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should be suffered to decline. With the tendency to verbiage and to general and inexact answering to which all persons of imperfect knowledge are, when examined, so prone, it is a great thing to find for their examinations a subject matter which is exact ; every answer on which must be right or wrong, and no answer on which can have any value if it keeps to vague generalities. Arithmetic as well as grammar has the merit of being an examination subject of this kind. But grammar has an advantage even over arithmetic, in that it is not only exact,-it not only compels the pupil examined in it to shew himself clearly right or wrong, as knowing the rule or as ignorant of it,—but it also compels him, even more than arithmetic, to give the measure of his common sense by his mode of selecting and applying, in particular instances, the rule when he knows it. And the common sense of pupil-teachers cannot be too much exercised,
I am inclined to think that for the ordinary pupil-teacher Difficulty of the text-books of grammar which he uses are much too ela- grammars borate. These aim at shewing the rationale of grammar and limits use. of the terms and laws of grammar; but this is a stage of within doctrine for which the pupil is in this case seldom ripe; he pupil. has memory to master the rules of grammar, but seldom teacher's understanding to master its metaphysics. What he has under- grammar standing for is the application of the rule when he has learnt
keptes it; and it is within these limits that we should address ourselves to exercise his understanding. Therefore it is to be lamented that there is not one uniform text-book for pupil. teachers studying grammar, even if that text-book treated grammar less philosophically than some of the existing textbooks, not more philosophically than the old Eton grammar; for what the pupil-teacher wants is the rule as a positive fact before him, and no rules acquire this force so well as those of a universally employed text-book. It matters less that the rule should be intelligently stated to him, than that it should be intelligibly and briefly stated; for he wants it as a law, not as a theorem. The metaphysics of grammar may come later for him, at the training school.
Perhaps our examinations, too, extend themselves over too wide a field, ask questions too numerous, and regard the rationale of grammar in a way for which the pupil-teacher is hardly ripe. Perhaps they should limit him more, more make him concentrate himself on that for which he is ripe. He will hardly write a good essay on the nature of the preposition or the adverb. He will hardly analyse an intricate passage correctly according to the metaphysical principles of Dr Morell's Analysis. But he may be brought, if his teaching takes in somewhat less, and keeps him to this more steadily,
Exercises in paraphras.
papilteachers in these. Remedy for this,
to parse a sentence a great deal better than he does now. And the true aim of a boy's mental education, to give him the power of doing a thing right,—will in this way best be followed. The best intelligence of the rationale of grammar is that which gradually comes of itself, after such a discipline, in minds with a special aptitude for this science. Such minds are few; but the minds with some aptitude or other for which the discipline of learning to do a thing right will be most beneficial, are numerous. And, to the young, grammar gives this discipline best when it limits itself most.
Rhetoric and grammar are allied, and what may be called ing; want the rhetorical exercise of paraphrasing a passage of prose or shewn by poetry often finds a place in our grammar examinations. In
general, a pupil-teacher paraphrases a passage even worse than he analyses it, and in the examination for Queen's scholarships this year no exercise in paraphrasing was given. We all complain of the want of taste and general culture which the pupil-teachers, after so much care spent upon them, continue to exhibit; and in their almost universal failure to paraphrase ten lines of prose or poetry without doing some grievous violence to good sense or good taste, they exhibit this want most conspicuously. Here too, perhaps, the remedy will be found to lie, not in attempting to teach the rules of taste directly,-a lesson which we shall never get learnt,-but in introducing a lesson which we can get learnt, which has a value in itself, whether it leads to something more or not, and which, in happy natures, will probably lead to this something
The learning by heart extracts from good authors is such a lesson. I have often thought of it as a lesson offering an excellent discipline for our pupil-teachers, and I rejoiced to see it instituted by one of the regulations of the much-attacked revised code. This regulation, at any rate, I think no one will be found to attack. Nay, it is strange that a lesson of such old standing and such high credit in our schools for the rich, should not sooner have been introduced in our schools for the poor. In this lesson you have, first of all, the excellent discipline of a lesson which must be learnt right, or it has no value; a lesson of which the subject matter is not talked about, as in too many of the lessons of our elementary schools, but learnt. Here, as in the case of the grammar lesson, this positive character of the result is a first great advantage. Then, in all but the rudest natures, out of the mass of treasures thus gained (and the mere process of gaining which will have afforded a useful discipline for all natures), a second and a more precious fruit will in time grow; they will be insensibly nourished by that which is stored in them, and their taste will be formed by it, as the learning of thousands of lines of Homer
and Virgil has insensibly created a good literary taste in so many persons who would never have got this by studying the rules of taste. Pupil-teachers will then be found to paraphrase well, whom no rules supplied by their teachers will ever teach to paraphrase well at present.
Although I am, on the whole, by no means dissatisfied with Temporary the work done during the past year in the schools under my activity in inspection, yet I cannot say that the year has been a favourable school one for them. There have been too many causes of excitement and distraction at work; school managers and school teachers have naturally had their attention much engaged, at first in speculations as to what changes might follow the report of the Royal Commission, afterwards in discussing these changes when they had been announced. The year therefore has been one of anxious looking to something which was to come, rather than of undistracted prosecution of the work which was in hand. I have the honour to be, &c.,
MATTHEW ARNOLD. To the Right Honourable
The Lords of the Committee of Council on Education.
2. Minutes of part of the evidence of P. Cumin, Esq., on the Education of
Destitute Children [4th July 1861]. 3332. Are you favourable or unfavourable to the Government granting aid to ragged schools ?-Unfavourable. I do not see how the Government can grant aid to a gratuitous school, without destroying the nature of a gratuitous school, and acting inconsistently with tho present system which they administer.
3333. How do you think that would destroy the nature of a gratuitous school ?—The only benefit which I ever saw alleged in favour of a day, or even of an evening ragged school, was the personal influence exerted by the teacher over the children. For instance, take the case of Bristol : the chief manager at Bristol is one of the most able teachers of youth that it is possible to have. You could not for any sum of money obtain such assistance as that by any Government system. If you took away the peculiar power possessed by Miss Carpenter in instructing youth, you could not replace it by any Government system at all, nor could you procure it by any Government system. I believe the benefits which undoubtedly attach to ragged schools are due almost entirely to the personal influence of the teachers upon the children.
3334. Do you mean to convey that if a Government grant were made to Miss Carpenter's school, her power of teaching would be destroyed ? -You could not frame a Government Minute, putting Miss Carpenter's name into it, so that the assistance of the Government should depend upon her life, or health, or capacity to conduct the school. Any school dependent upon the mere personal influence of any individual manager does not come within the scope of a State Government.
3335. But I understand that you do recommend that Government aid should not be given to gratuitous schools, because you think it would destroy the proper character of those schools. I want to understand in what way that result would be produced ?—The vernme aid would have to be, 'I suppose, granted with regard to the teachers. I cannot conceive any state of things in which voluntary teachers, such as Miss Carpenter, or persons of that sort, would submit to any examination for the purpose of receiving any Government aid ; or, if they did receive it, I think that the children attending the school would, in point of fact, lose very much of the respect and honour which they have for the teachers at present, whom they know to be simply engaged in the work from charitable motives.
3336. Does Miss Carpenter personally teach in her school?_The first time I went, I went in company with Miss Carpenter, and I saw the school with her. I saw how the school was conducted on that occasion. I went afterwards by myself, but the first time I went with her. She has the assistance of a master, but without her personal superintendence the school would be, I should say, quite useless.
3337. Do you know much of the system of national schools in the country?-I have examined an immense number of national schools in the country.
3338. Does it not commonly happen that some clergyman or somo manager visits the school from time to time, and takes a part occasionally in teaching the classes ?-Yes; but anybody who has been in any of those schools inust be well satisfied, from his own observation, that the children attend those schools, not from personal respect either for the clergyman or the manager, though their presence undoubtedly does good, but because they get a quid pro quo for their penny. If you had no clergyman or no manager visiting the school, and had good teaching, the school would be just as full as it is now.
3339. My object was merely to know whether what Miss Carpenter does in her school is not much the same as that which the managers of other schools, or the clergymen connected with the other schools, fre. quently do in the way of exercising influence ?-No; I think in the former case it is much more personal.
3340. At all events, Miss Carpenter employs a master and other assistants to do the bulk of the work of the teaching?—The results of the teaching are very small, I should say, and I am confirmed in that by the evidence given by the master. If it were mere teaching, the school would not go on.
3341. But, practically, there is a master who is a paid master ?There is, I should say, an inferior master, who is paid.
3342. What do you mean by saying an inferior master ?-I mean that no child would go, or that no parent would send a child to that school if it were simply for the teaching.
3343. I want to know in what way any grant given by Government would destroy the character of a gratuitous school. I understand you to say that it would do so, because it was important that the children should feel that the teaching they receive was gratuitous ?-Yes.
3344. But the teaching they receive in the schools we have been speaking of, it appears, is given by a master.
3345. Is he a paid master?-Yes; but if you reduce the good done by the school to the amount of the teaching given, I should say the sooner it stops the better.
3346. Do you suppose that the fact of that teacher receiving a payment is an injury to the school ?—It is not an injury to the school, but I think it would destroy the characteristic effect of the ragged school if it became known to the children, or if it were the fact that the master was simply a paid master, like the master of any British or National School. It is the personal influence exerted upon the childrer which produces the characteristic effect.
3347. You suppose that the beneficial effect produced in the schod is the result of the personal influence of Miss Carpenter?-Yes.
3348. Do you suppose that that influence would be diminished by the fact that Miss Carpenter is obliged either herself to pay, or get other persons to pay for the rent of the house in which the school is carried on, for the salary of the master employed to teach the children, or the other appliances which are necessary for the management of the school?
- I do not know whether I make myself understood : all I mean is, that one great benefit of the ragged school is produced by the personal influence of the teacher; and that would be diminished by having a paid master, or by doing anything which would relax the efforts in the shape of personal superintendence of such a manager as Miss Carpenter, or any other person devoted to the work. But there are other reasons which I think should operate to prevent the giving of the assistance by the Government.
3349. What are those other reasons ? - Another reason is this: I have never yet found in any ragged school which I have examined, that the children were really confined to that destitute class which cannot afford to pay 1d. a-week for their education, therefore if you are only to assist those gratuitous schools upon the ground that they are intended for a class of children who cannot pay the 1d. a-week, all I say is, practically, that no school I ever saw is conducted on that principle.
3350. Do you understand that the managers of ragged schools profess to confine them to the class of children that cannot afford to pay a very small weekly sum for education ?—That is one class.
3351. What other classes do they profess to receive ?—Those who are so dirty in their dress that they could not be admitted into ordinary schools, and those who are so peculiar in their temperament that they will not attend regularly the ordinary day-school, and therefore require