Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

TH

lapping," had not realised how vast a population EVENING CONTINUATION SCHOOLS IN there was still untouched. The real fact is that, LONDON.

when every trade and industry of men or women

has its technical school with advanced and research By the Rev. Stewart D. Headlam.

work, there will still be an ample demand for the

more general humanising and domestic work of HE work of the Evening Continuation Schools our evening schools ; much more is there need for

under the London School Board has been them now while the Technical Board is still in its

growing steadily since it began in 1882, and infancy. now has a strong hold on a large portion of the A few figures will show what subjects last year London population. Moreover, special interest attracted the young Londoner for a few hour has been aroused in it by the controversies which away from his hard-earned leisure, for we are took place prior to the late School Board election, dealing with those whose main business is breadand by the statement made by Mr. Justice Wills winning, and many of whom have to work for an (when giving his judgment as to the legality of one inordinate time at that business: Shorthand, portion of the work) that the whole of the work so 33,000 ; Arithmetic, 31,000; Book-keeping, 23,000; far as it dealt with pupils over the age of 16 or 17 Commercial Correspondence, 2,800 ; Writing, was illegal.

12,000 ; Composition, 18,000; Geography, 14,000; I am glad, therefore, to have an opportunity of History, 5,000; French, 19,000 ; German, 1,400; making clear what this work is, more especially as First Aid, 14,000; Home Nursing, 3,000 ; Woodit will doubtless be continued and extended work, 14,000; Needlework, 16,000; Vocal Music, pending the decision of the House of Lords. I 13,000 ; Gymnastics, 17,000; Swimming and am glad also to think that my statement will come Life-saving, 12,000 ; Drill, 13,000 ; English before those who are specially interested in secon- Literature, 3,000; Cookery, 5,000; Laundry dary schools, for I have little doubt but that I Work, 1,300; Drawing, 10,000; Science, about shall be able to convince them that, however im- 10,000. possible and undesirable it may be to attempt to The choice of subjects is left largely to the draw a hard and fast line between primary and pupil, though the wise teacher is becoming more secondary education, in our evening schools at and more a power to guide the pupil in this any rate, there is nothing of which they need be matter. The enormous run on Shorthand is a jealous, but rather that the work demands their curious phenomenon. Do what we will, we cannot sympathy and support.

quench the desire for attempting it. But then all

. During the eighteen years we have been at work quasi-commercial subjects are popular. It is not the number of schools has grown from 83 to 368, only on account of its commercial value that so and of pupils admitted from 9,064 to 124,200; the many attempt to learn French. greatest increase being in the year when the fees mind one class in a school in the very poorest part were abolished, the numbers growing from 57,586 of St. Luke's, where some twenty-four rough girls to 109,121.

come steadily to French for the simple love of the These figures are an indication of how many thing and the teacher. By-and-bye, more than the there are in London of those who, working during present 180 commercial students will want Spanish the day, are willing to give part of their evening and Portuguese. Much was made by the enemy leisure to some kind of study: and I also state, at the late election of the fact that we taught without any fear of contradiction, though I have Russian—we do to twelve pupils : it is the work no official figures at hand, that the numbers at- of a volunteer teacher. But the people of London tending the various technical institutions supported who want a good opening for their sons would do or subsidised by the County Council, as well as well to demand more classes in this languagethe little private and religious societies and clubs, besides, what a delight to read Tolstoy at etc., which they help, so far from diminishing, first hand rather than in a bad translation of a have increased while we have been increasing. French version. The timid County Councillors, afraid of “over

The Ambulance and Home Nursing classes, to No. 26, VOL. 3.)

I have in my

E

which may be added a few classes on the simple addition to a full literary knowledge, possess the
Laws of Health, which I hope will increase in power of expressing themselves and holding the
numbers, are among our most valuable pieces of attention of pupils not yet in love with the English
work. They are taught by doctors and trained Classics. Our most successful teacher of this
nurses, and followed by a searching examination, subject came from the “secondary” ranks.
for which certificates are given. I could give In addition to the schools the curriculum of which
from my own knowledge many instances of the I have indicated above, there are sixteen schools
practical good resulting from them. These lessons specialised as commercial schools, where persons
appeal to the roughest as well as to the refined, (male or female) engaged in the City can get
and I hope they will be widely extended.

trained at night in subjects which will be valuable The Woodwork classes are also extremely popu- to them, and eventually to the nation-commerlar with the lads and young men. How good the cially. Most of these pupils prepare for the exawork is anyone can see who attends our Annual minations of the Chamber of Commerce or the Exhibition.

Society of Arts, and the subjects taken are mainly Our Needlework, which, according to the some- those required by the examiners. Before Christwhat pedantic phraseology of the Board of Edu- mas there were 8,000 pupils on the roll of these cation, is divided into needlework as applied to schools. There are also nine special schools for "garments," needlework as applied to dresses, Science and Art, with a roll of 6,000, working and needlework as applied to "headgear," is also chiefly at subjects which are examined by South

“ of the greatest use to the young—and married- Kensington, but engaged earning their living during women. Hundreds of them are taught to make the day, many of them being our own teachers. their own underclothing, frocks and hats. I am Besides these, there are nine little schools for sorry for any Government (whatever may be the the deaf, with a roll of 280. I am confident that final legal decision) which does not allow this work we can continue this work better than any other to continue.

body could. We are gradually forming choirs in every school. Now in giving these facts and figures I suffer Several this Christmas have been singing carols in from no illusions; we are dealing with people connection with the Referee Children's Dinner fund. whose main work is bread-winning. We have We also have a few special Music classes, by therefore inevitably to put up with an irregularity means of which our own day-school teachers are of attendance which, to an ordinary day-school enabled to add the old notation to their Tonic Sol- teacher of any grade, would be heartbreaking. fa acquirements.

That irregularity can be lessened by various exThe Gymnastic centres, of which there are 84, pedients, but it will never be got rid of till the have all been started during the last three years; State demands from the employers so many hours they are places for serious work, invaluable to a week for the mental, technical and physical trainyoung men and young women who have to lead ing of its young citizens up to the age of 21. sedentary lives.

What kind of pupils come to your schools ? I am Our English Literature classes have also only sometimes asked. The answer is, all kinds of recently been added; they were mainly intended London bread-winners. There is a delightful to introduce real classics to the readers of the story going about of an officer in the Engineers London Journal, Tit Bits, &c. The lecturer was to who could only learn what he wanted from us; of tell the story of the play or the novel, and to an English lady who married a German, who came induce the pupils to buy a cheap edition ; in this to us to learn how to talk to her husband; of an way they were in many cases successful. The old man with an invention who came to us in order roughest boys and girls in Deptford were en- to secure his patent. And, frankly, we ask no thralled by the story of Oliver Twist, and a couple questions as to the social position of our pupils; of hundred young men and women from the shops we feel that if here and there well-to-do ratepayers and business houses in Hackney have listened like to come to us—well, their rates are heavy, regularly week by week to lectures on Shake- and they are very wise to use their own schools speare ; Bethnal Green boys will tell you the story for their own education. But roughly our schools, of Hamlet, and give you their opinion on the both day and evening, classify themselves by meaning of it; Whitechapel girls will stand out neighbourhood. In well-to-do suburban neighand act to you with splendid intonation and real bourhoods you get one sort, in rough poor neighpower a series of short scenes from “ Twelfth bourhoods you get another sort; both alike are Night.” For two years now some twenty schools welcome. have sent selected companies to act, first the I go to a school in the neighbourhood of Dept. Trial Scene from “ The Merchant of Venice," then ford; I casually meet the excellent manager, who the Play Scene from “ Hamlet," and Mr. Ben spends his spare time in hunting up the rough Greet, who judged them, has expressed himself fellows at the waterside. I go in and find a hall delighted with the result. This good work must full of splendid athletic young men at work in the continue. Mr. Poel, of the Elizabethan Stage gymnasium ; I see a lot of slouching lads sitting Society, has just joined our ranks, giving us the round. The responsible teacher, a real live man, the benefit of his unique knowledge of the English secret of all success in evening work, says, " These drama. Here there is a fine opening for any of chaps you see on the bars were a year ago like your readers, secondary school teachers who, in those sitting round." I go into a class-room and

1

[ocr errors]

a

are ours.

find some forty rough lads listening to a history So. The great trades and industries must look to lesson, evidently interested, though most of them the Technical Board for that advanced training are in their shirt-sleeves. I go into another room, and research which is so necessary, but which is and find a dozen at work drawing. I suppose only in a small degree at present forthcoming ; our Mr. Justice Wills and the City Corporation would province is at once humbler and nobler. The object; anyhow, it is humanising. I go into the domestic arts are ours—the languages, the literafourth room, and meet the doctor about to begin ture, the science, which is the basis of technical an ambulance class. “No keener class any. skill, the manual training, the physical developwhere,” he says. And that is the curriculum of ment, above all the humanising and the helping of that school: the majority of the pupils over 17, those who belong to no skilled trade at all-these and therefore “illegally" taught, unless they pay

Ours, too, are the commercial schools, two guineas a year ! It would be a pity—it with which we were the first in the field. It is a would not be to the nation's advantage-to close work of vital national importance, which no other that school.

public body had attempted to touch. A twenty minutes' walk takes you to one of our And as for megalomania, no one who knows very best Science and Art and Commercial Schools how little has been done compared with what -all spick-and-span students, though many of remains to be done can suffer from that. them only earning small wages.

Another respon- Going about as I have done during the last sible teacher full of energy; many subjects being twelve years all over London, visiting schools, has studied-Physiology, Hygiene, Chemistry, Build- certainly impressed upon me the value of our ing Construction, Magnetism, Mathematics, Type- work, and made me feel how disastrous it would writing, Advanced Shorthand, and what not, with be to do anything to thwart it, but it has also a splendid lesson in French on the Gouin system, made me feel, perhaps more than others have felt, and a course of lectures on Literature on “ off" how many there are untouched by any of us. We evenings. And these are two extreme types of really cannot afford to be jealous of each other, some 380 schools.

or to keep trying to find legal means for hindering There is one evening-school institution to which each other's work. I must refer, the “social evening,” to which in most schools the pupils are invited once a month. These social evenings, and the preparation for them, led to the absurd statement that our evening schools are mainly places for dancing. If they were, and if every London lad and lass could be THE QUESTION OF HOME-WORK. compelled to learn to dance, there would be no

By W. C. FLETCHER, M.A. great harm done. But the fact is that once a month we give the teacher the use of the school

Headmaster of Liverpool Institute, Liverpool. hall, and a dance, sometimes with a few songs interspersed, takes place. I am certain that these

HE purpose of home-work seems to be two“socials ” have a civilising effect on the pupils

fold ; first, by the devolution of preparation and the neighbourhood, and are a valuable adjunct

and practice to give more time in school for to the ordinary school life.

actual teaching, and, secondly, to give boys the Now surely there can be nothing more ridicu.

opportunity of learning to work alone, without lous than the statement that in all this we are

direct compulsion or even guidance. The relative trenching on the province of the secondary schools;

importance of these varies according to age and that we

nature of work, but both need to be borne in mind. are doing the work of the Technical Board ; that we are suffering from "megalomania,"

HOME-WORK SHOULD GAIN TIME for Classand want to make ourselves into a London Uni

TEACHING. versity! It is quite true that by the Act of 1890 we are distinctly told that the condition applicable To the saving of time there are limits. The to day schools, that “the education given must be time spent in school-work daily must not exceed in the principal part elementary," does not apply certain limits, hard to fix, but not to be transto evening schools; but the mere fact that 99 per gressed under serious penalties. cent. at least of our pupils are working during the It is possible to give too much teaching, and day, and they can only get in our evening schools boys would sometimes be better for doing preparaa couple of hours any evening on generally not tion themselves in school instead of having it done more than three evenings a week, makes it absurd for them by the master. to talk of there being any jealousy between the It is possible to spend so much time over the secondary schools and us; and equally absurd, I correction of home-work that the loss exceeds the think, that any “Body ” which the Government gain. may create to manage secondary schools should There can, I think, be little doubt that, espehave also to manage schools so different from them cially with young boys, we err in the length of the as ours are.

school day by excess rather than by defect.

Our It is also true that the law allows us to give knowledge on this point is still unsatisfactory, but technical instruction, but the limitations of our it is safe to say that when a boy of 16 has had buildings prevent us for the most part from doing five or five-and-a-half hours in school another two

TH

[ocr errors]

hours' work at home is the limit of what he should done in school, but so much depends on the style do. Younger boys should do much less, and under of teaching that it is impossible to lay down general 10 or even ii probably none at all. Longer hours rules. mean slackness over work, or for the more conscientious boys over-pressure.

HOME-WORK SHOULD Teach Boys To Work Alone. In some subjects, the early stages of language

It is, of course, most important that boys should teaching, for instance, all the time available can

learn to work for themselves, first without conwith advantage be spent in actual teaching and

straint and gradually without guidance. Excessive oral work in class; but in others, mathematics, perhaps natural science, it is possible to teach too

teaching-the teaching of too much detail-im

pairs a boy's self-reliance. It tends to relieve much and not to leave boys alone sufficiently.

him from the drudgery necessary to any real Whether further practice at home is advantageous,

progress, and to make him disinclined to face then, depends on the time allotted in school and the

such drudgery. A class may be taught a piece of quantity of work desired. Written home-work must, of course, generally

verse, or grammar, or Euclid by constant repetibe examined, or careless and slovenly habits are

tion and questioning in class, but it is even more

important that boys should develop the habit of encouraged. If a master takes work home and

mastering it for themselves. The better boys, too, gives it back to a boy afterwards, much of the

need opportunity not only for this routine work, effect of correction is lost. It should be looked at

but for inquiry. The much-vaunted heuristic on the spot as part of the lesson. Unless this can

method is sometimes supposed to be a discovery be done quickly, and without leaving boys sitting affecting science alone, but it has, in truth, a idle (a mistake sometimes made), there is much

bearing on mathematics certainly, probably on waste.

literary and linguistic subjects also. Opportunities These considerations show how difficult it is to

for such work occur, and will be seized by a skilful lay down general rules. Home-work must be set, as far as possible, to help the lessons ; its nature

teacher. As boys grow older it is this view of

home-work, as giving occasion for self-help, which will depend on the nature of these. In mathe

becomes the more important. matics it is easy to choose suitable work, according to the age and capacity of the class. It may THINGS TO BE AVOIDED IN SETTING HOME-WORK. be some straightforward work set for practice merely, a few general questions to keep up back So far of home-work in general and as it affects work, or some questions to be thought over and one master. If, as under the form system, boys attempted which will make the next lesson inte- are chiefly under the care of one man, there is no resting and fruitful. The construction of solids out excuse for excess or defect of work. If, however, of cardboard, the plotting of graphs, the graphical boys have work to do for several masters there solution of equations or of geometrical and mecha. will be trouble unless care is taken. This seems nical problems are especially good for the purpose. essentially the headmaster's work. He must arAll such work needs patience, care and leisure, range a suitable time-table, and will need to inquire and is best done without help. It has the further from time to time to make sure that there is no advantage that it can be very easily examined. abuse. A special difficulty comes from work that

In the days when the memorising of facts, is set only once or twice a week. Boys will, if whether of grammar, history or science, formed they can, put work off to the last moment, and it the great part of education, naturally there was not infrequently happens that over-pressure commuch repetition work that could be done at home, plained of arises simply from the fact that several and time in school was mostly spent in hearing it. odd lessons are left to be done on one night. In the reaction from this perhaps we have gone In a day school certain other difficulties arise. too far in the other direction, and there is too There is, to begin with, the waste of time and the much teaching and explanation, and the responsi fatigue due to travelling, perhaps increased by bility of mastering a subject is taken too much off irregular meals. This, in some cases, makes any boys' own shoulders. Such work as it legitimately home-work at all a very serious burden. We occurs-and it forms an element in all subjects- cannot make general arrangements to suit everymay properly be set for home preparation, probody, but allowance must be made for such excepvided it is adequately tested.

tional cases. Of language teaching I speak with hesitation ; Then there are the varying home conditions and but one evil I have met with, the setting of trans- the wishes of parents to be considered. These, lation to be prepared, of which a boy can say, with again, cannot alter our general procedure, but have some colour of truth, that he “cannot make it to be borne in mind in dealing with particular boys. out." He is sometimes told (as evidence of effort) | Finally, the master must be on the alert to set to make a list of words if he cannot make sense, a home-work which reduces the risks of copying to wholly wasteful and mischievous process.

He

a minimum. should feel that, if he has not made sense, he has done nothing. No work should be set which can

Some GENERAL Rules. not be tolerably well done. In the early stages of In general the following truths should be oblanguage teaching the work proper to be done at served : home is the revision and mastering of work already It is better to set too little than too much.

a

No work should be set which cannot be well C.-MODERN Schools. done by the bulk of the class.' Home-work should (1) The OBERREALSCHULE, with a nine years' be such as can be easily and quickly examined. course (leaving age about 19).

Written home-work should, as far as possible, (2) The RealSCHULE, with a six years' course be looked over in school with the boy at hand, (leaving age about 16). but care must be taken that the class does not sit 1. The Gymnasium is the only school that leads idle while this is being done.

to all departments of a German University; pupils With young boys and middle school classes the proceeding from the Realgymnasium can enter work set should be very definite in amount, such the University as students only of Mathematics, as all can do, and should be pretty rigorously Natural Science and Modern Languages; whilst exacted from everybody. This means that the there is a further restriction to Mathematics and abler boys will have an easy time. But there is Natural Science for pupils from the Oberlittle harm in this, for they are just the boys most realschule. In respect of all other privileges, such likely to make a good use of leisure and to suffer as qualification for one year's military service, en most intellectually and physically from the want trance to technical schools, the Civil Service, &c., of it.

the schools may be arranged in the following asAs boys grow older greater variety should be cending order . introduced in home-work. There must not only

Second Grade School (with a six years' course), be routine work for the average boy, but oppor.

the Oberrealschule, the Realgymnasium, the Gymtunity must be given for the abler boy to do more, nasium ; and it is to be noted that the privileges both in quality and quantity.

attaching to one class of school include all the Impositions are to be avoided as far as possible. | privileges of the preceding type. In general such tasks are an eloquent testimony to It is not surprising then that the classical schools the inefficiency of the master. Either he sets work have far more pupils than all the other schools put unwisely or examines in such a way as to give a together. Many a father chooses the Gymnasium, shirker a chance of escape, or he has not the influ- not because it is educationally best adapted for his ence with his boys which he ought to have. This son, but because it shuts out no career from him. check on impositions is even more important in a The great monopoly possessed by the Gymday school than in a boarding school. A boy living nasium has been a serious obstacle to the developat home has other claims than those of school ment of first-grade modern schools. Whereas in which should not be interfered with more than is the winter half-year, 1895-6, the number of pupils necessary.

in the highest class of the 273 Gymnasien was 4,508, it is significant that the number of pupils in the highest class of the 86 Realgymnasien was only 864, and the number of pupils in the highest class of the 24 Oberrealschulen only 163. (See

“Special Reports,” vol. iii., p. 127.] THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S EDICT ON

First and foremost, then, the King's Edict SECONDARY EDUCATION.

declares the equality of the three kinds of first

grade school in respect of general mental culture. By A. KAHN, М. А.

The practical applications of this principle are Commercial Department of University College School.

not laid down precisely or consistently. Certain

it is that the rights of the Gynasium will suffer no HE King of Prussia on the 26th of November

curtailment; it is equally certain that while it is last issued an edict in which he lays down

intended to extend the privileges of the two other lines of reform to be followed by the Edu

types of schools, there will be no full emancication Department in the further development of

pation from the disabilities under which they

work. The Edict recognises that certain prothe Prussian System of Secondary Education for

fessional courses of study impose preliminary acBoys. For the sake of clearness it is well to give the

quirements outside the scope of the one or other following classification of Prussian Secondary

type of school; and the intention seems to be to Schools for Boys, which has existed since the year

facilitate the supplementing, when necessary, of 1892 :—

the leaving certificate of the modern schools by

certificates in subjects outside their curriculum. Á A.-CLASSICAL SCHOOLS :

pupil of the Oberrealschule, for instance, desirous (1) The GYMNASIUM with a nine years' course of entering the Faculty of Law, will possibly be (leaving age about 19).

expected to satisfy a test in such a knowledge of (2) The PROGYMNASIUM consisting only of the

Latin and Greek as is absolutely essential for his lowest six classes of a gymnasium.

professional course. No objection could be taken B.-SEMI-CLASSICAL Schools in which Latin, to so reasonable a requirement, but the principle but not Greek, is taught):

of equality would seem to demand also from the (1) The RealGYMNASIUM, with a nine years' Gymnasium supplementary certificates for those course (leaving age about 19).

higher courses of study for which the curriculum (2) The RealPROGYMNASIUM, consisting only of the lowest six classes of the Realgymnasium.

1 The Oberrealschule came into existence in 1882.

T

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »