully and without reason interrupted, their Lordships would not refuse to consider whether the student should be allowed to derive any benefit from his examination at the end of his first year's residence.
Their Lordships desire, however, to record their opinion, that normal training will be best prolonged by the same means which render it in the first instance attractive; and, therefore, my Lords are disposed to rely more upon differences made in favour of those students who complete a second year's residence than upon penalties against those who fall short of it, excepting always wilful departures from engagements.
2. Their Lordships consent, subject to the Minutes which at present regulate the terms of admission to examination for a certificate of merit, to extend the seventh section of the Minute dated 20th August 1853 to all certificated teachers who have not already resided more than one year in a Training College under inspection. The value of the Scholarship will be determined by the Minute of 14th July 1855, and the holder will be rated and examined, in all particulars, as for the second year.
Their Lordships appreciate the reasons which have induced the Memorialists to make this proposition, and my Lords are anxious to give effect to those reasons. At the same time, it is an important part of the policy of recent Minutes to attach increased weight to good school-keeping, and to make the progressive rating of teachers, who have been once certificated, depend upon this test rather than upon the repetition of general examinations. It will, by the proposed arrangement, rest with the Principals of Training Colleges to determine what certificated teachers they will present as Queen's Scholars; and my Lords wish it to be understood, that the Committee of Council, in continuing to award exhibitions to such candidates, will not be unmindful of the views set forth in the Minutes of this year (1854-5), p. 27.
3. This part of the Memorial has been anticipated by the Minute of 14th July 1855.
4. Their Lordships think it of much importance that the examination in grammar should be conducted upon the system indicated in note § at page 18, in the Minutes of this year. My Lords are disposed to attach very little importance to general questions upon points of grammar, in comparison with those questions which test the candidate's power of parsing, analysing, and paraphrasing a given passage. For this purpose, the Committee of Council regard it as most essential to found the examination in grammar upon a book which may be minutely studied as part of, and not in addition to, one of the other subjects. From this point of view, taking style and subject-matter together, their Lordships think that Canon Moseley showed admirable judgment in naming the “Extracts from Blackstone," and they must decline to alter this part of the Syllabus. - I have the honour, &c.
R. R. W. LINGEN. The Rev. J. G. Lonsdale.
Committee of Council.
Committee of Council on Education, Council Office,
Downing Street. The Secretary of the Committee of Council on Education is directed to state, that copies of their Lordships' Minutes are sent to all schools under inspection, for the use of the managers, and also to all teachers holding certificates of merit. The number of copies printed does not admit of distributing them in answer to applications generally, or in a greater proportion than that of one copy to each school under inspection, and one to each certified teacher.
The copies are directed to the school-house. Those intended for Church of England Schools are addressed to the “ Officiating Clergyman of the District;" those for other schools are addressed to the “ Secretary of the School-Committee.”
The distribution of so large a number of volumes throughout the country necessarily occupies a considerable time. The managers of schools under inspection, and the certificated teachers, may, however, rely upon receiving the volumes at as early a period as may be after the presentation of them to Parliament.
The Minutes, like any other Parliamentary publications, may be purchased from Mr. Hansard, printer to the House of Commons.
Correspondence, (The Committee of the National Society are thankful for any communication likely to assist School
Managers and Teachers, or otherwise promote the work of Church Education ; but they do not necessarily hold themselves responsible for the opinions of the Editor's correspondents.]
To the Editor of the National Society's Monthly Paper.
CHAP. III.-The Time-Table. The time-table should be hung up in a conspicuous place in the schoolroom, and the utmost exactness should be shown in observing its directions. If in a well-ordered household certain times are set apart for certain things, and every one in that household is expected to observe them, how much more necessary is it that in a school (numbering often eighty or one hundred children). Each portion of the day should have its allotted portion of work, and the motive power of the whole routine, the master, should effect that strict attention to rule which is so essential to progress and order.
We have now to inquire into the features which a good time-table ought to exhibit. This question is a very important one, especially when a school is numerous and the teacher has very little assistance. He must not trust too much to monitors, nor even to pupil-teachers. His own personal influence must be exerted throughout the school; every class must receive from him some amount of teaching every day. A good timetable should be so arranged as to allow the master (in the absence of the pastor) to give all the religious instruction; to teach reading in the first class always, and once a-day in every other class in the school; to give all the arithmetical and geographical instruction in the first class ; it should allow the school-work to be begun and closed each day with religious knowledge,-in other words, the impressions of the scholars on assembling in the morning and leaving in the evening should be of a religious character; lastly, it should allow time for the first-class pupils, or those in the two upper classes, to write out from memory the lessons learnt at home the previous evening. If there are four classes in the school, the table should be constructed to allow two to be engaged in viva voce work, and the other two in silent work, so that at no time may there be too much noise in the room. If the writer be correct in his estimate of the importance of a good timetable, and of the principles which should enter into its construction, then it must be a matter of sincere regret that so little attention should be paid to these principles.
How seldom does a teacher's instruction extend beyond the first, or at the most the two upper classes in his school? How seldom do the lowest classes receive each day religious instruction and reading-lessons from the fountain head-the master or mistress ?
The following table for four classes (these classes being divided according to the principles of classification described in the previous chapter*) is constructed to embody the principles alluded to above. It presupposes that there is a sufficient number of Bibles to allow one to each child who can use it, slates to allow one to each child in the school, and of the Rev. W. N. Griffin's Examples in Arithmetic (National Society), or some similar book, to allow one to each pupil in the first and second classes. It will be observed that the four classes are put together for the Bible-lesson.
This plan assumes that the fourth class is not one of infants, as these ought to be in an infant or a dame school. In uniting the four classes, all those children who can read their Bibles should be furnished with them; the questions should be mixed, that is, should be difficult and simple, to suit all. Those children who are not sufficiently advanced to use their Bibles, do nevertheless learn a great deal by standing with the elder children; one thing they certainly learn-reverence for Bible teaching. Their time cannot be better occupied than in picking up crumbs of sacred knowledge from the answers of their elders, unless it be in learning to read. But I have made provision for two reading-lessons in the time-table, both morning and afternoon; where there is a pupil-teacher who has a reverent, quiet, and simple manner, the two last classes may be taken together, apart from the first and second, at one end of the room, while the master or mistress is giving religious instruction at the other. In any case the Scriptural lesson should take place at the same time throughout the school. The Bible in one class, arithmetic in the next to it, secular reading in the next, and the multiplication-table or writing in the next, is a mixture of pure metal and alloy exceedingly objectionable. It is very jarring to the feelings, when giving a Bible-lesson, to have your frequent pauses filled up by snatches of reading-lessons about mines and metals, or the wonderful anecdotes of a lion, while per
* See the August Number of the Monthly Paper.
haps at that very moment you have been endeavouring to make your class realise the sufferings of Him whose arms were stretched out wide, as if to embrace the world, wbose head, drooping on one side, and languid eye told too-well the exceeding weight of torture that was upon Him. I incline, on the whole, to think, that as we cannot have at each class a competent teacher to give religious instruction, it is preferable to range all the classes round the room, or rather. on three sides of it, and to let those who can read their Bibles do so, and those who cannot, answer the easy questions put to them in turn. Let us have a system in our work, and that the best ; only let it tend to reverence. We want more of this la:t in our schools, unfortunately; and unless we labour for it, like men searching for pearls, cur National Education will defeat the very objects it aims at.
The subjoined time-table allows twenty minutes every evening for a repetition and explanation by questions of some portion of the Church Catechism., During this instruction also, the classes form three sides of a square round the room, as in the morning Bible-lesson. The writer would suggest, that during the prayers of the school and the religious instruction an entirely distinct position of the pupils as to standing is, if possible, advisable, as serving to separate in the child's mind the highest teaching and routine of the school from less important matters, as reading, arithmetic, &c. We must be very careful that children do not regard the religious teaching as they do their other lessons.
Time-Table for Four Classes under a Master and One Monitor.
(1. Arithmetic, T.
Dictation ihree times.
1 Geography, Thursday, T.
Church Catechism, T.
11. ? Write Home Tasks from memory. 94-101
3. Reading, T. (4. Writing, M.
(1. Copy-books (Darnell's).
2. Reading, T.
(1. Arithmetic, T.
2. Copy-books (Darnell's).
graphy, Thursday), T.
2. Arithmetic, silent (with first
In one or two of the lessons above mentioned, the teacher may find it desirable to have an additional monitor ; if so, be should return to his class as soon as the particular lesson in which he was required to assist has been concluded. Books on English History, collections of poetry, or biographical sketches, may serve as the secular reading-books of the upper classes occasionally. It would be advantageous if much of the time devoted to geography were given to biography. The lives of good men and women would be very likely to exert a powerful influence on our children in after-life.
A time-table pre-supposes that the teacher is punctual. Unless at a given signal the classes change work at the appointed time, a hundred time-tables will be without effect. The sound of a bell or whistle is, perhaps, the best signal that can be employed. The punctuality displayed by a teacher is contagious, if one may so speak. The pupils in time become accustomed to signals, and naturally expect them, and obey them. Thus, by an easy development, good order springs from obedience, and this from punctuality.
A. (To be continued in the October Number.)
NOTES ON THE MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL ON EDUCATION.
(Continued from the August Number.)
3.—The Pupil-teacher System. As might be expected, most of the Inspectors have something to say upon this subject; but the chief points connected with it to which they refer are: 1. The difficulty of obtaining suitable candidates for the office of pupil-teacher. 2. The adoption of pursuits unconnected with teaching, by a large proportion of pupil-teachers, on the expiration of their apprenticeships.
With regard to the first point, it would appear that the difficulty exists to a greater extent in towns and in manufacturing districts than in rural and agricultural parishes, and for this reason that in the former there is a great demand for juvenile labour, and the children are withdrawn from school before they have arrived at an age which would justify their employment as teachers. Mr. Stewart remarks, “During the last two years the number of candidates for apprenticeship has declined ; and, at the same time, those who have presented themselves for examination have been too generally under age, or maimed, or in delicate health. Parents have, in several instances, solicited the apprenticeship of their children merely because they were physically unfit for other kinds of employment. In several schools it has been found impossible to secure any candidates at all; and in one case, a boy has been sent from Aberdeen to serve an apprenticeship at Carlisle. The managers of the Fawcett Schools at Carlisle having encountered a succession of difficulties with their apprentices no less than with their candidates, have come to the conclusion that their only chance of securing boys fit for the work is to offer an addition of 51. per annum to the government allowance." Mr. Watkins considers that the railways are formidable competitors with schools for the services of those youths who appear most eligible for the office of pupil-teacher. The chairman of one of the chief northern lines asked him if he could recommend a dozen or a dozen-and-a-half lads, thirteen or fourteen years of age, of good conduct, whose only intellectual requirements were writing a good hand, and such knowledge of geography as would enable them to spell the names of places correctly. He wanted them for the telegraph offices; and offered 10s. and lls. per week, with the prospect of gradual but certain increase.
To induce boys to remain at school, with the view of qualifying themselves for pupilteacherships, Mr. Cook recommends school-managers to employ the most deserving lads between eleven and thirteen years of age in some department of school-work, and pay them for their work. He also expresses an opinion, that the supply of pupil-teachers would be more satisfactorily maintained if the education of the elder children in our schools were more effectively conducted, and the inducements to become school-teachers were properly represented to the youths and to the parents. In answer to this, it may be asked, where are the school-funds that will allow of payments to monitors equal to the remuneration afforded by other employments ? and with regard to the educational inducements alluded to by Mr. Cook, it may be remarked, that the object of the working-man is immediate gain; or, indeed, any return which may be looked upon with certainty as part of his weekly receipts. “There is a constant demand,” says Mr. Stewart, “ for the labour of young children in a variety of dirty employments, which afford much higher immediate pay than an apprenticeship; and for this very reason, that the remuneration is immediate, boys' parents prefer to sacrifice the education of their children. There is no doubt, that eventually the wages of these boys will not be equal to those of the school. master ; but mas'erships belong to the future—the ballast-crane and the docks possess the charm of weekly payments.”
2. It is quite certain that a great number of pupil-teachers do not follow the profession of teacher on the completion of their apprenticeships. Mr. Moseley asserts, that of the 820 male pupil-teachers who completed their apprenticeships in 1854, only 303 presented themselves at the training-schools as candidates for Queen's Scholarships. Of the remaining 517, it is probable that a very large proportion, not possessing the means of paying their travelling expenses to the training college, or of providing themselves with clothes whilst resident in it, have been unable to resist the offers made to them of immediate occupation in commercial or manufacturing employments. It is also by no means improbable that many of the pupil-teachers do not possess the inclination to continue their services to the cause of education, from the fact of their having a natural preference for other professions. Mr. Bellair's remarks upon this subject are well worthy of the consideration of school-managers and the government promoters of education. He says, "My own impression is, that a great part of the evil would be removed by certain modifications of the existing plan of apprenticeship. The principle to be kept in view would be the elimination of all such pupil-teachers as would not heartily embrace the profession. This is not sufficiently provided for in the present plan, which assumes that a boy of thirteen years of age is competent to determine upon his choice of the future. My scheme proposes sixteen years of age as a fit time for such determination-fifteen would probably answer as well ; and if so, would remove a difficulty which meets the plan proposed at its termini.* By taking fifteen as a proper time for determination, children might be taken for stipendiary monitors at twelve instead of thirteen, and at fifteen would be more eligible for other employments than at sixteen.” Mr. Stewart, her Majesty's Inspector for the northern counties of England, appears to think, that in a great many cases pupil-teacherships have been accepted by young persons without any serious intention, either upon their own part or that of their parents, to follow the calling of a teacher after their apprenticeships have been concluded : “On looking over the present occupations of the young persons connected with this district who have declined the offer of scholar. ships (Queen's), it appears that they have treated apprenticeship merely as a means of getting, at the public cost, that general education wbich any good elementary school ought to supply. The rate at which they are being paid is a much lower one than they might have secured by passing through a training school. It is evident, therefore, that they have not any interest in the calling in which they have been previously occupied.”
There can be no doubt that the pupil-teacher system has contributed most materially to the improvement which is now visible in most of our elementary schools. Nothing can exceed the industry, energy, and success with which the greater proportion of the pupil-teachers perform their duties; and many of the inspectors make special mention of the excellence of their moral conduct, and their exceedingly satisfactory and consistent behaviour under circumstances both of trial and temptation in which some of them have been occasionally placed. That defects should occur in the working out of any new system is not to be wondered at; and the pupil-teacher scheme must certainly not be considered free from certain blemishes and shortcomings. The following remarks by Mr. Stewart must close what we have to say upon the subject for the present : “ The result of the experiment of the apprentice system, so far as it has been tried in this part of England (northern counties), is not altogether a favourable one. Although there are cases in which it has been very successful, yet I feel bound to say, that there pression that the supply of young persons it has produced is deficient in two essential particulars : that in point of numbers it is totally inadequate to meet the wants of ele. mentary schools ; while there is reason to fear that the social habits and associations of the class which now furnishes the majority of candidates may be additional difficulties in the education of a body of efficient and trustworthy teachers.”
(To be continued.)
THE TEACHERS' AID FUND TO THE NATIONAL Society. DEAR SIR,-May I ask your readers to refer to your August Number, and make themselves acquainted with the plan there proposed under the above heading, before they peruse the remainder of this letter.
The operations of the National Society in all parts of the country, the successw hich has attended these, and the good it is daily doing, are sufficient to enlist in its cause the sympathies of the clergy, laity, and Church teachers throughout England and Wales. On these accounts it is that I would urge upon the attention of your readers the necessity for some vigorous and united efforts just at this time in behalf of the Society. I say “just at this time” for two reasons: 1st, It is probable that, in common with other societies, it has lost the Queen's Letter ; and 2dly, The danger of having some odious system of education thrust upon us, or set up in opposition to that which the Church has so long carried on, is past, but only for a brief interval; and now or never must a movement be made to show that there is no necessity for a renewal of the attempts which have lately proved so abortive. I would put these plain questions to your readers. What society is it that has assisted in erecting a school in almost every parish in England ? What society commenced and carried on so successfully the movement for the erection of training colleges throughout the length and breadth of the land, and assisted by grants of thousands of pounds to put their machinery into motion ? That has trained Church teachers, and sent them out to do the Church's work? That has stood between this country and naked Secularism, on the one hand; and on the other, between Scriptural truth as taught by Christ's Church in all ages, and some unsound and deformed system that would look at all religions as equally true, and therefore, by inference, all equally false? It is not difficult to answer these questions. I say, without hesitation, that it has
* In the National Society's Central School, fifteen is the age of admission for pupil-teachers.