1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Education
EDUCATION. In the following treatment of this subject, the theory and early history of education is first dealt with, and secondly the modern organization of education as a national concern. Many definitions have been given of the word “education,” but underlying them all is the conception that it denotes an attempt on the part of the adult members of a human society to shape the development of the coming generation in accordance with its own ideals of life. It is true that the word has not infrequently been used in wider senses than this. For example, J. S. Mill included under it everything which “helps to shape the human being”; and, with some poetic licence, we speak of the education of a people or even of the whole human race. But all such usages are rhetorical extensions of the commonly accepted sense of the term, which includes, as an essential element, the idea of deliberate direction and training (Lat. educare, to bring up; educere, to draw out, lead forth). No doubt, all education is effected through the experiences of the educated, and much of it is indirect, consisting mainly in the determination of the form of experiences other than those of direct precept, compulsion and instruction. But it does not follow that all experiences are educative. Whether an experience is part of an individual’s education or not is determined by its origin. Whatever be its effect, it is educative in so far as its form has been arranged with greater or less deliberation by those who are concerned with the training of him whose experience it is. It follows that an education may be good or bad, and that its goodness or badness will be relative to the virtue, wisdom and intelligence of the educator. It is good only when it aims at the right kind of product, and when the means it adopts are well adapted to secure the intended result and are applied intelligently, consistently and persistently.
Education is, thus, a definitely personal work, and will vary between wide extremes of effectiveness and worth in any given society. For in all times and places there are wide differences in virtue, wisdom and capacity among those who have in their hands the care and nurture of the young. But the inference that, therefore, no comparative estimate of the education of different times and places can be made would be fallacious. For, despite all differences in conception and efficiency among individual educators, each expresses, more or less perfectly and clearly, the common conception and energy of his age and country. As these rise or fall the general level of the actual educative practice rises or sinks with them. The first essential for successful educative effort is, then, that the community as a whole should have a true estimate of the nature and value of education.
I. Educational Theory
In any comparative estimate of different places and times, as tested by the standard just given, it must be borne in mind that, except in the most general and abstract form, we cannot speak of an ideally best education. Looking at the individual to be educated, we may say with Plato that the aim of education is “to develop in the body and in the soul all the beauty and all the perfection of which they are capable,” but this leaves quite undecided the nature and form of that beauty and perfection, and on such points there has never been universal agreement at any one time, while successive ages have shown marked differences of estimate. We get nearer to the point when we reflect that individual beauty and perfection are shown, and only shown, in actual life, and that such life has to be lived under definite conditions of time, place, culture, religion, national aspirations and mastery over material conditions. Perfection of life, then, in the Athens of the age of Plato would show a very different form from that which it would take in the London or Paris of to-day. So an individualistic statement of the purpose of education leads on analysis to considerations that are not, in themselves, individualistic. The personal life is throughout a relation between individual promptings to activity and the environment in which alone such promptings can, by being actualized, become part of life. And the perfection of the life is to be sought in the perfection of the relations thus established. So far, then, as any conception of education can give guidance to the actual process it must be relative in every way to the state of development of the society in which it is given. Indeed, looked at in the mass, education may be said to be the efforts made by the community to impose its culture upon the growing generation. Here again is room for difference. The culture in question may be accepted as absolute at least in its essentials, and then the ideal of education will be to secure its stability and perpetuation, or it may be regarded as a stage in a process of development, and then the ideal will be to facilitate the advance of the next generation beyond the point reached by the present. So some ages will show a relatively fixed conception of the educative process, others will be times of unrest and change in this as in other modes of social and intellectual life.
It is in these latter times that the actual work of education is apt to lose touch with the culture of the community. For schools (q.v.) and universities (q.v.), which are the ordinary channels through which adult culture reaches the young, are naturally conservative and bound by tradition. They are slow to leave the old paths which have hitherto led to the desired goal, and to enter on new and untried ways. If the opposition to change is absolute, there must come a time when the instruments of education are out of true relation to the desired end. For change in culture ideals means change in the specific form of the goal of education, and consequently the paths of educative effort need readjustment. When the goal of the past is no longer the goal of the present, to follow the ways which led to the former is to fail to reach the latter. Continuous readjustment, by small and almost imperceptible degrees, is the ideal at which the educator should aim. When this is not secured, the educational domain is liable to sudden and violent revolutions which are destructive of successful educative effort at the time they occur, however beneficial their results may be in the future.
But the relation of adjustment is not entirely one-sided. The tone of thought and feeling and the direction of will induced by education necessarily affect the common ideals of the next generation, and may make them better or worse than those of the present. Hence, the educator must not blindly accept all current views of life, but rather select the highest. For the average thought of every community is obviously below its best thought; and may, in some points at any rate, be lower than the best thought of a past age. While, then, all true education must be in direct relation with the culture of its age and country, yet, especially on the ethical side, it should aim at transcending the average thought and tone.
Still more does this imply that education strives to transcend the present condition of the educated by making their life more rational, more volitional, and more attracted by goodness and beauty than it would otherwise be. It can never be a passive watching of the child’s development. No more fundamental error can be made than the assumption that education can be determined wholly, or even mainly, by the tendencies and impulses with which a child is endowed. Its real guiding principle must be a conception of the nature to which the child may attain, not a knowledge of that with which it starts. The educator studies the original endowment of the child and the early stages in the development of that innate nature in order that he may, wisely and successfully, employ appropriate means to direct further development and to accelerate its progress towards a more rational, complete and worthy life; not that he may the more skilfully give facilities to the child to drift about on the unregulated currents of caprice.
Such considerations show the importance of an insight into the theory of education on the part of all who are practically concerned with its direction. But the theory required is no system of abstract ideas ignoring the real concrete conditions of the life for which the actual education it is to guide is a preparation. To approach the subject only from the standpoint of the mental sciences which underlie it is to run the risk of setting up such a body of abstractions, whose relation to real life is neither very close nor very direct. The most profitable way of developing an educational theory for the present is to trace how in the past education has consciously adapted itself, more or less truly and fully, to the conditions of culture and social life; and by analysis to discover the reasons for comparative success or failure in the degree of clearness with which the end to be sought was apprehended and the nature of the children to be trained was understood.
In all ages the claims of the individual and those of the community have struggled for the mastery as the ultimate principles of life. As one or the other has prevailed the conception of education has emphasized social service or individual success as the primary end. The true harmony of human life will only be attained when these two impulses, contradictory on their own level, are united in a higher synthesis which sees each as the complement of the other in a life whose purpose is neither simple egoism nor pure altruism. Until that conception of life is attained and held generally there can be no sure and universally accepted conception of the aim and function of education. Much of the interest of the history of education turns on the relation of these two principles as determinants of its aim.
In ancient Greece the supremacy of the state was generally unquestioned, and, especially in the earlier times, the good man was identified with the good citizen. No doubt, in later days philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, Old Greek education. saw clearly that the round of the duties of citizenship did not exhaust the life of the individual. With them the highest life was one of cultured leisure in which the energies were mainly concentrated on the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. But this “diagogic” life was only for the select few; for the undistinguished many the fulfilment by each of the duties of his station remained the measure of worthy life, though such duties were regarded as affecting the individual and private relations of the citizens in a much more intimate way than in former and ruder ages. And for those who devoted their lives to the highest culture, the essential preliminary condition was the existence of such a state as would form the most favourable environment for their pursuits and the most stable foundation for their leisured life. Thus Greek thought was saturated with the conception of life as essentially a set of relations between the individual and the city-state of which he formed an integral part. The first aim of education was therefore to train the young as citizens.
This training must, of necessity, be of a specific kind; for, like other small communities, the Greek city-states showed a life fundamentally one in conception, under various specific forms. Each state had its special character, and to this character the education given in it must conform if it were to be an effective instrument for training the citizens. From these fundamental conceptions flowed the demands of Plato and Aristotle that education should be regulated in all its details by the state authority, should be compulsory on all free citizens, and should be uniform—at any rate in its earlier stages—for all. In the Republic and the Laws, Plato shows to what extreme lengths theory may go when it neglects to take account of some of the most pertinent facts of life. For the guardian-citizens of the ideal state family life and family ties are abolished; no lower community is to be allowed to enter into competition with the state. Aristotle, indeed, did not go to these extreme lengths; he allowed the family to remain, but he seems to have regarded it as likely to affect children more for evil than for good.
In the essential principles laid down by both philosophers as to the relation of the state to education, and in the corollaries they drew from that relation, they were not at variance with the accepted Greek theory on the subject. It is true that the actual practice of Greek states departed, and often widely, from this ideal, for, especially in later centuries, the Greek always tended to live his own life. The nearest approach to the theory was found in Sparta, where the end of the state as a military organization was kept steadily in view, and where, after early childhood, the young citizens were trained directly by the state in a kind of barrack life—the boys to become warriors, the girls the mothers of warriors. It was this feature of Spartan education, together with the rude simplicity of life it enforced, which attracted Plato, and, to a less extent, Aristotle. In Athens there had of old been state laws insisting on the attendance of the children of the free citizens at school, and, in some degree, regulating the schools themselves. But at the time of Plato these had fallen into desuetude, and the state directly concerned itself only with the training of the ephebi, for which, we learn from Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, somewhat elaborate provisions were made by the appointment of officers, and the regulation of both intellectual and physical pursuits. For children and youths under the ephebic age there was no practical regulation of schools or palaestra by the state. Yet there is no doubt that the education really given was in conformity with Athenian ideals of culture and life, and that it was generally received by the children of free citizens, though of course the sons of the wealthy, then as now, could and did continue their attendance at school to a later age than their poorer brethren. The education of girls was essentially a domestic training. What Plato and Aristotle, with the theorist’s love of official systematic regulation, regarded as the greatest defect of Athenian education was in reality its strongest point. In practice, the harmony between individual liberty and social claims was much more nearly attained under a system of free working out of common thoughts and ideals than would have been the case under one of the irresistible imposition from without of a rigid mould.
The instruments of education everywhere found to be in harmony with the Greek conception of life and culture were essentially twofold,—“music” (μουσική), or literary and artistic culture, for the mind, and systematic gymnastic (γυμναστική) for the body. Plato, in the Republic, shows that the latter, as well as the former, affects the character, and doubtless, though not formulated, this was generally more or less vaguely felt. But Greek gymnastic was really an individual training, and therefore made only indirectly for the aim of cultivating the social bonds of citizenship. Ancient Greece had nothing corresponding in value in this respect to the organized games which form so important a feature in the school life of modern England. The “musical” training was essentially in the national literature and music of Greece, and this could obviously be carried to very different lengths. The elements of mathematical science were also commonly taught. The essential purpose throughout was the development of the character of a loyal citizen of Athens. As Athenian culture advanced, increasing attention was paid to diagogic studies, especially in the ephebic age, with a corresponding decrease of attention to merely physical pursuits; hence the complaints of such satirists as Aristophanes of a growing luxury, effeminacy and corruption of youths: complaints apparently based on a comparison of the worst features of the actual present with an idealized and imaginative picture of the virtues of the past. Such comparison is, indeed, implicit in much of Plato and Aristotle as well as in Aristophanes.
But a disintegrating force was already at work in the educational system of Greece which Plato and Aristotle vainly opposed. This was the rhetorical training of the Sophists, the narrowly practical and individualistic aim of which was entirely out of harmony with the older Greek ideals of life and culture. In a democratic city-state the orator easily became a demagogue, and generally oratory was the readiest path to influence and power. Thus oratory opened the way to personal ambition, and young men who were moved by that passion eagerly attended the Sophist schools where their dominant motive was strengthened.
Further, the closer relations between the Greek states, both in nearer and farther Hellas, led naturally to the diminution of differences between civic ideals, and, as a consequence, to a more cosmopolitan conception of higher education. This process was completed by the loss of political independence of the city-states under the Macedonian domination. Henceforth, higher education became purely intellectual, and its relation to political and social life increasingly remote. This, combined with the growing rhetorical tendency already noticed, accounts for the sterility of Greek thought during the succeeding centuries. The means of higher education were, indeed, more fully organized. The university of Athens was the outcome of a fusion of the private philosophical schools with the state organization for the training of the ephebi, and there were other such centres of higher culture, especially in after years at Alexandria, where the contact of Greek thought with the religions and philosophies of Egypt and the East gave birth in time to the more or less mystical philosophies which culminated in Neo-platonism. But at Athens itself thought became more and more sterile, and education more and more a mere training in unreal rhetoric, till the dissolution of the university by Justinian in A.D. 529.
Thus when Rome conquered Greece, Greek education had lost that reality which is drawn from intimate relation to civic life, and the fashionable individualistic schools of philosophy could do nothing to replace the loss. It was, then, an Old Roman education. education which had largely lost its life-springs that was transferred to Rome. In the earlier centuries of the republic, Roman education was given entirely in family and public life. The father had unlimited power over his son’s life, and was open to public censure if he failed to train him in the ordinary moral, civic and religious duties. But it is doubtful if there were any schools (q.v.), and it is certain there was no national literature to furnish an instrument of culture. A Roman boy learnt to reverence the gods, to read, to bear himself well in manly exercises, and to know enough of the laws of his country to regulate his conduct. This last he acquired directly by hearing his father decide the cases of his clients every morning in his hall. The rules of courtesy he learnt similarly by accompanying his father to the social gatherings to which he was invited. Thus early Roman education was essentially practical, civic and moral, but its intellectual outlook was extremely narrow.
When a wider culture was imported from Greece it was, however, the form rather than the spirit of true Hellenic education that was transferred. This was, indeed, to some extent inevitable from the decadent state of Greek Hellenized Roman education. education at the time, but it was accentuated by the essentially practical character of the Roman mind. The instrument of education first introduced was Greek literature, much of which was soon translated into Latin. In time the schools of the grammatici, teaching grammar and literature, were supplemented by schools of rhetoric and philosophy, though the philosophy taught in them was itself little more than rhetorical declamation. These furnished the means of higher culture for those youths who did not study at Alexandria or Athens, and were also preparatory to studies at those universities. Under the Empire the rhetorical schools were gradually organized into a state system, the general principles of administration being laid down by imperial decree, and even such details as the appointment and rate of payment of the professors, at first left to the municipalities, being in time assumed by the central government. There is no evidence of any state regulation or support of the lower schools. This widening of culture affected both boys and girls, the domestic education of the latter being supplemented by a study of literature. But it is the higher training in rhetoric which is especially characteristic of Hellenized Roman education.
The conception of a rhetorical culture is seen at its best in Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria, the most systematic treatise on education produced by the ancient world. With Quintilian the ideal of an orator was a widely cultured, wise and honourable man. And at first the teaching of rhetoric undoubtedly made for higher and true culture. But with the autocracy, soon passing into tyranny, of the empire, rhetoric ceased to be a preparation for real life. The true function of oratory is to persuade a free people. When it cannot be applied to this purpose it becomes little more than a means of intellectual frivolity, or, at the best, an exhibition of cultured ingenuity. Under the empire a rhetorical training was, indeed, turned in not a few instances to practical but most unworthy uses by the delators; a result made possible by the legal system which rewarded delation with a considerable portion of the estate of the condemned. Even apart from this, the education in rhetoric had an increasingly evil effect both on the culture and on the character of the higher classes in the Roman empire. Out of real connexion with life as it was, it sought its subjects in the realms of the fanciful and the trivial, and with unreality of topic went of necessity deterioration of style. The vivid presentment of living thought gave way to that inflated and bombastic abuse of meretricious ornament and far-fetched metaphor in which human speech is always involved when it sets forth ideas, or shadows of ideas, which grow out of no conviction in the speaker and are expected to carry no conviction to the hearer. Imitation of the form of great models, without the substance of thought which underlay them, led to a general unreality and essential falseness of mental life. Further, the continual gazing with admiration on the productions of the past, and the conception of excellence as consisting in closeness of imitation, induced a servile attitude of mind towards authority in all too close agreement with the political servility which marked the Roman court. Such an attitude was essentially hostile to mental initiative, and thus rhetoric became not merely an art of expression but a type of character.
Nor was there anything in the general conditions of society to counterbalance the ill effects of school and university education. Quintilian lamented that, even in his time, the old Roman family education by example was corrupted; and the moral degradation of later times, though it has doubtless been exaggerated, was certainly real and widespread. Nor does the religious revival of Paganism which synchronized with the early centuries of Christianity appear to have effected any reform in life. Alexandria, the birthplace of Neo-platonism and the intellectual centre of the later empire, was also a very sink of moral obliquity.
It was into such a decaying civilization, which by its want of vitality sterilized education, oppressing it under the weight of a dead tradition, that Christianity brought new life. Of course, careful instruction in the Faith was given Christianity and Pagan education. in catechetical schools, of which that at Alexandria was the most famous. But the question as to the attitude of Christians towards the ordinary classical culture was important. On the one hand, literature was saturated with Paganism, and the Pagan festivals formed a regular part of school life. On the other hand, the Pagan education offered the only means of higher culture, and thus furnished the only weapon with which Christians could successfully meet their controversial antagonists. Quite at first, no doubt, when the converts to the new faith were few and obscure, the question scarcely arose; but as men of culture and position were attracted to the Church it became urgent. The answers given by the Christian leaders were various, and largely the outcome of temperament and previous training. The Greek Fathers, especially Clement of Alexandria (150-217) and Origen (185-253), regarded Christianity as essentially the culmination of philosophy, to which the way must be found through liberal culture. Without a liberal education the Christian could live a life of faith and obedience but could not attain an intellectual understanding of the mysteries of the Faith. On the other hand, Tertullian (160-240) was very suspicious of Pagan culture; though he granted the necessity of employing it as a means of education, yet he did so with regret, and would forbid Christians to teach it in the public schools, where some recognition of Paganism would be implied. The general practice of the Christians, however, did not conform to Tertullian’s exhortations. Indeed, many of the cultivated Christians of the 3rd and 4th centuries were little more than nominal adherents to the Faith, and the intercourse between Christian and Pagan was often close and friendly. The general attitude of Christians towards the traditional education is evidenced by the protest raised against the edict of Julian, which forbade them to teach in the public schools. The ultimate outcome seems to be fairly expressed in the writings of St Augustine (354-430) and St Jerome (346-420), who held that literary and rhetorical culture is good so long as it is kept subservient to the Christian life.
In another way Greek philosophy exercised an abiding influence over the culture of future ages. The early centuries of Christianity felt the need of formulating the Faith to preserve it from disintegration into a mass of fluid opinions, and such formulation was of necessity made under the influence of the philosophy in which the early Fathers had been trained—that Neo-platonism which was the last effort of Paganism to attain a conception of life and of God. In the West, this formulation had to be translated into Latin, for Greek was no longer generally understood in Italy, and thus the juristic trend of Roman thought also became a factor in the exposition of Christian doctrine. This formulation of the Faith was one of the chief legacies the transition centuries passed on to the middle ages.
Had classical culture been less formal than it was during the early centuries of Christianity, the innate antagonism of the Pagan and Christian views of life and character must have been so apparent that the education which prepared for the one could not have been accepted by the other. It was only because rhetorical culture was so emphatically intellectual, and so little, if at all, moral in its aims, that its inherent opposition to the Christian conception of character was not obvious. That its antagonistic influence was not inoperative is shown by the not infrequent perversions of cultured Christians to Paganism. But generally the opposition was so obscured that the ethical writings of St Ambrose (340-397) are largely Stoic in conception and reasoning. Yet the Pagan ideal of life, especially as it had been developed in the individualistic ethics which had prevailed for more than six centuries, was antithetical in essence to that of the Christian Church. The former was essentially an ethics of self-reliance and self-control showing itself in moderation and proportion in all expressions of life. An essential feature in such a character was high-mindedness and a self-respect which was of the nature of pride. On the contrary, Christian teaching exalted humility as one of the highest virtues, and regarded pride and self-confidence as the deadliest of sins. It recognized no doctrine of limitation; what was to be condemned could not be abhorred too violently, nor could what was good be too strongly desired or too ardently sought. The highest state attainable by man was absorption in loving ecstasy in the mystic contemplation of God. The practical attempt to realize this gave rise to monasticism, with its minutely regulated life expressing unlimited obedience and the renunciation of private will at every moment. The monastic life was regarded as the nearest approach to the ideal which a Christian could make on earth. Naturally, as this conception gathered strength in generations nurtured in it, the value of classical culture became less and less apparent, and by the time of St Gregory the Great (d. 604) the use of classical literature except as means of an education having quite another end than classical culture was discouraged.
Of course, during these centuries, the gradual subjugation of the western empire by the barbarians had been powerfully operative in the obscuring of culture. Most of the public schools disappeared, and generally the light of Effect of barbarian inroads. learning was kept burning only in monasteries, and in them more and more faintly as they became more or less isolated units exposed to attack by ruthless foes or living in continual dread of such attack. Though the barbarians absorbed the old culture in various degrees of imperfection, yet the four centuries following the death of St Augustine were plunged in intellectual darkness, relieved by transitory gleams of light in Britain and by a more enduring flame in Ireland. The utmost that could be done was to preserve to some extent the heritage of the past. This, indeed, was essentially the work of men like Boethius, Cassiodorus, Isidore and Bede.
During these same centuries another process had been advancing with accelerating steps. This was the modification of the Latin language. In the early centuries of Christianity literary Latin was already very different from colloquial Modification of Latin. Latin, especially in the provinces; and, as has been said, the literary output of the last age of Paganism was marked by sterility of thought and meretricious redundancy of expression. On the other hand, the writings of Christianity show a real living force seeking to find appropriate expression in new forms. Thus, with Christian writers, slavish imitation of the past gradually gave way to the evolution of a new and living Latin, which showed itself more and more regardless of classical models. To express the new ideas to which Christianity gave birth fresh words were coined, or borrowed from colloquial speech or from the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. This Christian Latin was a real living instrument of expression, which conformed itself in its structure much more closely to the mode of thought and expression of actual life than did the artificial imitation of antiquity in which the literary productions of Paganism were clothed. It is the Latin in which St Jerome wrote the Vulgate. But with the obscuring of culture during the barbarian invasions this current Latin became more and more oblivious of even such elements of form as grammatical inflexions and concords.
It was to the reformation of this corrupt Latin by a return to classical models, and to the more general spread of culture, especially among clergy and nobles, that the Carolingian revival addressed itself. The movement was essentially The Carolingian revival. practical and conservative. Alcuin (735-804), who was Charlemagne’s educational adviser and chief executive officer in scholastic matters, was probably the best scholar of his time, and himself loved the classical writings with which he was acquainted; but the text-books he wrote were but imperfect summaries of existing compendia, and the intellectual condition of his pupils forbade a very generous literary diet even had he thought it desirable, of which there is some doubt. The most valuable outcome of the movement was the establishment of the palace school, and of bishops’ schools and monastic schools throughout the empire. Of these the latter were the most important, and each of the chief monasteries had from the time of Charlemagne an external school for pupils not proposing to enter the order as well as an internal school for novices. Thus, the educational system north of the Alps was pre-eminently ecclesiastical in its organization and profoundly religious in its aims. For two centuries the new intellectual life was obscured by the troubled times which followed the death of Charlemagne, but the learning which the Carolingian revival had restored was preserved here and there in cathedral and monastic schools, and the sequence of well-educated ecclesiastics was never altogether interrupted.
The scope of that learning was comprised within the seven liberal arts and philosophy, on the secular side, together with some dogmatic instruction in the doctrines of the Church, the early fathers, and the Scriptures. Theology The medieval curriculum. was as yet not organized into a philosophical system: that was the great work the middle ages had to perform. The seven liberal arts (divided into the Trivium—grammar, dialectic, rhetoric; and the more advanced Quadrivium—geometry, arithmetic, music, astronomy) were a legacy from old Roman education through the transition centuries. They appear in the Disciplinarum libri IX. of Varro in the 2nd century B.C., where are added to them the more utilitarian arts of medicine and architecture. But they reached the middle ages chiefly through the summaries of writers in the transition centuries, of which the best known were the De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii of the Neo-platonist Martianus Capella, who wrote probably early in the 5th century; the De artibus ac disciplinis liberalium litterarum of the Christian Cassiodorus (468-562); and the Etymologiarum libri XX. of St Isidore of Seville (570-636).
The scope of the arts was wider than their names would suggest in modern times. Under grammar was included the study of the content and form of literature; and in practice the teaching varied from a liberal literary culture to a dry and perfunctory study of just enough grammar to give some facility in the use of Latin. Dialectic was mainly formal logic. Rhetoric covered the study of law, as well as composition in prose and verse. Geometry was rather what is now understood by geography and natural history, together with the medicinal properties of plants. Arithmetic, with the cumbrous Roman notation, included little more than the simplest practical calculations required in ordinary life and the computation of the calendar. Music embraced the rules of the plain-song of the Church, some theory of sound, and the connexion of harmony and numbers. Astronomy dealt with the courses of the heavenly bodies, and was seldom kept free from astrology. In philosophy the current text-books were the De consolatione philosophiae of Boethius (470-524), an eclectic summary of pagan ethics from the standpoint of the Christian view of life, and the same writer’s adapted translations of the Categories and De interpretatione of Aristotle and of Porphyry’s Introduction to the Categories.
It is evident that though such a scheme of studies might in practice, during ages of intellectual stagnation and general ignorance, be arid in the extreme, it was capable in time of revival of giving scope to the widest extension of culture. It was, indeed, at once comprehensive and unified in conception, and well adapted to educate for the perfectly definite and clear view of life which the Church set before men.
In the 11th century Europe had settled down, after centuries of war and invasion, into a condition of comparative political stability, ecclesiastical discipline, and social tranquillity: the barbarians had been converted, and, as in The scholastic revival. the case of the Normans, had pressed to the forefront of civilization; civic life had developed in the fortified towns of Italy, raised as defences against the pressure of Saracen and Hungarian invasions. Soon, communication with the East by trade and in the Crusades, and with the highly cultivated Moors in Spain, further stimulated the new burst of intellectual life. Arabic renderings of some of the works of Aristotle and commentaries on them were translated into Latin and exercised a profound influence on the trend of culture. A new translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics appeared in 1167, and by the beginning of the 13th century all his physical, metaphysical and ethical treatises were available, and during the next half century the translations from Arabic versions were superseded by renderings direct from the original Greek. As expositions of the real doctrines of Aristotle the translations from the Arabic left much to be desired. Renan calls the medieval edition of the Commentaries of Averroës “a Latin translation of a Hebrew translation of a commentary made upon an Arabic translation of a Syriac translation of a Greek text.” The study of such works often led to the enunciation of doctrines held heretical by the theologians, and it was only when the real Aristotle was known that it was found possible to bring the Peripatetic philosophy into the service of theology.
There were thus two broad stages in the educational revival commonly known as scholasticism. In the first the controversies were essentially metaphysical, and centred round the question of the nature of universals; the orthodox theological party generally supporting realism, or the doctrine that the universal is the true reality, of which particulars and individuals are only appearances; while the opposite doctrine of nominalism—that universals are “mere sounds” and particulars the only true existences—showed a continual disposition to lapse into heresies on the most fundamental doctrines of the Church. The second stage was essentially constructive; the opposition of philosophy to theology was negated, and philosophy gave a systematic form to theology itself. The most characteristic figure of the former period was Abelard (1079-1142), of the latter St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). The former knew little of Aristotle beyond the translations and adaptations of Boethius, but he was essentially a dialectician who applied his logic to investigating the fundamental doctrines of the Church and bringing everything to the bar of reason. This innate rationalism appeared to bring theology under the sway of philosophy, and led to frequent condemnations of his doctrines as heretical. With St Thomas, on the other hand, the essential dogmas of Christianity must be unquestioned. In his Summa theologiae he presents all the doctrines of the Church systematized in a mould derived from the Aristotelian philosophy.
It is evident, then, that during the period of the scholastic revival, men’s interests were specially occupied with questions concerning the spiritual and the unseen, and that the great instrument of thought was syllogistic logic, Scholastic education. by which consequences were deduced from premises received as unquestionably true. There was a general acceptance of the authority of the Church in matters of belief and conduct, and of that of Aristotle, as approved by the Church, in all that related to knowledge of this world.
Before the rediscovery of Aristotle exerted such a general influence on the form of education, there was a real revival of classical literary culture at Chartres and a few other schools, and John of Salisbury (d. 1182) in his Metalogicus advocated literature as an instrument of education and lamented the barrenness of a training confined to the subtleties of formal logic. But the recrudescence of Aristotle accelerated the movement in favour of dialectic, though at the same time it furnished topics on which logic could be exercised which only a bare materialism can esteem unimportant. The weaknesses of the general educational system which grew up within scholasticism were that haste to begin dialectic led to an undue curtailment of previous liberal culture, and that exclusive attention to philosophical and theological questions caused a neglect of the study of the physical world and a disregard of the critical functions of the intellect. Doubtless there were exceptions, of which perhaps the most striking is the work in physical science done at Oxford by Roger Bacon (1214-1294). But Albertus Magnus (1193-1280), the master of St Thomas, was also a student of nature and an authority for his day on both the natural and the physical sciences. And the work of Grosseteste (d. 1253), as chancellor of the university of Oxford, shows that care for a liberal literary culture was by no means unknown. Always there were such examples. But too often boys hastened to enter upon dialectic and philosophy as soon as they had acquired sufficient smattering of colloquial Latin to engage in the disputes of the schools. A deterioration of Latin was the unavoidable consequence of such premature specialization. The seven liberal arts were often not pursued in their entirety, and students remained satisfied with desiccated compendia of accepted opinions. Thus the encyclopaedias of general information which were in general use during the middle ages show little or no advance in positive knowledge upon the treatment of similar subjects in Isidore of Seville.
The services of scholasticism to the cause of education, however, cannot well be overestimated, and the content of scholastic studies was in fundamental harmony with the intellectual interests of the time. Above all other The foundation of universities. benefits owed by future ages to scholasticism is the foundation of the universities of western Europe. The intellectual activity of the 11th century led everywhere to a great increase in the number of scholars attending the monastic and cathedral schools. Round famous teachers, such as Abelard, gathered crowds of students from every country. In the 12th century the need for organizing such bodies of teachers and students was imperative, and thus the earlier universities arose in Italy, France and England, not by deliberate foundation of secular or ecclesiastical ruler, but as spontaneous manifestations of the characteristic medieval impulse to organize into institutions. Afterwards, charters conferring powers and privileges were sought from both Church and state, but these only confirmed the self-governing character the universities had borne from the first. Each of the early universities was a specialized school of higher study: Salerno was a school of medicine; Bologna was the centre of that revival of Roman law which wrought so profound an effect upon the legal systems of France and Germany towards the close of the medieval period. But the greatest of medieval universities was that of Paris, emphatically the home of philosophy and theology, which was the model upon which many other universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, were organized.
The German universities were of later origin, the earliest being Prague (1348) and Vienna (1365). They indicate the more recognized position the movement had attained; for nearly all were founded by the civic authority, and then obtained the recognition of the Church and charters from the emperor.
The concentration of higher instruction in universities was not antagonistic to the medieval conception of the Church as the teacher of mankind. University life was modelled on that of the cloister, though the monastic ideal could not University work and life. be fully realized, and the scholars not infrequently exhibited considerable licence in life. This was inevitable with the very large numbers of the scholars and the great variations of age among them. Moreover students, and to a less extent teachers, passed from university to university, so that the universities of medieval Europe formed a free confederacy of learning in close relation to the Church but untrammelled by state control. Nevertheless, they were less definitely ecclesiastical than the cathedral seminaries which they largely supplanted, and the introduction of studies derived from the Greeks through the Arabians led to an increased freedom of thought, at first within authorized limits, but prepared, when occasion served, to transcend those limits.
The scheme of instruction was arranged on the assumption that special studies should be based on a wide general culture. Thus of the four faculties into which university teaching was organized, that of arts, with its degrees of Baccalaureat and Magister, was regarded as propaedeutic to those of theology, law and medicine. It often included, indeed, quite young boys, for the distinction between grammar school and university was not clearly drawn. Attention was concentrated on those subjects which treat of man and his relations to his fellow-men and to God, and no attempt was made to extend the bounds of knowledge. The aim was to pass on a body of acquired knowledge regarded as embracing all that was possible of attainment, and the authority of Aristotle in physics as well as in philosophy, and of Galen and Hippocrates in medicine was absolute. The methods of instruction—by lecture, or commentary on received texts; and by disputation, in which the scholars acquired dexterity in the use of the knowledge they had absorbed—were in harmony with this conception, and were undoubtedly thoroughly well suited to the requirements of an age in which the ideal of human thought was not discovery but order, and in which knowledge was regarded as a set of established propositions, the work of reason being to harmonize these propositions in subordination to the authoritative doctrines of the Church.
Such an extension of the means of higher education as was given by the universities was naturally accompanied by a corresponding increase in schools of lower rank. Not only were there grammar schools at cathedral and Medieval schools. collegiate churches, but many others were founded in connexion with chantries, and by some of the many gilds into which medieval middle-class life organized itself. The Dominican and Franciscan friars were enthusiastic promoters of learning both in universities and in schools, and in the Netherlands the Brethren of the Common Life, founded by Gerard Groote and approved by Eugenius IV. in 1431, regarded school teaching as one of their main functions, and the promotion of learning by the multiplication of manuscripts as another. The curriculum was represented broadly by the Trivium. The greatest attention was paid to grammar, which included very various amounts of reading of classical and Christian authors, the most commonly included being Virgil, parts of Ovid and Cicero, and Boethius. The text-books in grammar were the elementary catechism on the eight parts of speech by Donatus, a Roman of the 4th century, said to have been the tutor of St Jerome, and the more advanced treatise of Priscian, a schoolmaster of Constantinople about A.D. 500, which remained the standard text-book for over a thousand years. In rhetoric Cicero’s De oratore was read, and dialectic was practised, as in the universities, by means of disputations.
In addition to the grammar schools were writing and song schools of an elementary type, in which instruction was usually in the vernacular. Girls were taught in women’s monasteries and in the home, and those of the upper classes at least very generally learned to read, write and keep accounts, as well as fine needlework, household duties and management, and such elementary surgery and medicine as served in cases of slight daily accidents and illnesses. Even those boys and girls who did not receive formal scholastic instruction were instructed orally by the parish priests in the doctrines and duties of the Faith; while the pictures and statues with which the churches were adorned aided the direct teaching of sermons and catechizing in giving a general knowledge of Bible history and of the legends of the saints.
No doubt, in times of spiritual and intellectual lethargy, the practice fell short of the theory; but on the whole it may be concluded that in medieval times the provision for higher instruction was adequate to the demand, and that, relatively to the culture of the time, the mass of the people were by no means sunk in brutish ignorance. Indeed, especially when the paucity of books before the invention of printing is borne in mind, the number of people who could read the vernacular, as evidenced by the demand for books in the vulgar tongue as soon as printing made them available, is clear proof that the latter part of the middle ages was by no means a time of general illiteracy.
Feudalism, the other characteristic aspect of medieval society, had also its system of education, expressing its own view of life, and preparing for the adequate performance of its duties. This was the training in chivalry given to Education of chivalry. pages and squires in the halls and castles of the great. Hallam has well said: “There are, if I may so say, three powerful spirits which have from time to time moved over the face of the waters, and given a predominant impulse to the moral sentiments and energies of mankind. These are the spirits of liberty, of religion and of honour. It was the principal business of chivalry to animate and cherish the last of these.” And this was not in opposition to the spirit of religion which animated the scholastic education which went on side by side with it. Throughout chivalry was sanctified by the offices of the Church. The education of chivalry aimed at fitting the noble youth to be a worthy knight, a just and wise master, and a prudent manager of an estate. Much was acquired by daily experience of a knightly household, but in addition the page received direct instruction in reading and writing; courtly amusements, such as chess and playing the lute, singing and making verses; the rules and usages of courtesy; and the knightly conception of duty. As a squire he practised more assiduously the knightly exercises of war and peace, and in the management of large or small bodies of men he attained the capacity of command.
With the unification of existing knowledge and the systematization of theology the constructive work of scholasticism was done. At the same time the growth of national feeling was slowly but surely undermining feudalism. Decadence of scholasticism. Moreover, deep resentment was accumulating throughout western Europe against the practical abuses which had become prevalent in the Church, and especially in the court of Rome and in the prince-bishoprics of Germany. In short, Europe was out-growing medieval institutions, which appeared more and more as empty forms unable to satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul. In such conditions, the customary and traditional education of school and university tended to lose touch more and more completely with the new aspirations and views of life which were everywhere gathering adherents among the keenest and most active intellects. Had a new cultural movement not begun, the education of Europe threatened to become as arid as the rhetorical education of the last centuries of the Roman empire had been. From this it was saved by the renaissance of classical studies which began in the 14th century.
Italy, by its greater wealth and its more intimate commerce with the eastern empire, was the seed-plot of this new tree of knowledge. Ever since the 11th century the cities of northern Italy had been in advance of Europe The Renaissance. beyond the Alps both in culture and in material progress. The old classical spirit and the feeling of Roman citizenship had never quite died out, and the Divina Commedia of Dante (1265-1321) furnishes evidence that the poet of the scholastic philosophical theology was also a keen student and lover of the old Latin poets. But the greatest impulse to the revived study of the classics was given by Petrarch (1304-1374) and Boccaccio (1313-1375). Generally throughout western Europe the 14th century, though full of war and political unrest, was a time of considerable intellectual activity, shown in the increase of schools and universities, as well as in the literary and artistic revival in Italy, in the social and theological movement in England and Bohemia associated with the names of Wycliffe and Huss, and in the more or less perfect substitution of Roman law everywhere except in England for the law of custom which had hitherto prevailed.
But it was the literary movement which most affected education, and indeed the whole life of Europe. A decisive step was taken when Manuel Chrysoloras was invited to teach Greek in the university of Florence in 1397. The enthusiasm for classical culture, to which Petrarch had given so great an impetus, gathered force and extended over the whole of Italy, though, of course, felt only by a select few and leaving the mass of the people little, if at all, affected. From Italy it spread gradually to countries north of the Alps. In the old writers men found full expression of that new spirit of self-conscious freedom which was vaguely striving for expression throughout the whole of Christendom. In the free political atmosphere of the Italian communes, with their wealthy and leisured merchant class, that spirit could flourish much more readily than in the feudalized Europe across the Alps. Moreover, the antique spirit was in direct line of ancestry with that of medieval Italy. Thus, for a couple of centuries, Italy stood in the van of European culture.
The stages of the movement cannot be traced here: suffice it to say it showed itself especially in an enthusiastic search for manuscripts, followed by their multiplication and wider distribution; in an intense devotion to literary form; in a revival of classic taste in architecture; in a wonderful development of painting and sculpture from symbolism of spiritual qualities towards naturalism and romanticism; in a return to Platonism in philosophy; in a contempt, often unreasoning and wanting a foundation in knowledge, for the scholastic Aristotelian philosophy itself, and not simply for the trivialities into which its actual exercise had so commonly degenerated. The invention of printing necessarily gave the movement both a stronger and a wider influence than it could otherwise have attained. And in its search after knowledge it was in full harmony with the spirit of adventure which marked the age, and by the discovery of the New World wrought so profound a change in the relative importance and prosperity of the countries of western Europe.
It is the spirit of the movement which is of interest to the student of education. And that spirit was essentially one of opposition to authority and of assertion of individual liberty, which worked itself out in various forms Influence of the Renaissance on education. among peoples of different temperaments. In Italy the form was literary and artistic, and the full development of the Renaissance spirit was seen in a practical Paganism which substituted the attractions of art for the claims of religion and morality, and eventuated in deep and widespread immorality and a contemptuous tolerance of the outward observances of religion without faith in the doctrines they symbolized. The movement became an attempt to reconstitute the past intellectual life of Italy, and, as such, was foredoomed to sterility as soon as the work of re-discovery was completed; for the revived forms were not inspired with the vital spirit which had once made them realities, and consequently men’s minds once again were occupied with mere verbal subtleties. The really valuable service of the Italian humanists to Europe was the restoration to man of the heritage of knowledge which he had allowed to slip from his grasp, and the leading the way to a freer intellectual atmosphere. In Germany the spirit manifested itself in a rebellion against the doctrinal system of the Church as the only effectual means of attaining reform of ecclesiastical abuses. The Protestant reformation of Luther was the real German outcome of the Renaissance. In no other country of Europe did the movement take so distinctive a form.
It was, then, not merely the revival of interest in classical studies which so profoundly affected the life and education of western Europe. It was rather that in those literatures men found a response to intellectual and moral cravings which had been blindly gathering force for generations, and which found themselves formulated and objectified in the writings which set forth the Pagan view of life with its assumption of the essential worth and self-reliance of the individual and its frank delight in all the pleasures of existence. It was, in short, in proportion as men not only found delight in Pagan literature but returned in essence to the Pagan view of individual worth and the supremacy of the human intellect, that the Church realized the danger to herself which lurked in the new movement.
At first the revival of interest in the classical literatures did not show any antagonism to Catholic faith and practice, and its warmest supporters were faithful sons of the Church. The view of the relation of classical literature to Christianity adopted by the great humanist schoolmaster Vittorino da Feltre (1378-1446) was broadly that of the early Fathers, and in his school at Mantua he showed that culture was not inconsistent with loyalty to the Church or with purity of life. With him classical literature was not the end and sum of education, but was a means of implanting ideas, of developing taste, and of acquiring knowledge, all as helps and ornaments of a Christian life. Though Pagan literature was the means of education, the Pagan spirit had not supplanted that of Christianity. The school at Mantua may, indeed, be said to have exhibited in practice a Christianized application of the doctrines of Quintilian and Plutarch.
So was it in the other countries of Christendom. In the Netherlands the Brethren of the Common Life introduced humanistic studies into their schools side by side with definite religious teaching and observances and their work was always dominated by the Christian spirit. The earlier German humanists, such as Nicholas de Cusa, Hegius, Agricola and Wimpheling, adopted the same attitude, and Erasmus himself, bitterly as he attacked the practical abuses of the Church, remained in communion with it, and aimed at harmonizing classical culture with the Christian life. In England the same love of culture combined with devotion to the Church was seen in Selling, prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, the first real English humanist, in Grocyn, Linacre, More, Fisher, Colet and many others whose enthusiasm for culture was as undoubted as was their loyalty to Catholicism. It seemed, then, at first as if the greatest educational effect of the classical revival would be the deepening of literary culture, and the substitution of real inquiry for dialectic subtleties in the courses of schools and universities, without any break with established religious teaching. It is true that the majority of schools were but little affected, and many of the universities had given but a half-hearted welcome to humanistic studies when the religious revolt in Germany under the leadership of Luther threw the whole of Europe into two hostile camps. But even the conservative university of Paris—the headquarters of scholastic philosophical theology—had permitted the teaching of Greek as early as 1458, and both Oxford and Cambridge had welcomed the new studies. That the influence of the new movement for classical study was gradually permeating the schools is shown not only by the practice of the Brethren of the Common Life but by the curriculum laid down by the statutes of the schools refounded by Wolsey at Ipswich and by Colet at St Paul’s.
The immediate effect of the religious controversies of the 16th century on education was emphatically, if unintentionally, disastrous. The secularization of ecclesiastical property too often absorbed the endowments of the schools, Immediate influence of the Reformation on education. so that, both in Germany and in England, the majority of grammar schools either disappeared or continued a starved existence with diminished funds; the doctrine of salvation by faith alone and the futility of good works dried up the source from which such endowments had flowed; the violent fulminations of the German reformers against the universities as the homes of the hated scholastic theology and philosophy found an echo in minds fired with the renaissance enthusiasm for poetry and oratory, and correlative distaste for the more severe and abstract speculations of logic and philosophy, which expressed itself in abstention from those seats of learning; the preoccupation of men’s minds with theological speculations and quarrels led those few who did resort to the universities to neglect their appointed studies and to devote their energies to interminable wrangling over the points in dispute. This decadence in culture was attended by an outbreak of licence and immorality, especially among the young, which called forth violent denunciations from Luther and many of his followers in Germany, and from Latimer and other reformers in England. In some respects these results were only transitory. Humanism and Protestantism, which had so far diverged that Erasmus (1467-1536) had declared that where Lutheranism flourished learning decayed, were brought together again by Melanchthon (1497-1560) under whose influence universities were founded or reorganized and schools re-established in Protestant German states; and in England the reign of Elizabeth saw many new educational foundations. But this restoration of the means of education was only partial, and the doctrine of the worthlessness of “carnal knowledge,” which led the Barebones Parliament to propose the suppression of the English universities, was held by many fervent Protestants both in England and in Germany all through the 17th century.
Moreover, the schools established a tradition of curriculum and instruction which ignored the new directions of men’s thoughts and the new view of knowledge as something to be enlarged, and not merely a deposit to be handed down Protestant schools. from generation to generation. The later humanist theories of education, which the schools continued to follow generally for over two centuries, and in many cases for another hundred years after that, were drawn mainly from Erasmus and Melanchthon, who found in the classical languages and literatures, and especially in Latin, the only essential instruments of education. General knowledge of natural facts might be desirable to the cultured man as ornaments to his rhetoric, but it was to be sought in the writings of antiquity. Even so revolutionary a thinker on education as Rabelais (1495-1553) with all his demand for an encyclopaedic curriculum, held the writings of the ancients as authoritative on natural phenomena. Melanchthon, whose conception of instruction was much narrower, exercised enormous influence in the moulding of Protestant universities and secondary schools, both directly and through such disciples as Trotzendorf and Neander, but especially through his friend Sturm (1507-1589), whose Latin gymnasium at Strassburg became the model which the grammar schools of Protestant Europe strove to imitate. In this school nearly the whole of the energies of the boys was given to acquiring a mastery of the Latin language after the model of Cicero. Sturm, indeed, did not go to the extreme length of the Ciceronians, opposed and satirized by Erasmus, who would allow no word or construction which could not be found in the extant writings of their master, but a like spirit dominated him.
In Catholic countries the Church retained control of education. The practical reformation of abuses by the Council of Trent, and the energy and skill of the Society of Jesus, founded by St Ignatius Loyola, in 1534, brought back most of The Society of Jesus. south Germany into the fold of the Church. Everywhere Catholic universities were mainly taught by Jesuit fathers; and under their influence, scholasticism, purged from the excretions which had degraded it, was restored, and continued to satisfy the longings of minds which felt the need of an authoritative harmonizing of faith and knowledge. Everywhere the society established schools, which, by their success in teaching and the mildness of their discipline, attracted thousands of pupils who came even from Protestant homes. Their curriculum was purely classical, but it was elaborated with much skill, and the methods of instruction and discipline were made the subject of much thought and of long-continued experiment. In the methods thus determined all Jesuit fathers were trained, so that the teachers in Jesuit schools attained a degree of skill in their art which was too generally wanting elsewhere.
So long as Latin remained the language of learning, and new fields of knowledge were not appropriated, the schools remained in harmony with the culture of their time, though, as Mulcaster (1530-1611) pointed out, such a training Early proposals for reform. was not of value to the majority of boys. For them he urged an elementary education in the vernacular; but neither in this nor in his advocacy of the training of teachers was his advice followed.
In the 17th century the dislocation between the Latin schools and the needs of life began to be accentuated as Latin gradually ceased to be the language of learning; and, as a consequence, the numbers attending the schools decreased, and the mass of the people sunk continually lower in ignorance. In vain Hoole urged the establishment of a universal system of elementary schools giving instruction in the vernacular, Petty put forth his plan for elementary trade schools, and Cowley proposed the establishment of a college devoted to research. Ideas of reform were in the air, but the main current of scholastic practice flowed on unaffected by them. Some attention was, indeed, paid to the conservative reforms advocated by the Port Royalists, of which the most important was the inclusion of the vernacular as a branch of instruction, but the cry for more fundamental changes based on the philosophy of Bacon was unheeded. Of these, none was a more active propagandist than Comenius (1571-1635). Unfortunately his Great Didactic, in which he set forth his general principles, attracted little attention and won less adherence, though his school books, in which he attempted with very little success to apply his principles, were widely used in schools. But these were little more than bald summaries of real and supposed facts, stated in Latin and the vernacular in parallel columns. In content they differed from such medieval summaries of knowledge as the well-known work of Bartholomew Anglicus, which had been widely used since the 13th century, chiefly by their greater baldness and aridity of statement.
In the universities, too, the 16th and 17th centuries saw a continuous decadence. The 16th century was not ripe for real intellectual freedom; and Protestantism, having based its revolt on the right of private judgment, Decadence of universities. soon produced a number of conflicting theological systems, vying with each other in rigidity and narrowness, which, as Paulsen says, “nearly stifled the intellectual life of the German people.” Further, the idea of national autonomy, which exercised so great an effect on the politics of the time, included the universal adherence of the citizens to the religion of the state. Hence, till the end of the 17th century the universities of Protestant Europe were regarded mainly as instruments for securing adhesion to the national theological system on the part of future clergy and officials, and the state interfered more and more with their organization and work. Theology occupied the most important place in the higher studies pursued, which for the rest differed little in content and less in spirit from those of preceding centuries, except that more attention was paid to the study of classical literature. Even that decayed into formal linguistics as the Renaissance enthusiasm for poetry and oratory died out, and interest in logical and philosophical questions, fostered by the dominance of dogmatic controversial theology, again became dominant. In Paris, on the other hand, the faculty of theology had decayed through the withdrawal of those preparing for the priesthood into episcopal seminaries, and the higher studies pursued were mainly law and medicine. Thus, generally, the universities were less and less fulfilling the function of providing a general liberal education. Another change, due to the same causes and making for the same results, was the isolation of universities, often directly fostered by the state governments, which for the universal interchange of medieval thought substituted a narrow provincial culture and outlook. It is no wonder that numbers everywhere decayed and that complaints as to the habits of the students were loud and frequent.
At the close of the 17th century, then, universities as well as schools had reached a very low level of efficiency and were held in little respect by the cultured. Indeed, from the middle of the century, the main current of intellectual Education of the higher classes. life had drifted away from the orthodox centres of learning. The formation of the Berlin Academy in Germany and of the Royal Society in England, and the refusal of Leibnitz to accept a chair in any German university, were signs of the times. In France, and later in Germany, the education of the noble youth was increasingly carried on apart from the schools, and was really an outgrowth from the education of chivalry. In the 16th century Castiglione and Montaigne had advocated a training directly adapted to prepare for polite life, and Elyot wrote on similar lines. But the most important movement in this direction was the formation of the courtly academies which flourished in France in the 17th century, and were soon imitated in the Ritterakademien of Germany. In these schools of the nobility French was more honoured than classics, and the other subjects were chosen as directly adapted to prepare for the life of a noble at the court. Milton in his Tractate advocated the foundation of such academies in England, though he proposed a curriculum far more extensive than had ever been found possible. More and more, too, foreign travel had, from the middle of the 16th century, been looked upon as a better mode of finishing the education of a gentleman than a course at a university.
The later years of the 17th century saw a revival of university life in Cambridge, through the work of Newton and the increasing attention paid to mathematics and the physical sciences, though the number of students continued Revival of university life. very small. In Germany, also, a new era opened with the foundation of the universities of Halle (1694) and Göttingen (1737), which from the first discarded the old conception that the function of a university is to pass on knowledge already complete, and so opened the door of the German universities to the new culture and philosophy. It was soon seen that students could thus be attracted, and the influence spread to the other German universities, which by the end of the 18th century had regained their position as homes of the highest German thought.
At Halle, too, was set the example by Francke of providing for the education of the children of the poor, and to his disciple Hecker Germany owes the first Realschule. Simultaneous Education of the poor. movements for the education of the poor were made by St Jean-Baptiste de la Salle and the Brothers of the Christian Schools in France, and by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in England. But the total results were not great; the mass of the people in every European country remained without schooling throughout the 18th century.
The intellectual movements of that century were, indeed, essentially aristocratic. Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists aimed at the enlightenment of the select few, and Rousseau declared baldly that the poor need no education. 18th-century thought and education. That these movements influenced education profoundly is undoubted. The individualistic and abstract rationalism of Voltaire, derived from the sensationist philosophy of Locke through the more thorough-going Condillac, and finding its logical outcome in the materialistic atheism of La Mettrie and the refined selfishness of Rochefoucault, infected the more cultured classes. In Lord Chesterfield’s Letters to his Son is shown its educational outcome—a veneer of superficial culture and artificial politeness covering, but not hiding, the most cold-blooded selfishness. Against this fashionable artificiality, as well as against the obvious social and political abuses of the time, Rousseau’s call for a return to nature was a needed protest.
Rousseauism, however, was not merely a transitory revolt against a conventionality of life that had become unbearable; it was emphatically the voicing of a view of life and of education which has profoundly influenced Europe Rousseauism. ever since. In that Rousseau (1712-1778) attempted to look at life as a whole he was on truer ground than were the intellectualists of the “Enlightenment”; but in that he found the essence of life in the gratification of the desires and impulses of the moment, he enunciated a doctrine which banished high principle and strenuous effort from life and consequently from education. In the Émile is presented a purely fantastic scheme of education based on a psychology of development so crude as to be absolutely false, and producing a young man utterly unable to guide his own life or to control his emotions and impulses. Rousseauism is, indeed, in its essence the application to education of the doctrines of naturalism—the philosophy which regards human life as a mere continuation of physical process, and consequently as determined wholly by environment. So Rousseau would abolish all moral training and leave the child to the reactions of the physical world upon his actions.
Against this position the educational teaching of Kant (1724-1804), influenced though he was by the Émile, is essentially a protest. The most necessary element in education, Kant. according to Kant, is constraint, which by the formation of habit prepares the young to receive as principles of conduct the laws at first imposed upon them from without. And the supreme guide of life is the law of duty which is always more or less opposed to the promptings of inclination. Kant exaggerates the dualism: Rousseau would abolish it by ignoring the more important of the two antitheses.
The French Revolution—the natural outcome of the teachings of Voltaire and of Rousseau—was the second stage in the movement of which the Reformation was the first. It was essentially the assertion of the natural rights of Educational outcome of the Revolution. man, and, as a logical sequence, of the right of every child to be properly trained for life. The reaction due to the excesses of the revolutionists no doubt delayed the acknowledgment for a time, but its gradual recognition is emphatically the characteristic mark of the educational history of the 19th century.
Preached and practised by Pestalozzi (1746-1827) in Switzerland, the general education of the poor was first made a reality by Prussia after the crushing defeat of Jena. In France and England it remained for nearly three-quarters State education. of the century the work of the Church and other voluntary agencies, though aided by the state. Finally a state system of schools has been more or less fully set up in every state of western Europe and in America, and subjected to more or less state regulation and control. Equally marked has been the growing care for the scholastic education of girls as well as boys, though only in America are the two regarded as practically identical in form and content.
Thus the 19th century saw the final working out of the idea that the state should be substituted for the Church as the official agent of education, an idea which had its roots in the Renaissance conception of the right of man to direct his life apart from theological determinations. The more direct outcome of the same idea is apparent in the absolute liberty with which the presuppositions of knowledge are questioned, and the maxim of Descartes—to prove everything by the reason and to accept nothing which fails to stand the test—is acted upon. No greater contrast is possible than that between the medieval student and the modern searcher after truth.
The influence of the same spirit has wrought an equally momentous change in the methods of instruction. The impetus given by the exaggerated doctrine of Rousseau to the view that the nature of the child should determine Methods of instruction. the means of education, led to more thorough-going attempts than had hitherto been made to base educational method on a knowledge of child psychology. Pestalozzi and Froebel (1782-1852), by their insistence on the need of educating a child through his own activity, and by their widespread influence, made the new view of method an actuality. The influence of Rousseau has, thus, passed into modern educational practice in a form that, in its essence, is true, though in practice it has shown itself apt to run into the same excess of emphasis on impulse and feeling which vitiated the teaching of Rousseau himself. The influence of Herbart (1776-1841) has tended to counteract this. The essence of Herbartianism is that mental life consists of presentations, or reactions of the mind on the environment, and that will springs from the circle of thought thus developed. The emphasis is therefore placed on intellect and instruction while in Froebelianism it is placed on spontaneous activity and on the arrangement of the environment. Each exaggerates the function of the one factor in concrete experience which it makes the centre of interest, and each is tinged with the individualistic conception of life which characterized the 18th and early 19th century.
The most marked change in the outward aspect of education has been the modification of the curriculum of school and university by the introduction of various branches of natural science. Conjointly with this has been much increase Curriculum of instruction. of specialization, and that not only in the university but in the school. There is no longer a universally recognized circle of knowledge constituting a liberal education preparatory to specialist studies, as there was in the middle ages. Nor is there general agreement as to what such educational institutions as schools and universities should attempt to do, or even as to the end that should be sought by education as a whole. Nor can agreement on such points be expected while men differ widely as to the meaning and purpose of life. The work of the organization of the material means of education has largely been accomplished by the civilized world: that of determining the true theory and practice of the educative process itself is still incomplete. To that, both discussion of the philosophy of life and of the relative values in life, of various kinds of experience and experiment in the light of the conclusions reached, are needed. The problem will never be absolutely solved, for that would imply an absolutely best education irrespective of conditions, but its practical solution will be reached when a true adjustment is made between the process of education and the life for which that education is intended to be a preparation.
II. National Systems of Public Education
A statement of the principles commonly recognized by modern communities as governing the action of the state in relation to education may facilitate at the outset a clearer understanding of the problems which the organization of public education presents. The cardinal doctrine of state interference in the educational domain is universally accepted by all the great nations of the modern world; and in regard to its extent and limits a large measure of agreement has now been reached.
In the first place, it is recognized as the duty of the state to insist upon a certain minimum of education for every future citizen. This does not necessitate a monopoly of education on the part of the state, such as was claimed Principles of state interference. by the Napoleonic despotism under the traditional influence (it would seem) of the old authoritative Gallo-Roman tradition, transformed in its outward manifestation but not in its inward spirit by the French Revolution. Such a monopoly would be plainly repugnant to the spirit of Anglo-Saxon individualism, and it is interesting to note that attempts to reassert it have in recent times been repudiated in republican France by some of the best exponents of modern free thought, as an infringement of personal liberty not calculated to justify itself by any corresponding public gain. Nevertheless, the recognition of this primary duty of the state plainly implies a state system of at least elementary education. The masses of the industrial population cannot afford the necessary minimum of instruction which the public interest demands, and private and voluntary effort cannot efficiently supply the want resulting from the unequal distribution of wealth. But it is in the nature of things that, so far as private effort attempts anything in this direction, it should be motived in the main by religion and associated with the great historical religious organizations; thus it comes about that the moment the state steps in to make good the deficiency of voluntary effort a fruitful and embittering source of difficulty and friction is disclosed. Hence, in England, the history of public elementary education since the beginning of the 19th century has been very largely the history of what is called the religious difficulty. Here we find ourselves in the region of acute controversy in which it is useless to do more than note empirically the various solutions adopted by different states. Perhaps all that can safely be indicated as commanding universal acceptance is the principle that the state must not impose upon an individual citizen in the person of his child any form of religious instruction to which he conscientiously objects. Modern controversies show the difficulty of applying even this rudimentary principle to the complicated circumstances of a free community split up into a number of groups differing profoundly in religious sentiment, and zealous each for the recognition of its own ideal within the common system. So far, however, as secular instruction (i.e. the teaching of other subjects than religion) is concerned it is now generally accepted that the elementary minimum must be both compulsory and free for every individual child whose parents will not or cannot (as the case may be) provide such instruction for it efficiently elsewhere than in the state-supported schools.
Next, the action of the modern state cannot stop short at elementary education. The principle of “the career open to talent” is no longer a matter of abstract humanitarian theory, a fantastical aspiration of revolutionary dreamers; for the great industrial communities of the modern world it is a cogent practical necessity imposed by the fierce international competition which prevails in the arts and industries of life. The nation that is not to fail in the struggle for commercial success, with all that this implies for national life and civilization, must needs see that its industries are fed with a constant supply of workers adequately equipped in respect both of general intelligence and technical training.
On political grounds too, the increasing democratization of institutions renders a wide diffusion of knowledge and the cultivation of a high standard of intelligence among the people a necessary precaution of prudent statesmanship, especially for the great imperial states which confide the most momentous issues of world policy to the arbitrament of the popular voice. The state then must satisfy itself that the means of education are placed within the reach of all, in grades adapted to the varying degrees of intelligence and educational opportunity to be found among a community upon the majority of whose members is imposed the necessity of entering upon the practical business of life at a more or less early age. The organization of the higher grades of education constitutes a task of less formidable magnitude than the organization of elementary education, for the reason that, at any rate in the prevailing social conditions, it is only a minority who can benefit by it, and that of this minority a large proportion can afford the whole or a considerable portion of the cost in each individual case. The class, however, whose education must needs be assisted by the state if it is not to remain inefficient must always be considerable; and account must be taken also of the necessities of the further class whose exceptional mental development is such as to make it worth while for the state to bestow gratuitously an education higher than elementary at the public expense. University education is distinguished from education of the lower grades by the fact that, being necessarily restricted to an élite of intellect or birth, it cannot, save in very exceptional circumstances, usefully be organized locally. Although universities are the necessary complement of a public educational system they do not in strictness or necessity form part of such a system, and in so far as they are brought within the purview of public authority it must be as a matter of national, rather than municipal or provincial, concern. Accordingly university education is separately treated (see Universities), and will not be referred to, save incidentally, in the present article.
Reserving to a final section the history of education in the United States of America, a brief description is given here of the educational systems of the leading European countries by way of introduction to a more detailed, but still summary, historical sketch of public education in England. The highly organized educational systems of France and Prussia (as representing Germany) are manifestly suitable for the purposes of a general study of the principles of educational polity as worked out upon logical and consistently thought-out plans by highly centralized states. As to other European countries, a brief mention must suffice of certain features of special interest presented by smaller progressive states of such different types as Switzerland, Belgium and Holland. Similarly, in the case of the United Kingdom, considerations of space forbid more than a brief notice of the educational systems of Scotland (q.v.) and Ireland (q.v.). For other countries see the sections in the articles under the headings of the respective states.
France (q.v.) presents the most complete type of a state system of education organized under a strongly centralized administration in all grades. This centralized administration in education, as in other departments, represents the Napoleonic heritage of the Republic, and, although there has been an increasing tendency of recent years to study local conditions in the internal organization of schools, anything approaching to local autonomy is unknown in educational affairs. The necessary checks upon bureaucracy are supplied not by popularly elected municipal bodies but by a strong infusion of the pedagogic element in the administrative machinery. The pedagogic element in turn does but represent another side of the collective activities of the state. The teaching profession both in the primary and higher spheres—and the two are sharply marked off from one another—consists of a highly organized body of state functionaries, united by a strong esprit de corps and actuated by ideals and aims which are inspired by the state. The importance of this condition of things lies in the fact that the Republic is something more than a form of government: it is the social and moral expression of the democratic ideal as conceived by a people profoundly imbued by tradition with the sense of social solidarity, or collectivism; and nowhere has this expression been more characteristic or more complete than in the domain of public education. Yet the educational system of modern France is by no means exclusively the creation of the Third Republic, and the main stages in its development deserve to be traced historically.
No historical sketch, however slight, of French education can ignore the great Catholic religious educator of the 18th century, Jean Baptiste de la Salle, the founder of Les Frères de la Doctrine chrétienne, commonly known as the Frères de la Doctrine chrétienne. “Christian Brothers.” The Brothers were not merely pioneers of elementary education, they may also be regarded (as M. Buisson, formerly director of public instruction, has shown) as the originators of higher primary instruction. Under the Restoration they upheld the method of simultaneous teaching against the partisans of the mutual (or monitorial) method, successfully demonstrating the superiority of the trained teacher. The unfortunate effects of the monitorial system upon English education show the reality of the service which this religious congregation rendered to the national pedagogy in France.
The Constitution of 1791 decreed that primary instruction should be compulsory and gratuitous. (It may be explained that the term “free education,” instruction libre, does not bear the same meaning in France as in England. In The Revolution and Napoleon. France a free school means a school not under state control and not forming part of the state system.) In this as in much else the Revolution was powerless to do more than enunciate general principles which it left for later generations, in the present instance after the lapse of nearly a century, to carry into effect. True to its theories of individualistic liberty, the Revolution admitted liberty of teaching. Napoleon, on the other hand, by the law of 1806, centralized all forms of education in one official teaching body under the name of the Imperial University, thus securing a monopoly of teaching to the state. The Napoleonic idea of the university, doubtless because a true expression of the national genius, has never ceased to exert a profound influence upon French education, an influence which of late years has been revivified and reinforced by the modern ideal of social solidarity.
Under the Restoration education fell inevitably under the control of the church, but under the Liberal Monarchy Guizot in 1833 passed a law which laid the foundations of modern primary instruction, obliging the communes to maintain Reforms of Guizot. schools and pay the teachers. It is also to the credit of Guizot as an educational reformer that he perceived the necessity for the higher primary as distinct from the secondary school. The higher primary schools which he founded were unfortunately suppressed by the Loi Falloux; their restoration constitutes one of the great positive services rendered by the Third Republic to the cause of popular education.
The Loi Falloux of 1850, passed by the Second Republic under the influence of the prince president, is chiefly memorable for its restoration of the liberty of teaching, which in a Catholic country means in effect free scope for priestly Loi Falloux. schools. This law also made provision for separate communal schools for girls, for adult classes and for the technical instruction of apprentices. In 1854 France was divided for purposes of educational administration into sixteen academies, each administered by a rector with an academy inspector under him for each department. This organization survives to-day, with the difference that for each academy (except Chambéry) there is now a local teaching university.
The ministry of the well-known educationist M. Duruy (1865-1869), corresponding to the period of the Liberal Empire, was notable for marked administrative progress. A permanent Ministry of M. Duruy. memorial of this epoch is the enactment rendering primary schools for girls obligatory in communes of over 500 inhabitants. Duruy also provided for the introduction of gratuitous instruction at the option of the commune.
The task of educational reform imposed itself upon the republic by a twofold necessity. The wars of 1866 and 1870 were victories for the Prussian schoolmaster, and aroused all western Europe to the national importance of popular The Third Republic. education. For France then the reform of popular education was an essential part of the work of national restoration. For the republic too, menaced by older and hostile traditions, the creation of a national system of education inspired by its own spirit was an essential condition of the permanence and security of its government and the social ideals of which that government was the expression. Hence the energy with which the republican state addressed itself to the organization of primary instruction, “obligatory, gratuitous, secular.”
By the law of June 1, 1878, there was imposed upon the communes the obligation of acquiring their school buildings; and as a grant in aid a sum of £2,400,000 was set aside for this purpose by the state. In 1879 a law was passed Acquisition of elementary school buildings and organization of teaching profession. compelling every department to maintain a training college for male and female teachers respectively. The two higher normal schools of Fontenay and St Cloud were also founded to supply the training colleges with professors. During the same period, among other certificats or professional diplomas, there were established the certificat d’aptitude pédagogique, which qualifies probationer-teachers (stagiaires) for appointment as teachers in full standing (titulaires), and the certificat d’aptitude for primary inspectors and heads of normal schools. The law of June 16, 1881, rendered obligatory for all teachers, whether public or private, the brevet de capacité. It was found impracticable to carry this law into immediate effect, and as late as 1902 only about 60% of the men and 52% of the women were provided with the professional certificate necessary for becoming titulaires.
The laws making primary education gratuitous, compulsory and secular, are indissolubly associated with the name of Jules Ferry. The law of June 16, 1881, abolished fees in all primary schools and training colleges, the law of Reforms of Jules Ferry. Laicization. 1882 established compulsory attendance, and finally the law of October 30, 1886, enacted that none but lay persons should teach in the public schools, and abolished in those schools all distinctively religious teaching. In the boys’ schools members of religious communities were to be displaced within five years, but in girls’ schools the religieuses might remain till death or resignation.
Religious teaching was replaced in the state schools under the Ferry law by moral instruction according to official curricula, a change which has been described by M. Séailles (Éducation ou révolution) as a revolution of the profoundest Moral instruction. philosophical meaning. The difficult and delicate topics of the relation of the state school to religion and the value of the substituted moral instruction have recently received illuminating and objective treatment from different points of view in the series of reports on Moral Instruction and Training in Schools, edited by Professor M. E. Sadler (1908, vol. ii.); the barest reference to the questions at issue must here suffice. As regards the character of the moral instruction, it would appear to have shifted from a Kantian to a purely sociological basis. Roman Catholic opinion is at least not unanimous in regarding the “lay” or neutral school as essentially or necessarily anti-religious, and plainly there is no inherent reason why the neutrality should not be a real neutrality, but with the existing relations between the Catholic Church and modern thought in France the influence of the Normalist teachers is in fact apt to be anti-religious, and moreover no system of independent moral doctrine, whether based upon a priori or inductive reasoning, can be acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church. In whatever degree the blame may be rightly apportionable between church and state, the fact is that the two find themselves in acute conflict, and that from the conflict there has resulted a certain moral confusion which Christian and non-Christian moralists alike view with alarm. It may be that the mischief would have been mitigated had more moderate counsels prevailed at the time of the Ferry law, and had the church been willing to accept (as the Republic might then have been willing to concede) right of entry for the clergy into the schools. But the real causes of the trouble lie deep in the philosophical and religious problems of our time, and in the constant and self-sacrificing devotion of the French to logical ideals on either side. Perhaps it is not too sanguine to discern in the growing tendency to idealism in French philosophy, and to liberal ideas in French and Catholic religious thought, the promise of a happier state of things. In the meantime, the religious difficulty in the schools divides the nation into two hostile camps (les deux Frances, as a Swiss Protestant writer puts it) in the shape of the state secular schools on the one side and the private religious schools on the other.
In the year 1903-1904 the total number of pupils in private primary schools was 1,298,591, as against 4,935,000 in the public primary schools, but these figures were liable to be materially affected by the rigorous enforcement of the laws against the religious orders.
In 1889 an important change was made in educational finance by transferring the cost of teachers’ salaries in primary schools from the communes to the state, a right consequence of the changes which made the teacher a state official. Financial reform of 1889. Thus the state assumed the greater part of the burden of primary instruction, leaving to the communes merely the cost of fabric, and to the department the maintenance of the fabric of the normal schools and certain expenses of inspection.
At this point it will be convenient to describe shortly the various central and local authorities that constitute the official machine. The minister, the head of the entire hierarchy, is assisted by a conseil supérieur consisting of Administrative machinery. Minister and conseil supérieur. fifty-seven members, of whom the majority are elected by the higher teaching profession, while a few are nominated by the president, including a small number to represent private schools, and a few are elected by the primary teachers. Practically the ordinary work of the council is carried on by a sub-committee consisting of the nine nominees of the president and six others designated for this purpose by the minister. The council has administrative, judicial and disciplinary, as well as advisory, powers which enable it to exert a direct influence upon the internal organization of schools. There is also a pedagogic comité consultatif and a legal comité contentieux, whose respective functions are purely advisory.
The inspecteurs généraux “act,” says Mr Brereton in his official report to the English Board of Education, “as the eyes and ears of the central authority.” Their duties are: Inspecteurs généraux. first to inspect the normal schools; next to supervise the work of the ordinary inspectorate; lastly to give general and comparative information on the progress of primary instruction in the various parts of France. For the purpose of general inspection France is divided into seven districts.
As already indicated, for the purpose of educational administration, the departments of France are grouped in seventeen divisions called academies. At the head of each academy is the rector. He is appointed directly by the Rector and council of academy. president and must hold the doctor’s degree. He is not only the head of the local teaching university, but is also charged in a general way with the oversight of all three departments of education, superior, secondary and primary; in regard to the last, however, his functions are confined to the pedagogic side. The direct share of the rector in administration is mainly confined to the normal schools and the higher primary schools. The rector is assisted by an academic council composed almost exclusively of pedagogic elements.
Each department of France has an academy inspector appointed by the minister. The duties of the academy inspector embrace both higher and primary education. In the The academy inspector. latter sphere he is the real head of the local administration, and the primary inspectors are his subordinate officers. He appoints the probationer-teachers and nominates the regular teachers for appointment by the préfet.
The préfet, the chief administrative officer of each department, not only appoints the teachers upon the proposition of the academy inspector, he is also as president of the conseil départemental concerned generally with the Préfet and conseil départemental. externa of school administration, including the supply of schools. The conseil départemental with respect to its powers corresponds in some degree to our own local education authorities, but as regards its constitution it is in no sense a municipal body, the representatives of the conseil général of the department (which corresponds to the county council) being greatly outnumbered by the pedagogical members.
The inspectors of primary schools, as has already been stated, act under the academy inspector. They are appointed upon the result of examination and not by direct nomination Primary inspectors. as in England. The examination is severe, and it is from the body of the professors of the normal schools rather than from the ranks of the primary teachers that the successful candidates are chiefly drawn.
Very limited powers are entrusted to certain communal and cantonal authorities. The commission scolaire is a committee organized in each commune for the purpose of improving school attendance, to which end they administer Minor local authorities. a caisse des écoles or school fund for supplying clothing and meals to needy children. The maire of the commune has the right of visiting the schools, but neither he nor any of the minor local authorities can interfere with the teaching. Similar duties are assigned to the délégués cantonaux, who are appointed by the conseil départemental for each canton (a wider area than the commune), and can best be described as local visitors or visiting committees rather than managers in our sense of the word. “All this hierarchy of central and local officials,” says Mr Brereton, “will doubtless seem complicated to English minds. The extraordinary thing is that, so far as I could learn, the machine, for all its complexity, works smoothly enough. The truth is that the province of each particular functionary is so clearly defined that there is no debateable ground over which ambitious rival authorities can wrangle.”
In proceeding to sketch the French system of higher primary and secondary schools, it may be observed that European systems of higher education have generally been framed upon the view that the divisions of education Conception of secondary education. are longitudinal, not latitudinal, and that secondary education is a training complete in itself from the preparatory stage to the university, with aims and ideals of general culture which differentiate it radically and at the very outset from education of the elementary type. On the other hand, in the United States the view has prevailed that the divisions of education must be latitudinal, that the secondary school must be complementary to the elementary school, in which even the élite must receive their preparatory or elementary training. At any rate down to the reform of 1902, which will presently be explained, the French system could be regarded as a typical and even extreme example of the European theory, little consistent as this might seem to be with the broader principles of democracy. This view of the matter is expressed by the French terminology, by which what in England is called “elementary” is in France termed “primary” education.
The thoroughness with which the principle of the autonomous character of the two divisions of education was carried out undoubtedly favoured in a special degree the complete organization given to higher primary instruction in Higher primary schools. the écoles primaires supérieures under the Third Republic. The aim of these schools is to fill the void which must otherwise exist for those who need a higher education than the primary school can give, but for whose subsequent careers secondary education would be ill-adapted and injudicious. Throughout the organization of primary education the French have kept steadily in view the danger of creating an intellectual proletariate. “Nous poursuivons la culture générale du caractère et de l’esprit, mais nous cherchons en même temps à orienter l’enfant vers la vie pratique,” says an official report. The aim of the higher primary school is to continue education in this spirit up to the age of sixteen so as to prepare the scholar to take an honourable place in the higher ranks of skilled industry rather than to deflect him towards a professional career or intellectual pursuits for which he is unfitted, not so much by the accidents of birth and social circumstance as by his own natural aptitudes. Within the limits necessarily marked out for them the higher primary schools of France have aimed at imparting what may be termed a general culture as distinct from purely technical or trade teaching, and this development has been greatly furthered by the separate organization given to the latter teaching in the écoles professionnelles. At the same time, prominence is given in the higher primary schools to practical training of an educational character with special reference to the industries and circumstances of the locality, and in the rural districts a special agricultural bias is imparted to the curriculum. It is interesting to note that the institution of the higher primary schools was due in large part to the spontaneous initiative of the municipalities, and that in the later phases of state organization special care has been taken to avoid anything in the nature of a rigid uniformity in these schools.
A wider extension has been given to higher primary instruction by the establishment of cours complémentaires in certain schools, at centres at which it would be impossible to organize separate higher primary schools. A similar solution Supplementary courses. of the continuation school problem has recently commended itself to the consultative committee of the Board of Education for England.
Admission to the higher primary schools in France is only accorded to those who have obtained the elementary school leaving certificate, certificat d’études primaires. A feature of importance for continuation work in rural districts is the provision made for boarding scholars in attendance at these schools. The boarding arrangements are generally, as in the case of the secondary schools, left to the head teacher, but in some instances municipal hostels have been provided. No fees may be charged for higher primary instruction, and scholarships (bourses) are provided to a certain extent in the form either of boarding scholarships or maintenance allowances to compensate the parent for the loss of the child’s labour. The number of scholars in the public higher primary schools for the year 1903-1904 was 34,084, and in cours complémentaires 21,777, making a total of 55,861. In addition there were 8891 scholars in receipt of higher primary instruction in private schools.
French secondary education is given in the lycées which are first-grade schools maintained and controlled by the state, and the collèges, which are schools of the second grade maintained partly by the state and partly by the Secondary schools, lycées and collèges. municipality. A considerable number of scholars pass annually from the collèges to the lycées. In both grades of schools the teachers are paid by the state and nominated directly or indirectly by the minister of education. They are required to possess certain specified academic qualifications which can only be obtained from the université, but failing teachers with the prescribed qualifications the classes are taught by teachers styled chargés de cours as distinct from professors.
With a view to supplying teachers for the secondary schools, the state maintains the École Normale Supérieure, a college in which instruction, board and lodging are given free to a number of scholars selected by competition École Normale Supérieure. from the best secondary school boys, though residence in the institution is no longer compulsory. By the decrees of November 10, 1903, and May 10, 1904, the École Normale became practically the College of Pedagogy of the University of Paris. Its students are entered as students of the university, and study for their qualifying examination as teachers in secondary schools (agrégation) under university professors, partly at the Sorbonne, partly at the École Normale, while their professional preparation is entrusted solely to the latter institution.
The Republic has not reorganized secondary education by a comprehensive law; it has, however, introduced by decree, under parliamentary authority, an important reform in the internal organization of the schools which marks a notable Classical and modern education. Reform of 1902.
departure from the traditional view of secondary education as a self-contained whole. Article 1 of the decree of May 31, 1902, declares that secondary education is co-ordinated with primary education in such a way as to constitute a continuation of a course of primary studies of a normal duration of four years. The decree goes on to provide for a full course of secondary studies of seven years’ duration, divided into two cycles of four and three years respectively. In the first cycle the scholar has two options. In section 1 Latin is obligatory and Greek optional from the beginning of the third year (classe iv.). In section 2 there is no Latin. At the end of the first cycle the state grants a certificat d’études secondaires du premier degré. In the second cycle one of four courses may be taken; section 1 with Latin and Greek continues the old classical education; section 2 with Latin and modern languages corresponds to the German Realgymnasium; section 3 with Latin and science, and section 4 with modern languages and science, to the Oberrealschule. The baccalauréat, or secondary school-leaving examination, conducted by the university, is adapted to all the courses on the principle that courses of study of equal length, whether classical or modern, literary or scientific, are entitled to equal advantages. This system of alternative courses with leaving examinations of equal value is mainly German in origin, and may be said to represent the results of the best European thought upon the problem of the organization of secondary education.
It is remarkable in view of the thoroughness with which the principle of laicization has been applied to the primary schools that the lycées still retain their chaplains (aumôniers) for the purpose of giving religious instruction. This Religious instruction in lycées. difference of treatment is apparently based upon the consideration that the gratuitous and compulsory character of primary education demanded a much stricter interpretation of the principle of the neutrality of the state than was necessary in the case of secondary education, which is neither compulsory nor gratuitous.
In addition to the state schools there have until lately been in France a large number of private secondary schools, the most important of which have been associated with the Catholic religious orders. The enforcement of the laws Private secondary schools. against these communities has resulted in the closure of a number of these schools, and in the reorganization of others under a lay teaching staff. It is conceivable that the action of the Republic may largely forward the movement, otherwise perceptible in the Roman Catholic Church, to transfer education, even when combined with specific religious teaching, from ecclesiastical to lay hands. Evidence of this tendency is to be found in the boarding-schools (some four in number) founded upon the plan of M. Demolins (author of A quoi tient la supériorité des Anglo-Saxons) after the English public school model, but with a distinctly Catholic colouring.
Apart from the position of the religious orders, the future of private education in France is far from secure at the present time. The liberty of teaching secured by the Loi Falloux is regarded as a pseudo-liberty by the advanced republican educationists, and the principle that education is a function of the state and not a matter of supply and demand is deeply rooted in the public mind. Proposals have been mooted for making the baccalauréat strictly a school leaving examination attached to the state schools. The adoption of any such measure would practically destroy liberty of teaching by reason of the power which the baccalauréat secures to the state as the key to the professions.
The foundation of secondary schools for girls in connexion with the educational reform of Jules Ferry is in its way one of the most notable achievements of the republic. There is little doubt that the expulsion of the religious orders is Secondary education for girls. destined to exercise a profound influence upon the education of women in France. The place of the closed convent schools is being taken either by new state schools or by Catholic schools under lay teachers, and the number of scholars affected by this process of laicization is far larger in the case of girls than of boys. This change is calculated to produce far-reaching effects in the social and religious order, by no means necessarily, however, of an anti-Catholic or irreligious kind.
For an account of the resuscitation by the Republic of the local universities under the one great state teaching body collectively known as the University, see Universities.
Under the German empire education is left to the exclusive control of each of the federated states. The only point of direct contact between the Empire and education lies in the mutual undertaking of the federated states to bring the law of compulsory school attendance to bear upon all subjects of the empire resident within their respective borders. Of far greater moment is the moral influence exerted upon the other states by the Prussian hegemony, in virtue of which the Prussian educational system comes to be in all essential characteristics typical and representative of Germany as a whole. It is remarkable that though, as Matthew Arnold was able to report to the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1866, “the school system of Germany in its completeness and carefulness is such as to excite the foreigner’s admiration,” neither Prussia herself, nor Bavaria, nor several other of the principal states of the Empire, have found it practicable to pass a comprehensive education law, owing to the religious and political difficulties with which any general legislative assertion of principle is attended in Germany as in England. The consequence is that the Prussian system in particular is the result of a long and complicated series of special laws, decrees and administrative regulations. In such circumstances it is inevitable that, especially in secondary education, some considerable local variations and anomalies should remain, but the centralized authority of the state has confined these to questions of patronage and external administration, and even within this sphere has successfully asserted its own ultimate supremacy as the guardian of the educational interests of its citizens. A detailed historical study would bring out clearly the intimate connexion between the development of the educational system and the growth of the Prussian state, and again between these and the expansion of the national life of the German people; incidentally it would exhibit the supremacy of Prussia in the modern Empire as the inevitable result not merely of military force but of a genuine hegemony of intellect and culture.
Stress is rightly laid by all educational writers upon Luther’s famous letter to the German municipalities in 1524, urging upon them the duty of providing schools and upon parents the duty of sending their children to school. An Influence of Luther. attempt to give effect to this teaching was at once made by the electoral government of Saxony, which by a school ordinance of 1528 provided for the establishment in every town and village of Latin schools, for in Germany as in England the influence of the Protestant reformers was solidly on the side of classical education as the key to the study of the Scriptures and theological learning. All the more remarkable, therefore, was the initiative of the electorate of Württemberg, whose school ordinance of 1559 represents the first systematic attempt to make provision for both elementary and higher education, directing that elementary schools should be set up throughout the country, and Particularschulen or Latin schools in every considerable centre of population. The educational efforts both of the early Reformers and of the remarkable Jesuit educationists, who contributed so largely to the partial reconquest of south Germany for the Catholic Church, were brought to naught amid the troublous times of the Thirty Years’ War, and the desolation and national decadence which that calamity brought in its train. To this result the aridity of the Protestant scholastics who succeeded Luther and Melanchthon, and the frivolity, incompetence and petty despotism of the small German courts, contributed in no slight measure. The permanent and positive value of Luther’s pronouncement of 1524 consists not so much in the direct effects which it produced as in the hallowed association which it established for Protestant Germany between the national religion and the educational duties of the individual and the state, and doubtless this association largely contributed to the creation of that healthy public opinion which in Prussia rendered the principle of compulsory school attendance easy of acceptance at a much earlier date than in England and elsewhere, save only Scotland, where a similar historical religious influence was supplied by John Knox.
State interference in education is almost coincident with the rise of the Prussian state. Already in 1717 Frederick William I. ordered all children to attend school where schools existed, and fixed the fee at 5 pf. (½d.) a week. This Early Prussian measures. was followed in 1736 by edicts for the establishment of schools in certain provinces and by a royal grant of 50,000 thalers for that purpose in the following year. In 1763 the General Landschulreglement of Frederick the Great laid down the broad lines upon which the Prussian state has since proceeded, asserting the principle of compulsory school attendance, fixing the fees, with provision for the assistance of very poor children, prescribing the course of instruction, and giving directions for the examination and supervision of teachers. Much progress was made, more especially in the organization of higher education, under Baron von Zedlitz, who was appointed minister for Lutheran church and school affairs by Frederick the Great in 1771, and retired under Frederick William II. in 1788. The last-mentioned year saw the establishment of the Abiturientenexamen, or leaving examinations, which form the determining element in the state organization of secondary education in Germany. As in England, the fear of the French Revolution produced a corresponding reaction in educational affairs, and the policy of Frederick William II. was to bind ever closer school and church in a system practically independent of state control. The first departure from this policy was marked by the Allgemeines Landrecht of 1794, which boldly proclaims that schools and educational institutions may be founded only with the knowledge and consent of the state, and must always be under its supervision and subject to its examination and control. This law also laid upon heads of families in every place the duty of providing and maintaining schools.
It was not till the disaster of Jena and the prostration of Prussia at the feet of Napoleon awoke the dormant spirit of patriotism, and concentrated all the intellectual forces of north Germany upon the task of national regeneration, Reconstruction after Jena. that the principles of the Allgemeines Landrecht of 1794 bore full fruit. “The organization of the Prussian school system,” says Dr James E. Russell in his work on German Higher Schools, “waited on the reorganization of the Prussian State.” One of the first acts of the great patriotic minister von Stein, upon his assuming control of the civil administration in 1807, was to abolish the semi-ecclesiastical Oberschulkollegium which had been set up as the central authority under the churchly policy of Frederick William II., and to place education under the Ministry of the Interior as a special section. Wilhelm von Humboldt was placed at the head of this section in 1809, and the work which this “great master of the science and art of education” (as Professor Seeley terms him in his Life of Stein) inaugurated in his one year of office entitles him to be ranked among the founders of German unity. Humboldt’s greatest positive achievements—the foundation of the university of Berlin and its organization under a professorial staff which included Fichte, Schleiermacher, Savigny, Wolf and Niebuhr, as also the internal reform of secondary schools undertaken with the pedagogical assistance of Wolf and under the inspiration of Fichte—lie beyond the scope of this article. It may, however, be observed that Humboldt’s policy in secondary education represents a compromise between the narrow philological pedantry of the old Latin schools and the large demands of the new humanism of the period; and the recent reform of the Prussian secondary schools may be said to represent a return to the spirit of Humboldt in this respect. The measure introduced by Humboldt in 1810 for the state examination and certification of teachers checked the then common practice of permitting unqualified theological students to teach in the schools, and at once raised the teaching profession to a high level of dignity and efficiency which of itself sufficed to place Prussia in the forefront of educational progress. It was due also to the initiative of Humboldt that the methods of Pestalozzi were introduced into the teachers’ seminaries, through them to vitalize the elementary schools. To the period of the national struggle belong the revival in 1812 of the Abiturientenexamen which had fallen into abeyance, and the institution about the same time of the local authorities called Schulvorstände for the country and Schuldeputationen for the towns.
Though the period which succeeded the peace of 1815 was one of political reaction, the cabinet order of Frederick William III. in 1825 strengthened the law of compulsory attendance and carried on the work of administrative Reforms of 1825 and 1834. Abiturientenexamen. organization by defining the duties of the Provinzial-Schul-Kollegium and the Regierung. In 1834 an important development was given to secondary education by making it necessary for candidates for the learned professions as well as for the civil service, and for university studies, to have passed the leaving examination of the gymnasia. Thus through the leaving examination the state holds the key to the liberal careers, and has thereby been able to impose its own standard upon all secondary schools. Apart from the privileges relative to professional studies, the system of leaving examinations has exerted a wide influence upon popular education in connexion with the institution of compulsory military service, in virtue of a regulation which entitles those who pass the leaving examination of any of the recognized kinds of secondary schools to the much-coveted privilege of service for one year as a “volunteer” instead of two years as an ordinary conscript.
The revolutionary and national movement of 1848 was followed by a period of further educational activity. The Act of Constitution of 1850 declared teachers civil servants and elementary education free. In practice, the abolition of school fees did not become general until 1888. Since then the view has more and more prevailed that elementary education must be free, and, broadly speaking, fees in elementary schools are now charged only for children attending from another school district.
In connexion with the Kulturkampf, or struggle between the state and the Roman Catholic Church, the Schulaufsichtsgesetz of 1872 reasserted the absolute right of the state alone to the supervision of the schools; but the severity Kulturkampf and the confessional system. of this law as a measure against Roman Catholic clerical education was considerably modified as a result of the subsequent reconciliation with the papacy under Leo XIII., and the Prussian system remains to-day both for Catholics and Protestants essentially denominational. All schools, whether elementary or secondary, are Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish or mixed. In the elementary sphere, in particular, recourse is only had to the mixed school (Simultanschule or paritätische Schule), where the creeds are so intermingled that a confessional school is impracticable. In all cases the teachers are appointed with reference to religious faith; religious instruction is given compulsorily in school hours and is inspected by the clergy. The general purport of the Prussian school law of 1906 is to strengthen the system of separate confessional schools, which it extends to certain provinces where it had not previously been in operation.
In financial respects the last-mentioned law effected some readjustment of burdens by charging a proportion of the expenditure upon landed property. Other recent changes relate to the reform of secondary education referred to below. The system of educational administration as it stood in 1909 may shortly be described as follows.
Under the ministerium in Berlin stands the Provinzial-Schul-Kollegium, the chairman of which is the Ober-Präsident of the province, composed of four or five Räte or Administrative machinery. councillors, generally selected from the directors of training colleges and gymnasia. This body is concerned mainly with higher education.
Each province is divided for purposes of general administration into two Regierungen or governments, and in each Regierung there is a section of usually three or four Schulräte, which controls the elementary schools. This council is usually recruited from the ranks of directors of training colleges and from the inspectorate. The Regierung is divided into Kreise or districts, and in each district an administrative officer, called the Landrat, represents the government. The Landrat is concerned with the provision and repair of elementary school buildings; as regards internal organization, the elementary schools are under the Kreisschulinspektor.
In the Protestant districts the inspectors (Kreisschulinspektoren) are usually Evangelical clergymen holding the position of superintendent in the Lutheran Church. In the Catholic and certain other exceptional districts Inspection. inspectors with pedagogical qualifications and the status of full government inspectors are appointed. Every candidate for Lutheran ordination is required to spend six months at a training college, but pedagogical opinion is hostile to the system, which must be regarded as a survival of the traditional union of church and state in educational affairs, retained at the present day from motives of economy and a desire to conciliate the church.
For every school there is an Ortsschulinspektor, usually the clergyman of the parish, who discharges the duties of local manager and correspondent. This local inspector is also chairman of the Schulvorstand or committee, elected by the Schulgemeinde, and charged with questions of attendance and maintenance rather than with internal affairs. The Schulgemeinde need not coincide with the civil parish. Parishes may unite to provide one school, or within one parish different religious communities may form separate school “parishes.”
Thus the administrative system of Prussia in education as in other matters may be described in general as a decentralized bureaucracy. This bureaucracy is somewhat checked by the rights of patronage attaching to the local boards in certain cases, but the exercise of such rights is in all cases subject to government approval. As regards higher-grade elementary and secondary schools, the local boards in the towns (Schuldeputationen) are able to exert a considerable influence in the way of selection of the type of school, and even of suggestion for the modification of recognized types, as is shown by the cases of the famous “reformed” secondary curricula of Altona and Frankfort. Still, the legal powers of the local board are restricted to the establishment of an approved type of school, the control of externa, and the right of nominating teachers.
Elementary Schools.—The single-class school (Einklassige Schule) and the half-day school (Halbtagsschule) are features of the Prussian elementary system which require notice. The Einklassige Schule is a school taught by a single Peculiarities of elementary education. teacher, who may teach a maximum number of eighty children. The Halbtagsschule is a single-class school of which half the children are taught in the morning and half in the afternoon. During the summer months, owing to the exigencies of agricultural labour, many single-class schools are taught as half-day schools. The system of course is regarded as a makeshift, but in this, as in the matter of buildings for rural elementary schools, the Prussian administration attaches great weight to the consideration of financial economy. As regards staff, a large measure of economy is rendered possible by the high average standard of merit reached by German elementary teachers, whose powers of oral exposition have struck English observers as specially remarkable, and again by the national readiness to be content with a moderate salary in return for official status. A survival of the old close connexion between church and school is to be found in the Kirchendienste, the duties of training the choir, playing the organ, &c., which are attached in many cases to the post of schoolmaster, and afford an additional source of emolument, rendered feasible by the practical absence of religious dissent.
For the preliminary training of elementary teachers there are special schools called Präparanden-Anstalten, of which most are state institutions, some are municipal, and a few are private. The training colleges themselves are provided by the state and have a three years’ course.
Continuation Schools (Fortbildungsschulen).—Germans have been foremost to realize the truth which is gradually being brought home to English educationists, that adequate value for the heavy expenditure of public funds upon Continuative education. education can only be obtained by providing for the continued education for two or three years of the children of the working classes who leave school at fourteen years of age. One of the educational results of the war of 1870, with its great lesson of the importance of national education, was the Saxon law of 1873 making attendance at continuation schools compulsory for three years (i.e. up to seventeen) in that kingdom: The Saxon law appears to have been justified by the experience of nearly a generation. It must suffice here to note the following features of its working. (1) The schools are taught by the primary teachers, supplemented in the towns by some technical instructors. (2) The school session may be either for the whole year or for only half the year, and may also be held on Sunday, like the old English secular Sunday schools. (3) The schools are brought into close relation with trades, not only for purposes of curriculum, but also with a view to considering the exigencies and meeting the convenience of employers with respect to hours of attendance. (4) The discipline of the continuation school is extended to supervision out of school hours. “Visits to dancing-halls and all such exhibitions as are dangerous to uprightness and purity are forbidden to scholars of continuation schools.” Further, useful institutions such as savings banks, and also associations for social intercourse and the promotion of esprit de corps, are organized in connexion with continuation schools. There is no doubt that in this matter of continuation schools, as in so many other fields of social organization, the adoption of compulsion has been facilitated by the habituation of the working classes to compulsory military service, which has made the German workman more disciplined, more “organizable” as a social unit, more accustomed to subordinate the principle of individual freedom and self-will to the collective claims of the state, than the workman reared in the traditions of Anglo-Saxon individualism.
Attendance at continuation schools is now compulsory by state law in 12 states, including (besides Saxony) Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria. The city of Munich is notable for its highly organized system of technical continuation schools for apprentices. In Prussia compulsory attendance is still the exception (save in the provinces of Posen and West Prussia, where it is enforced by state law), but the permissive act is being rapidly adopted by the great cities, including Berlin.
Secondary Education.—The official classification or grading according to the type of curriculum of secondary schools in Prussia (and indeed throughout Germany) is very precise. The following are the officially recognized Grading of secondary schools. types. I. Classical schools: (a) Gymnasium, with nine years’ course; (b) Progymnasium, with six years’ course. II. Modern schools: (a) with Latin (semi-classical)—(i.) Realgymnasium (nine years’ course), (ii.) Realprogymnasium (six years’ course); (b) without Latin (non-classical)—(i.) Oberrealschule (nine years’ course), (ii.) Realschule (six years’ course). The six-year classical and semi-classical schools are comparatively unimportant subdivisions in smaller towns.
Lower-grade Secondary Education.—Inasmuch as French is taught in the lowest class of the Realschule under the official curriculum (English, on the other hand, beginning in Tertia, the fourth class from the lowest), it follows Co-ordination of elementary and secondary education. that this, the lowest type of secondary school, is not directly co-ordinated with the elementary school. The Realschulen of Berlin, however, form an important exception to the general rule; their curriculum, sanctioned by the ministry at the instance of the Berlin municipality, provides for the beginning of French in Quarta (the third class from the bottom) and English in Secunda. The consequence is that in Berlin a very large number of pupils pass from the elementary schools to the Realschulen, which take the place of the Mittelschulen or higher-grade elementary schools that are to be found in some towns, though something in the nature of higher elementary education is afforded by the top sections of the elementary schools.
First-grade Schools.—One of the most striking features of German secondary education is the careful differentiation of schools according to the type of curriculum adopted. Thus, every German school is a homogeneous unit First grade secondary schools. with a definite educational aim and organization, conforming to a common standard approved by public authority for the particular type to which it belongs. Hence the importance attached by the Germans to nomenclature; so that in selecting a Gymnasium, a Realgymnasium or an Oberrealschule, the parent knows exactly the type of education he is going to secure for his son. In England, on the other hand, as has often been observed, a great school tends to multiply within itself different types of curricula in a haphazard way according to the demand of parents, whose original choice of school is based rather on social than on educational grounds. Modern sides, army classes and engineering classes grow up as excrescences upon an originally classical type, with the waste of power that results from loss of consistency and concentration of purpose. The difference between the English and German systems is due ultimately to the adoption in Germany of the day-school system and the absence, very remarkable in an otherwise aristocratically governed country, of the caste spirit in education above the elementary level, thanks to which the nobly born are not ashamed to sit on the school bench side by side with the children of the trading classes. On the other hand, the English boarding-school system, despite all the want of social solidarity, and all the class jealousy and exclusiveness with which it is inevitably associated, has admittedly favoured those ideals of the cultivation of character as distinct from book-learning which give a special value to what is in England called a public school education.
The present differentiation of first-grade schools in Prussia is the result of a natural educational development corresponding with the economic changes which have transformed Prussia and the empire from an agricultural to an Rise of semi-classical schools. industrial state. It was in 1855 that semi-classical schools (teaching Latin without Greek) were first recognized for a nine years’ course under the title of Realschule I. Ordnung, and in 1871 pupils possessing their leaving certificates were admitted to mathematical studies in the universities. The Latinless Realschule II. Ordnung is the direct product of the great industrial development of the modern empire. In 1882 the Realschule I. Ordnung received the title of Realgymnasium, and the Realschule II. Ordnung that of Oberrealschule, both types being at the same time admitted to certain privileges in the universities, schools of technology and civil service.
About the same period official recognition was obtained for reformed secondary curricula, first at Altona and afterwards (1892) at Frankfort. These two types differ from each other in detail, but the feature which distinguishes The “reform school” movement. both from the older types is the postponement of Latin to Untertertia. The design is to secure for all types of secondary education a common non-classical base coextensive with the first three years of school life, followed by a trifurcation or threefold choice between the classical, semi-classical and non-classical types. The principle of the “reform-school” has been adopted in a considerable number of German (chiefly Prussian) schools, but it would be premature to see in it at present more than a new variety of Realgymnasium or semi-classical school; it can hardly be said as yet to have affected the course of classical studies in the full sense. The widespread sentiment of discontent with the old philological type of classical school was vigorously expressed in a private letter written by the emperor William II. as crown prince of Prussia in 1885, but not published until some-years later. In December 1890 the Prussian ministry convoked a conference at Berlin of secondary school experts, and the emperor presided in person at the opening session. His majesty delivered a speech criticizing the Gymnasia as wanting a national basis. “It is our duty to educate young men to become young Germans and not young Greeks or Romans” was the keynote of the imperial discourse. The outcome of the conference was a shortening of the hours allowed to Latin in the Gymnasia, a reduction of the hours of study in view of over-pressure, and an expression of official opinion adverse to the Realgymnasium. These changes, introduced in 1892, did not go far enough to satisfy the reformers, whilst the reduction of the hours allowed for Latin caused misgivings among the upholders of the traditional Gymnasium. Moreover, the Realgymnasium showed greater vitality among the large towns than its official critics anticipated. The ensuing decade witnessed a certain reaction in favour of the classical humanities as a barrier against the materialistic influences of the new industrialism. At the same time the protagonists of the classics came to recognize that side by side with the old humanities there must be accorded to modern and scientific subjects that place in the high-grade schools which the practical exigencies of industrial life demanded. Thus, the opinion grew that the best line of defence for the classical schools lay in the concession of equal privileges to the non-classical types; in this way only could the classical schools be kept safe from demands upon their time that could not be conceded without endangering their proper work. It was upon this basis that an agreement was reached between the contending parties at a second school conference that met in Berlin in June 1900. As the result of this conference there was issued a royal decree laying down certain general principles, of which the following are the most important. (1) There must be equality of privileges as between classical, semi-classical and non-classical first-grade schools. The decree recognizes, however, that this principle must be applied with a certain elasticity and with due regard to the necessity for training in particular branches of knowledge as a preliminary to certain lines of university study and certain professional pursuits. Consequently the Prussian system of privileges has become extremely complicated, and it is truer to speak, as the decree goes on to do, of an extension of the privileges of the non-classical schools, rather than of absolute equality. (2) “In thus acknowledging the equality of the three types of higher institutions, it will be possible more thoroughly to strengthen the special characteristics of each type. In this connexion,” the royal decree proceeds, “I shall offer no objection to an increase in the number of hours devoted to Latin in the Gymnasium and Realgymnasium.” Thus, both as to the place of Latin in the curriculum of classical schools and as to the status of semi-classical schools, the decree of 1900 involves a reversal of the policy of 1890. (3) The decree expresses approval of the reformed curricula of Altona and Frankfort, and a desire for an extension of the experiment where the conditions are suitable.
Notwithstanding the growing official encouragement of education upon semi-classical or non-classical lines, the upper and professional classes of Germany continue to show a marked preference for the fully classical Gymnasium; hence, in Germany as in England, the tendency for a widening gulf to disclose itself between the education of the directing classes in politics and administration and the bulk of the industrial population, which suggests that the problem of combining in just proportions the liberal and practical elements in a thoroughly national system of education has not yet reached the solution that the needs of the age require.
Switzerland affords perhaps the best type of a democratic system of local authorities. The central authority is the canton, not the federation. The interference of the federal authority is confined to the imposition of certain broad Educational influence of federal constitution. principles by the constitution, to the indirect influence exerted by the examination of recruits for the national army, and to financial grants for technical instruction, its most important direct educational work being the support of the technological university at Zurich. The federal constitution (1) states that primary instruction must be under the control of the canton (an important point in view of the strength of ecclesiastical influence in some of the Catholic cantons), and must be compulsory and gratuitous; (2) declares that it must be possible for the public schools to be attended by the adherents of all creeds without hurting their freedom of conscience; (3) forbids the employment of child labour before completion of the fourteenth year, with a provision that in the fifteenth and sixteenth years factory work, together with the time given to school and religious instruction, must not exceed eleven hours a day. (4) All recruits for the federal army (in which service is compulsory on a militia basis) are examined in their twentieth year, and the results are published. This examination affords an instructive index to the state of education in the several cantons and promotes a healthy emulation among them.
The cantonal organization of education presents the variety which the extraordinary diversity of race, language, religion and physical conditions of the component states of the federation would lead one to expect. The large canton Cantonal organization. of Bern may be instanced as the type of a strong central authority. The commune or parish is the unit for elementary education. The communal council nominates a school board of at least five members, whose function is to spend the money voted for school purposes by the general communal council. Several communes in combination form a district authority for the support of what are in reality higher primary schools, though called in Switzerland Sekundarschulen, maintained by the district. The maintenance both of the primary and higher primary schools is aided by grants from the central authority. The true secondary schools, called middle or higher schools, are maintained and controlled by the central or cantonal authority. The existence of separate local authorities for each grade of education is characteristic of Switzerland generally, this system being the opposite to that adopted in England in 1902.
The central grants in Switzerland always take the form of payments to the local authorities of a proportion of the teachers’ salaries; they are never, as in England, assessed upon the number of children in attendance, nor are they dependent, as was formerly the case in England, upon the results of examination, nor again are grants made in respect of particular subjects as is the case with the grants for special, i.e. practical, instruction in England.
Religious instruction in the Swiss communal schools generally follows the faith of the majority; in a few cantons separate schools being provided for minorities if sufficiently numerous. In the town of Lucerne, Catholic instruction is given in school hours and Protestant instruction is provided out of school and out of hours for the Protestant minority.
In 19 out of the 25 cantons attendance at continuation schools is compulsory (at least in some districts) for boys up to 17, and in 3 cantons it is compulsory also wholly or in part for girls.
The interesting feature in Belgian education is the treatment Belgian treatment of religious question. of the religious question in successive laws.
1. The law of 1842 obliged the communes to provide primary instruction, which was to be free in the case of poor children. The state made grants in aid, subject to inspection. Subject to a conscience clause, religious instruction was obligatory, and was placed under ecclesiastical inspection.
2. The law of 1879 removed religious instruction from the curriculum, and provided for facilities to the clergy to give such instruction outside school hours. This law furnishes a striking instance of the futility of a parliamentary majority legislating in a sense opposed to the convictions of a considerable section of the community. The law evoked a storm of opposition in the country, still profoundly Catholic and attached to ecclesiastical traditions, and within eighteen months the Catholics founded private elementary schools with 455,000 scholars. In 1883 the Catholic private schools numbered 622,000 scholars, whilst the attendance at the communal schools had sunk to 324,000. Their doctrinaire treatment of the education question resulted in the political annihilation of the Belgian Liberals, and was responsible for the strongest and most persistent Roman Catholic reaction that has been witnessed in western Europe since the beginning of the 19th century.
3. The law of 1884 was the work of the moderate Catholic party. It did not make religious instruction obligatory, but it gave liberty to the communes to provide for the giving of religious and moral instruction at the beginning or end of school hours, subject to a conscience clause. Power was given to the communes to “adopt” private confessional schools and maintain them. Provision was further made entitling any twenty parents of children of school age to demand a school of the normal communal type as against a proposal to adopt a confessional school. Power was also given to a like number of parents to compel the adoption of a confessional school in the case of the commune refusing to provide religious instruction of the type demanded by them, or putting obstacles in the way of its being given by the clergy or their representatives.
4. The law of 1895 is the work of the more authoritarian Catholics, and makes religious instruction obligatory, placing it directly under the control of the clergy. It also increased the subsidies to private schools. This law was passed in face of opposition from the moderate section, who saw in it an exaltation of state authority which might be turned by opponents to the disadvantage of the religious interest. It is by no means clear that Belgium has yet attained a final solution of the religious difficulty; the life of the present law is probably to be measured by that of the Catholic political majority.
The outstanding feature of public education in Holland is the strength of the private primary schools. Under the law of 1857 secular teaching alone was provided in the primary schools at the public cost. The law of 1878 allowed communes to make grants to private schools on condition of their becoming neutral in the matter of religion. The law of 1889 allowed private denominational schools to receive government grants while retaining their denominational character, but forbade further grants to such schools by the communes.
In 1905 there were 566,460 children in the public and 278,632 in the private schools.
The diverse religious and social conditions of the three constituent parts of the United Kingdom must necessarily cause the education problem to assume a different shape and to receive different solutions in England, Scotland and Ireland respectively; latterly also the special conditions obtaining in Wales have received partial recognition at the hands both of the legislature and the executive. In Scotland the conditions have been less complex than in England. The practical unanimity of the people in religious faith, which has remained undisturbed by the institutional divisions of recent times, the wider diffusion of a sense of the value of education, the greater simplicity of life which has rendered all classes largely content to avail themselves of the preparatory education afforded by the common school and favoured the development in the secondary sphere of day rather than boarding schools, are among the causes which have contributed to the early building up of a national system which in some respects resembles the continental rather than the English type.
The national appreciation of education is found marked already before the Reformation in a statute of James IV. (1494) requiring all freeholders of substance to send their heirs to school and to keep them there until they had Historical development. perfect Latin. The Reformation, asserting itself by common consent under one ecclesiastical form, and free from the divisions of religious organization which tended to neutralize it as an educational force in England, put fresh life into the educational aspirations of the people. As early as 1560 the Church Assembly, largely under the influence of John Knox, put forth the Book of Discipline, providing that “every several kirk” in a town “of any reputation” was to have its Latin school, that the “upaland” or country parts were to have a teacher of the “first rudiments” in every parish, and that each “notable” town was to have “a college for logic, rhetoric and the tongues.” Practical effect was later given to this scheme by an act of the Scottish parliament in 1696, under which parish schools were set up in connexion with the Established Church of Scotland. This system was extended by an act of 1803, which made better provision for teachers’ salaries and also confirmed the position of the parish school as an adjunct of the parish church. The system of inspection and state aid introduced in England in 1839 was made applicable to Scotland, thus grafting upon Scotland the English system of voluntary state-aided schools. At the same period another new factor was imported into Scottish education by the ecclesiastical disruption of 1843. As a result of these changes in 1861 a new act was passed which relaxed, though it did not sever, the ties which bound the parish school to the church.
The Education (Scotland) Act of 1872 set up elective school boards for parishes and boroughs, and vested in them the existing parish and burgh schools. Long prior to the act it had been the practice of the Church of Scotland Scottish school boards and school attendance law. to allow exemption in the schools from religious instruction; consequently in imposing a compulsory conscience clause the act did little more than confirm existing usage. The school boards were left full liberty as to the religious instruction to be given in their schools, and in practice school boards universally adopt the Shorter Catechism, which is acceptable to all denominations of Presbyterians. The act made the school boards responsible for the supply of school accommodation, and introduced compulsory attendance, for which opinion in England was not at that time ripe. By the act of 1901, the age of compulsory attendance was raised to fourteen, with provision for exemption after twelve.
The experience of the Scottish Education Department, like that of the English, has led to the gradual abandonment of individual examination as the basis for the payment of grants. The institution of the merit certificate is Administrative progress. one of the features in which the Scottish system differs from the English. Prior to the code of 1903 the merit certificate, awarded on examination after the age of twelve, was properly described as the leaving certificate of the elementary school. Under the more recent codes merit certificates are awarded under a system designed to encourage the transference of promising pupils at an early age to supplementary courses or higher-grade departments. Under this system the fitness of the pupil to enter upon a course of higher studies is determined not solely by the results of a single examination, but by the whole character of his work during the preceding school course.
A notable factor historically in Scottish education was the extent to which the parish schools supplied their best pupils with higher or further education. The administrative changes last mentioned have led to a remarkable Higher-grade schools. development of organized higher-grade schools and departments. These departments have now been organized upon the lines of the higher primary schools of France, “to continue a stage further” (says the report of the Scottish Education Department) “the general education of that considerable body of pupils who, under new conditions, may be expected to remain at school till fifteen or sixteen.” The function “of giving something of the nature of a specialized education to pupils who will leave school at a comparatively early age” is now discharged by the supplementary courses.
Elementary education has generally been rendered free by the fee grants under the parliamentary vote, and by the sums accruing under the Local Taxation (Customs Free education. and Excise) Act 1890 and the Education and Local Taxation (Scotland) Act 1892.
Voluntary schools are not numerous, being chiefly those of the Roman Catholic Church. The average cost of maintenance per child in average attendance in public schools (according to the official report 1907-1908) was £3, 11s. 1¼d., of which £2, 4s. 4½d. was met by government grants for elementary education. In voluntary schools the average cost of maintenance was £2, 15s. 1¾d., of which £2, 2s. 7d. was met by elementary grants, including a special aid grant of 3s. per head under the Education (Scotland) Act 1897.
The total number of children (1907-1908) in average attendance in grant-earning schools was 712,076, and the percentage of attendances to numbers on the register was 87.66%. As regards teaching power, 81.52% of the male teachers and 56.71% of the female teachers in the elementary teachers had been trained in training colleges.
Certain miscellaneous additional powers are conferred upon school boards by the Education (Scotland) Act 1908, including powers to provide school meals; in outlying parts, to provide means of conveyance, or pay travelling expenses Education (Scotland) Act 1908. of teachers or pupils, or defray the cost of lodging pupils in convenient proximity to a school; to provide for medical inspection; and as to children neglected by reason of the ill-health or poverty of the parent, to supply food, clothing and personal attention.
Perhaps the most noteworthy provision in the act of 1908 is that which enables (not obliges) school boards to make bye-laws requiring attendance at continuation classes up Compulsory continuation classes. to the age of seventeen years. Apart from compulsory attendance, the act lays upon school boards the duty of making suitable provision of continuation classes with reference to the crafts and industries practised in the district.
The Scottish Education Act of 1872 distinguished certain burgh and parish schools as “higher class public” or secondary schools. The act of 1908 deals in some detail with secondary education, modifying and strengthening Secondary education. the framework in various ways, but without introducing organic changes. “Secondary” schools are distinguished from “intermediate,” the former being defined as providing at least a five years’ course; the latter as providing at least a three years’ course in languages, mathematics, science and such other subjects as may from time to time be deemed suitable for the instruction of pupils who have reached a certain standard of attainment in elementary subjects under the code. Intermediate and secondary schools may be provided and maintained either by school boards or otherwise, and provision is contained in the act for the transfer of endowed schools to the school board. Thus secondary (as well as elementary and continuative) education is organized upon the basis of the parish or burgh; it receives, however, grants in aid through the agency of county (or large urban) authorities (called district committees) constituted under schemes of the Scottish Education Department. For the purpose of such grants in aid the funds available under the various local taxation acts, together with parliamentary grants, other than a fee grant at the rate of 12s. per child in average attendance, form a fund called the Education (Scotland) Fund. After provision has been made for (inter alia) grants for universities, higher technical education and training colleges, the fund is allocated to the district committees according to a scheme laid before parliament and approved by the king in council. Out of the “district education fund” the school board receives (ordinarily) a sum equal to one-half of the amount by which the net cost to the school board (after deducting income from grants made by the department and from fees) exceeds the amount which would be produced by such rate per pound upon the district of the school board as the committee may determine, not being more than a rate of twopence in the pound. Important powers are also conferred upon the district committee for organizing and aiding within their district the provision by the school boards of medical examination and supervision of school children, the supply of bursaries for purposes of all forms of higher education, and the provision of instruction in special subjects, such as agriculture, &c.
The full development of a system of public education in Ireland has been hampered and retarded by the general difficulties inherent in the problem of Irish government. In consequence of the fundamentally different social, Special difficulties of Irish education. religious and political conditions in the two countries, the English and Irish systems have developed down to the present time upon divergent lines. In England, popular education was founded in the first instance upon individual initiative combining in organized voluntary effort, and, though the voluntary agencies have been first supplemented and latterly to a large extent supplanted by public action, the tendency has been in the direction of municipalization rather than in that of central state control. In Ireland, on the other hand, education has suffered in the past from the general absence of individual initiative and local interest almost as seriously as from the mistakes of the English government. These causes, more directly perhaps than the prevailing poverty of the country, made it necessary to throw the burden of supporting the schools to an increasing extent upon the state, while the want of local self-government precluded any devolution of powers and duties upon municipal authorities.
State intervention is actually of earlier date in Ireland than in England. From the reign of Elizabeth onwards, English Protestant schools were founded by the government in a sporadic and intermittent fashion in pursuance Historic retrospect. of its Anglicizing policy. To mention briefly one or two historical features, the great religious educational enterprise of Edmond Rice in founding the well-known Irish Catholic order of the Christian Brothers in 1802 forms an exception to the general lack of initiative among the people themselves. About the same period the Kildare Place Society (founded in 1811 while the first commission of inquiry into Irish education was sitting) attempted to grapple with the peculiar difficulties of the religious situation upon lines somewhat similar to those just laid down by Lancaster and his followers in England. This organization comprised both Roman Catholic and Protestant schools upon a common religious basis of Bible reading without note or comment, and received government grants which rose to £30,000 a year before they were discontinued in 1833. The religious compromise which the system embodied broke down in consequence of Catholic dissatisfaction, and that it was at first fairly successful may seem extraordinary in view of the later attitude of the Catholic Church towards the question of common schools and combined religious instruction.
In 1833, as the result of a second commission of inquiry (1824) and a select committee of the House of Commons (1828), Mr Stanley inaugurated the national system of elementary schools under a board of commissioners nominated The national system. from the different religious denominations. The government appears from the outset to have aimed at combined secular and separate religious instruction for Roman Catholics and Protestants. At the same time, an attempt was inconsistently made to provide an ethical basis for the secular instruction by means of Bible extracts. The story of the preparation of these extracts by an ingenious compound of the Protestant Authorized and Douai versions of Scripture is in its way one of the curiosities of religious history. The extracts were designed to meet the recognized Catholic objection to the indiscriminate reading of the Bible without note or comment. In practice they were chiefly used in the Protestant schools (in which their use is now practically extinct), and the growing Catholic objection to the policy of the National Board in this respect found authoritative, though somewhat cautiously worded, expression in a decree of the Roman Congregation De Propaganda Fide of January 11, 1846, declaring that non-sectarian religious instruction was dangerous to youth. “Tutius multo esse ut literarum tantummodo humanarum magisterium fiat in scholis promiscuis, quam ut fundamentales, ut aiunt, et communes religionis Christianae articuli restricte tradantur, reservata singulis sestis peculiari seorsum eruditione. Ita enim cum pueris agere periculosum valde videtur.” The religious difficulty in Irish elementary education may be said to have been solved in process of time by the conversion of the national system in practice, though not in theory, into a system strongly denominational and therefore widely different from the design of its founders, combined Biblical instruction being discarded, and separate schools for the most part taking the place of common schools for the two creeds. In the latter respect the like tendency has been noted in the case of Germany.
The following are the chief specific points upon which the Irish system of elementary education differs from the English.
Finance.—The state still makes building grants to the extent of two-thirds of the cost. Such grants are only made to what are called vested schools, that is to say, schools of which the premises are vested in trustees or in the Irish elementary education. commissioners themselves. The state further pays in the case of all national schools the entire cost of maintenance except only the upkeep of the building, and the provision of books after the exhaustion of a first free grant.
Appointment and Payment of Teachers.—For the purpose of promotion the state through its inspectors undertakes the duty of classifying the individual teachers in four grades, passage from one grade to another being secured by examination. Appointments of teachers to schools are made by the school managers subject to the approval of the commissioners. Rights of dismissal are reserved to the local managers and also to the commissioners independently. Lastly, the teachers’ salaries are now paid directly by the state. The old system of payment by results was abandoned in 1900, and the teacher is paid (a) a fixed salary according to grade, (b) a continued good service salary which may be increased triennially, (c) a capitation payment.
Convent Schools.—In addition to the national schools supported as above, there are a considerable number of convent or monastery schools which receive capitation grants after the English plan, but not direct salaries. There were 308 such schools in 1908, with an average attendance of 70,003. There were also 83 other convent or monastery schools paid by personal salaries, with an average attendance of 11,075.
School Attendance and Free Education.—The Irish Education Act 1892 provided for compulsory attendance in towns and for the adoption of compulsion in other districts. In virtue of the financial sections of this act, which provided an increased grant for salaries, most national schools have become free.
General Elementary-School Statistics.—In 1908 the average number of scholars on the rolls of all the schools was 708,992, and the average daily attendance was 494,662, or 69.8% as compared with the number on the rolls. As regards religious denomination, 74.42% of the scholars on the rolls were Roman Catholics; 28.6% were in schools attended by both Roman Catholic and Protestant children and 71.4% in schools attended solely by Roman Catholics or solely by Protestants. The total expenditure on the schools and teaching staffs was £1,591,214, of which £1,451,139, equivalent to £2, 19s. 3d. per scholar, was contributed from state grants, and £140,074, equivalent to 5s. 9d. per scholar, from local (i.e. voluntary) sources, the rate per scholar from all sources being £3, 5s.
Training of Teachers.—Salaried monitors are employed in the Irish schools, but, unlike the English pupil teachers, are not explicitly recognized as forming part of the school staff. There are now seven training colleges, viz. one undenominational college maintained by the commissioners, five Roman Catholic colleges, and one college in connexion with the Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland. Of the scholars in the undenominational college, 73 out of 312 were Roman Catholics. The total number of students in training was 1189, viz. 514 men and 675 women. The percentage of trained teachers to the total number of teachers was 64.7. A special training college for the instruction of teachers in Irish has been recognized.
One of the chief desiderata in Irish education is a single central authority for all branches of education, elementary, secondary (or “intermediate”) and technical. There are two central authorities dealing with secondary education, viz. the Secondary education. Intermediate Education Board and the Department for Agriculture and Technical Instruction. The Intermediate Board administers sums available under the Intermediate Education Act of 1878 from the Irish Church Surplus, and also the sum allocated under the Local Taxation Act 1890. The vice of the system in the opinion of educational experts lies in the statutory obligation to award grants on the result of an individual examination of the scholars. As a result of the vice-regal commission of 1898, power was taken to introduce a system of school inspection, though not to dispense with the individual examination as the basis for the award of the grants; this measure of reform was ultimately carried out in 1909. The sum distributed in result grants is about £50,000 per annum.
Prior to the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act 1899, science and art grants were administered by the Science and Art Department in England; by this act they were transferred to the new Irish Department for Agriculture and Technical Instruction. This department makes block grants to secondary schools in respect of science and art teaching, and manual instruction or domestic economy. Measures have been taken for the co-ordination of the duties of the Technical Department and the Intermediate Board, and the impetus given to the teaching of experimental science by grants for the erection of laboratories represents a reform of undoubted value for higher education in Ireland, especially when considered in connexion with the enlistment of the local interest of the technical education committees in the intermediate schools. Nevertheless, in the absence of a reform of the results system of intermediate grants, the special subsidizing of science teaching has tended to put an undue premium upon this subject to the detriment of the rest of the curriculum.
Ireland possesses no such system of scholarships for assisting the passage of scholars from the elementary to the secondary school as England enjoys as a result of the municipalization of the educational system. Nevertheless, Irish children as a fact pass much more freely from the elementary to the secondary school than is the case in England where social prejudices are stronger. The schools of the Christian Brothers are usually organized in two departments, primary and intermediate, and thus supply for the Roman Catholic population the demand for the cheap type of secondary day school represented by the municipal schools in England. It must be added that the Irish intermediate schools are purely denominational. The widespread demand for secondary education among the people, to which the report of Messrs Dale and Stephens bears witness, is a gratifying feature of Irish life, while the recent establishment (1908) of the long-deferred national university, and the perceptible quickening of intellectual interests throughout the country in connexion with the Celtic revival, point to better conditions for higher education and to the development of a wider, deeper and truer, because more national, culture.
It was justly observed by Sir Joshua Fitch (Ency. Brit., 10th ed., xxvii. p. 655) that “the public provision for the education of the people in England is not the product of any theory or plan formulated beforehand by statesmen or philosophers; it has come into existence through a long course of experiments, compromises, traditions, successes, failures and religious controversies. What has been done in this department of public policy is the resultant of many diverse forces and of slow evolution and growth rather than of pure purpose and well-defined national aims. It has been effected in different degrees by philanthropy, by private enterprise, by religious zeal, by ancient universities and endowed foundations, by municipal and local effort, and only to a small extent by legislation. The genius—or rather characteristic habit—of the English people is averse from the philosophical system, and is disposed to regard education, not as a science, but as a body of expedients to be discovered empirically and amended from time to time as occasion may require.” Clearly, then, the English system of public education, as it results from successive acts of the administration and the legislature, is one which can only adequately be appreciated in the light of an historical survey of the various stages which have led up to it and the social conditions by which they were determined. The history of state education in England begins tardily in 1832, when after a generation of hesitation and controversy a beginning was made upon an exceedingly modest scale with the system of treasury grants in aid of elementary schools. The diverse forces which were at that date at work in the education of the nation as a whole, retarding state interference and marking out the limits within which it was long to be confined, derive their origin from a much remoter period.
The apprenticeship laws of Henry VIII. contain the earliest germ of state interference. These laws obliged children between five and thirteen years of age who were found begging or idle to be bound apprentices to some handicraft. If the immediate Influence of the English Reformation. object was the prevention of crime rather than education as such, this early legislation is at least significant of the primary and intimate connexion that exists between popular education and industrial and economic needs. Yet in the shaping of the educational system the original influences were religious rather than economic; hence the importance of the canons of 1604, which secured the control of education to the Established Church. This of course was no novel doctrine, but merely the reaffirmation by the Reformed Church of the Catholic tradition of religious exclusiveness, presenting itself to the mind of contemporaries rather as the recognition of a national, that was also a religious, duty than as the assumption of an ecclesiastical privilege. Whatever mischief the Tudor statesmen wrought by indiscriminate destruction of chantries and other foundations which combined educational work with observances that the new religion branded as superstitions, however far the English Reformation fell short of the organized enthusiasm for popular education and culture that marked the first most vigorous and constructive period of Lutheranism in Germany, the Protestant, and especially the Puritan, spirit unquestionably inspired a considerable volume of individual educational effort during the latter half of the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries. Here, as in Germany, the influence of the Reformation was wholly on the side of classicism, the dead languages being the key to the theological learning which was of primary concern to the men of that theological age. The conception of elementary education as a system complete in itself and adapted to the needs of the masses of the people was unfamiliar at this date. The earliest elementary schools were petits schools, which (as the name implies) were really preparatory departments of the grammar-schools. Education in fact was still regarded as the privilege of an élite, but, as in the middle ages, the élite for whom it was sought to provide a ladder to the university by means of the endowed schools so numerously founded about this time was an élite of intellect and not of mere wealth; the class feeling which became so marked a feature of English higher education was of much later growth.
Towards the end of the 17th century elementary education began to differentiate itself, partly by way of reaction against the unnatural classicism of the preceding age, but more especially as the result of the growth of towns and the Rise of elementary education. creation of a considerable industrial population. At the close of the century the moral evils attendant upon industrialism alarmed the religious conscience and prompted one of the great educational movements that stand to the credit of the national church. In 1699 Dr Bray founded the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and the movement thereby initiated may be traced in the numerous “charity” or “Blue Coat” schools scattered plentifully throughout the country and especially in the great centres of population. The foundation of these schools, which was pushed forward with vigour during the early years of the 18th century, represents an energetic and well-planned attempt to cope with the social evil of poverty by educational means. The instruction was elementary, the scholars were clothed as well as taught free, and the schools in the first instance were supported not so much by permanent endowment as by voluntary effort, so that with this movement the voluntary system may be said to make its appearance. Lastly, all these philanthropic efforts were inspired by a solid but sober piety nurtured by a church which came nearer than at any other period of its history to enjoying the undivided allegiance of the people. Another notable movement in connexion with the church was one confined to Wales, that of the Welsh “circulating schools” established by Griffith Jones about 1730, consisting of an organized staff of schoolmasters who went round teaching adults to read the Bible in Welsh. In the English rural parishes the comparative religious unanimity favoured the quiet development of elementary education in a small way upon less specifically religious lines. Numerous small endowments for the elementary education of poor children were provided by well-to-do parishioners; indeed to such an extent did the practice of making charitable (and largely educational) bequests increase that the legislature intervened in the interest of private inheritance by reviving the law of mortmain in an act of 1736. The village schoolmaster became a feature of rural life, frequently enjoying a schoolhouse provided sometimes by endowment and sometimes even directly by the parishioners at the cost of the rate levied by the vestry, but more often aided only by a little stipend from an endowment for teaching poor children, and eking out an always scanty subsistence by the fees of such paying scholars as he could succeed in getting together.
Towards the end of the 18th century the emergency of the industrial revolution evoked a fresh religious effort upon a more highly organized scale in the shape of the Sunday-school movement, which may be said to represent the The Sunday-school movement. educational contribution of the Evangelical revival Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday School Union, established his first Sunday school in 1782. The idea of the Sunday school did not originate with Raikes; among earlier pioneers in this field were John Wesley, who held Sunday classes at Savannah in 1737; Theophilus Lindsey at Catterick in the North Riding of Yorkshire, about 1769; Hannah Ball at High Wycombe in 1769; and Jenkin Morgan near Llanidloes in 1770. Sunday schools, too, had been founded in England by Joseph Alleine, the Puritan Father, in the 17th century, and in Catholic Italy and France by St Charles Borromeo and Jean Baptiste de la Salle in the 16th and 17th centuries respectively. Nevertheless, in virtue of his achievement in organization, Raikes is rightly regarded as the founder of the English Sunday school. The peculiar value of the Sunday-school system in its early days lay in the combination of secular with religious instruction; in many cases the school was held on Saturday as well as Sunday, and its restriction to the one day or two days was due to the prevalence of child labour under stress of the great industrial expansion. With better economic conditions and with the development of day schools the Sunday schools gradually became restricted in function to purely religious instruction. Even with this limitation there is no doubt that the great Sunday-school organizations of the various churches still deserve to be reckoned among the educational assets of the nation, and as agencies both of religious instruction and of general culture they may tend, under modern educational and religious developments, to play an increasingly important part.
At the end of the 18th century the development of industry and the social unrest which followed the French Revolution combined to bring home to the public mind the need of a national system of day schools. Unfortunately, Movements of Lancaster and Bell, and rise of the religious controversy. just at this moment the revival of Nonconformity as the result of the religious vitality of the Evangelical movement shattered the religious peace of the early Hanoverian period and divided the nation once more into hostile camps, to which class distinctions lent additional bitterness. The famous controversy between Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster and their respective followers in the opening years of the 19th century served to define the religious difficulty substantially in the form in which it exists after the lapse of a century for the present generation. Both these remarkable men conceived independently the idea of a national system of popular education upon a voluntary basis; both concurred in extolling the merits of the monitorial system, which each claimed to have originated. The controversy between them, begun upon personal grounds, resolved itself into a national contest of rival principles of religious teaching. Lancaster as a young Quaker schoolmaster, confronted with pupils drawn from various religious bodies, planned his religious instruction upon the lines of doctrine common to all the orthodox Christian denominations. Thus he is the father of the undenominational religious teaching which later formed the basis of the Cowper-Temple compromise. But whereas the Cowper-Temple clause is purely negative in form and so seems to point to an undogmatic religion, the Lancasterian teaching was essentially positive and dogmatic within its limits. In 1805 Mrs Trimmer opened the attack upon Lancaster’s system with a work bearing the expressive title of A Comparative View of the New Plan of Education promulgated by Mr Joseph Lancaster and of the System of Christian Instruction founded by our Forefathers for the initiation of the young members of the Established Church in the Principles of the Reformed Religion. The church as a whole refused to co-operate in religious teaching upon the basis of a common Christianity, and joined issue with Lancaster and his Whig and Nonconformist following not merely upon the question of the exclusion of dogmatic formularies, but also upon the question of the control of whatever religious teaching should be given. In fact the vital question at this period was whether the clergy of the Established Church were to control the national education. The religious issue was prominent in connexion with the remarkable attempt at legislation made by the Whig statesman Mr Whitbread in his Parochial Schools Bill of 1807. As originally introduced, the bill proposed to make it compulsory on parochial vestries to levy rates for the support of schools for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. The compulsory provisions were dropped in the House of Commons, but the bill was rejected by the Lords, mainly on the ground that it did not place education on a religious basis or sufficiently secure control to the minister of the parish.
The failure of the liberal proposals of Whitbread, and the strength of the Dissenting opposition to any settlement on purely church lines (such as that advocated by Bell in 1808 for establishing schools under the control of the Foundation of voluntary schools. parochial clergy), rendered recourse to voluntary effort inevitable. In 1808 the Royal Lancasterian Society was formed to carry on the work of Lancaster, the name being afterwards changed, owing to personal difficulties due to the wayward character of Lancaster, to the British and Foreign School Society. In the following year the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church throughout England and Wales was formed, with Bell as its superintendent. In voluntary effort on a grand scale the church easily outdistanced her opponents, and in 1831 the National Society was able to show that there were in all over 13,000 schools in connexion with the church, of which 6470 were both day and Sunday schools, having a total attendance of 409,000.
The rapid development of the voluntary school system was no doubt greatly facilitated by the monitorial plan of teaching, upon which Bell and Lancaster equally relied. Probably the first idea of utilizing the older pupils Monitorial system. to teach the younger presented itself independently to Lancaster in the Borough Road and to Bell in Madras. The monitorial plan never rested upon any educational theory; it was simply a makeshift, a rough-and-ready expedient for overcoming the practical difficulty caused by the dearth of competent teachers. Historically it is important as the precursor of the pupil-teacher system which so long formed the exclusive basis of the English elementary system.
Meantime a further political move was attempted by Brougham, who included educational reform among his multifarious activities. In 1816 he procured the appointment of a general commission of inquiry into endowed charities. The Activities of Brougham. labours of this great inquisition lasted for twenty years and led to the reformation of many cases of abuse or waste of wealthy endowments, and eventually to the establishment of the Charity Commission in 1853. In 1820 Brougham introduced a remarkable bill which proposed to make the magistrates in quarter sessions the rating authority, to require teachers to be members of the Church of England and to be appointed upon a certificate from the parochial clergyman, and on the other hand to prohibit religious formularies and to confine religious instruction to Bible reading without comment. The bill naturally failed through the opposition cf the Dissenters, and served only to accentuate the religious impasse.
In 1832 the Whig government which passed the Reform Bill placed on the Estimates a sum of £20,000 for public education, thus initiating the system of the annual grant voted by parliament and dispensed under regulations framed Treasury grants. by administrative act. The grant of 1832 was administered by the treasury and not by a special department, under certain conditions laid down by treasury minute of August 30, 1833. The chief of these were that grants were confined to the erection of school buildings, and were to be administered only through the National and the British and Foreign School societies; there was a provision for audit, but no condition of inspection.
In 1839 Lord Melbourne’s government by means of an order in council established a separate education office under the style of the Committee of Council on Education, and the sum voted by parliament was increased to £39,000. Establishment of State-aided system. The original intention of the government was to establish a state normal school or training college as the foundation of a national system of education. Unfortunately this design had to be abandoned in view of the religious difficulty, with the result (so fruitful in controversy at the present time) that the training of elementary teachers was left in private hands and became a stronghold of the voluntary and denominational interests. In view of the limited resources placed at their disposal by parliament, the Committee of Council were at first compelled to confine their assistance to capital grants in aid of the provision of school buildings, but in the distribution of the money three important conditions were at once imposed. In the first place, the continuing right of inspection was required in all cases; secondly, promoters were obliged to conform to a fixed standard of structural efficiency; thirdly, the building must be settled upon trusts permanently securing it to the education of poor children.
By the minute of August 10, 1840, the Committee of Council concluded what came to be known as the concordat with the church. Under this minute no appointment was to be made of any person to inspect schools in connexion Concordat with the church. with the Church of England without the concurrence of the archbishop of the province, and, what seems still more extraordinary to modern ideas, any such appointment was to be revoked should the archbishop at any time withdraw his concurrence. The inspectors were charged with the duty of inspecting religious teaching, but under instructions to be framed by the archbishop, and their reports were to be transmitted in duplicate to the archbishop and the bishop for the information of these authorities. Further, the general instructions of the Committee of Council themselves were to be communicated to the archbishop before being finally sanctioned. The march of events, and in particular the altered financial relations between the state and the voluntary managers brought about by the institution of maintenance grants, soon rendered this concordat obsolete, but it remains historically important as showing how at the outset the denominational principle was recognized and fostered by the state.
Among the first acts of the Committee of Council was the promulgation of a set of model trusts deeds, one or other of which applicants for building grants were required to adopt for the settlement of their school premises. The Trust deeds. necessary conditions were the permanent appropriation of the site to purposes of education, and the permanent right of government inspection; it must, however, be noted that this latter right was generally limited in terms to the inspection provided for by the minute of August 10, 1840. A conscience clause was not obligatory, and indeed was only offered in the limited form of exemption from instruction in formularies and attendance at Sunday school or public worship. A more systematic attempt to promote public control by means of trust deeds in 1846 led the Committee of Council into a controversy with the National Society which extended over a period of three years, turning chiefly upon the management clauses and the question of appeals, and resulting in compromises which constituted a fresh concordat with the church. In point of fact, the management clauses proved to be of little practical consequence, save in a few controversial cases, until the act of 1902, which had the effect of bringing them once more into prominence in connexion with the constitution of statutory bodies of foundation managers. The act of 1902 also dealt specifically with two other points arising upon the old trust deeds, viz. the control of religious instruction and the appeal to the bishop in religious questions. Special facilities for the conveyance of land for school purposes were afforded to limited owners by the School Sites Acts of 1841 and subsequent years. The landed gentry responded with great public spirit to the call thus made upon their generosity by the state, with the result that the vast majority of rural, and many urban, parishes were freely endowed with sites for elementary schools.
The Grammar Schools Act of 1840, which was passed to deal with the case of the decayed “grammar” (i.e. classical) schools which abounded throughout the country, belongs to the history of elementary rather than secondary education. Grammar Schools Act 1840. It expressly empowered the Court of Chancery, where the endowment was insufficient for a classical school, to substitute subjects of useful learning analogous to those contained in the original trusts. As a result of this act a considerable number of ancient endowments were reorganized so as to afford an improved elementary instead of an inefficient classical education, and the schemes made under the act constituted an early, but not very successful, experiment in the direction of higher elementary schools.
In 1843 the Committee of Council decided to make grants in aid of the erection of normal schools or training colleges Training-college grants. in connexion with the National Society and the British and Foreign School societies, thus marking the definite abandonment of the provision of training colleges to voluntary effort.
In 1846 an important step forwards was taken in the foundation of the pupil-teacher system. The regulations of this year inaugurated annual maintenance grants in the form of stipends for apprenticed pupil teachers receiving a Pupil-teacher system. prescribed course of instruction under the head teacher, and a lower grade of stipendiary monitors in schools where such instruction could not be provided. These regulations inaugurated the system of Queen’s Scholarships to assist pupil teachers to proceed to a training college; they also established capitation grants for the support of such colleges, and annual grants to elementary schools under government inspection of from £15 to £30 in aid of the salary of every trained teacher employed. Provision was at the same time made for retiring pensions to elementary teachers.
Down to 1847 state aid was confined to two religious categories of schools: those giving specifically Church of England teaching, and those in connexion with the British and Foreign School Society giving simple Bible teaching. To Extension of state aid to Wesleyans, Roman Catholics and Jews. facilitate the recognition of other denominational schools the Committee of Council in 1847 issued a minute dispensing schools not connected with the Established Church from inquiries concerning their religious condition, and in the same year state aid was extended to Wesleyan and Roman Catholic schools. The settlement of model trust deeds gave occasion for each of these two great religious bodies to negotiate a kind of concordat with respect to school management, and the Roman Catholic deed was only settled after a controversy, similar to that which had arisen with the National Society, as to the rights of ecclesiastical authority. Jewish schools received recognition in 1851 upon condition that the Scriptures of the Old Testament should be daily read in them.
During the middle years of the century various unsuccessful legislative attempts were made to establish a national system of elementary schools upon the basis of rate-aid. These attempts began with the education clauses of Sir Robert Bills of 1842-57. Peel’s Factory Bill of 1842, and were renewed in a series of bills from 1853 to 1857, of which one set was introduced by Lord John Russell on behalf of the Whig government, whilst a second was promoted by an organization called the Manchester and Salford Committee on Education, in the denominational interest, and a third set by an organization called the Lancashire (afterwards the National) Public Schools Association, in the secular interest. The only one of these attempts which calls for notice here is the bill introduced by Lord John Russell (called the Borough Bill, on account of its being restricted to municipal boroughs) in 1853, and forming part of a comprehensive scheme of legislative and administrative reform of which a portion was actually carried into effect. The bill as a measure for elementary education was supplemented by an administrative system of capitation grants for rural areas. The government scheme also comprised a measure dealing with the administration of charitable trusts (which took shape as the Charitable Trusts Act 1853), the constitution of the Department of Science and Art, and university reform upon the lines recommended by the Oxford and Cambridge commissions. The Borough Bill left it optional with municipalities to adopt the act. It provided for the appointment of a school committee, one half of whose members might be non-members of the council. The school committee was merely given power to assist existing voluntary schools out of the rates. No provision was made for public control beyond the requirement of audit; the sole condition as to religious instruction was the acceptance of a conscience clause.
The failure of the Borough Bill did not affect the new system of capitation grants which was introduced by minute of the Committee of Council dated April 2, 1853. These grants were fixed at a scale varying from 3s. to 6s. per head, Capitation grants. payable upon certain conditions, of which the most important were that the school must be under a certificated teacher, and that three-fourths of the children must pass a prescribed examination. In consequence of the failure of the several fresh bills introduced in 1855 by the government, the church party and the secular party respectively amplifying the proposals previously brought forward, the capitation grant was, by minute of January 26, 1856, extended to urban areas. As in the case of all the early grants, the regulations governing the distribution of the capitation grants were framed upon the principle that subventions of public money must be met by local funds derived from voluntary contributions, endowments and school fees; thus the basis of the denominational system as fostered by the state at this stage was one of financial partnership.
In 1856 a purely administrative bill was passed, establishing the office of vice-president of the Committee of Council Education minister, 1856. on Education as a minister responsible to parliament. At the same time, the Science and Art Department was transferred from the Board of Trade to the Committee of Council.
The progress of state-aided education during this period may be measured by the increase of the annual parliamentary grant, which rose from £30,000 in 1839 to £100,000 in 1846, £150,000 in 1851, £396,000 in 1855, and £663,400 in 1858. This expansion was viewed with misgiving Newcastle Commission. by the friends of the denominational system, and by the strong individualist school of that day, who upon wider grounds clung to the old ideal of voluntary initiative. These sections combined with the advocates of further state intervention to press for a commission of inquiry, and at the instance of Sir John Pakington (the eminent Conservative educationist who was responsible for the denominational bills of the ’fifties) a royal commission was appointed in 1858, under the chairmanship of the duke of Newcastle, to inquire into the state of popular education in England, and to consider and report what measures, if any, were required for the extension of sound and cheap elementary instruction to all classes of the people. The Report of the Newcastle Commission, issued in 1861, contains an exhaustive account of the existing condition of elementary education, and, with due allowance for the grave defects revealed, and in particular the glaring inefficiency of the numerous little private-venture schools kept by “dames” and others, the graphic picture drawn by the commissioners constitutes a striking tribute to the sterling qualities of self-help and religious earnestness which were so characteristic of the early Victorian period. It was found that in round numbers about 2,500,000 children were attending day schools, the proportion to population being 1 in 7, as compared with 1 in 9 in France, 1 in 8 in Holland, and 1 in 6 in Prussia, where education was compulsory. On the other hand, of this number only 1,675,000 were in public schools of all kinds, only 1,100,000 in schools liable to inspection, and 917,000 in schools receiving annual grant. The result was that only one child in every twenty was attending a school whose efficiency could be in any way guaranteed by the state. In the constructive portion of their work the comments and recommendations of the commissioners reflected the prevailing perplexity of the public mind. A consistent individualistic minority considered that the annual grant should be withdrawn altogether, and that any further state aid should be confined to building grants, which they would concede not as desirable in themselves but as necessitated out of considerations of fairness to the parishes that had not yet received such aid. The commissioners as a body rejected free and compulsory education in view of the religious difficulty and upon general grounds of individualistic principle. Of the religious difficulty itself the commissioners had some wise words to say which hold good in substance at the present time. In their judgment the considerable evidence they had amassed conclusively proved that the religious difficulty originated with the managers, promoters and organizers of the schools, and not with the parents themselves; yet the indifferent or comparatively passive attitude of the people nowise materially diminished the practical difficulty of introducing a comprehensive system, since it was not with the body of the people but with the founders and supporters of schools that legislators would always have to deal. In view of the solution adopted in 1902 it is of interest to note that the Newcastle Commissioners deliberately rejected the parish as unfit to be taken as the unit of elementary education upon the ground that management by parochial ratepayers must tend to be illiberal and niggardly, bent upon economy of the rates to the detriment of educational interests; accordingly they recommended the constitution of county boards (which in the absence of elective councils must needs originate with quarter sessions) clothed with power to levy a rate for the aid of existing voluntary schools.
The one definite achievement of the Newcastle Commission was the famous system of payment by results, which may be said to have excited a keener and more prolonged controversy than any other measure of a purely Payment by results. educational character. Impressed by the defects of the existing teaching, the commissioners reported that there was only one way of securing efficiency, and that was to institute a searching examination by competent authority of every child in every school to which grants were to be paid, with the view of ascertaining whether the indispensable elements of knowledge were thoroughly acquired, and to make the prospects and position of the teacher dependent to a considerable extent upon the results of this examination. Thus the commissioners hoped to counteract what appeared to them to be the crying defect of the existing training college system, viz. that it tended mainly to adapt the young schoolmaster to advance his higher, rather than to thoroughly ground his junior, pupils. They recognized that to raise the character of the children, both morally and intellectually, was and must always be the highest aim of education, and they were far from desiring to supersede this by any plan of a mere examination into the more mechanical work of elementary education, the reading, writing and arithmetic of young children; but they thought that the importance of this training, which must be the foundation of all other teaching, had been lost sight of, and that there was justice in the common complaint that while a fourth of the scholars were really taught, three-fourths after leaving school forgot everything they had learnt there.
Mr Lowe (Lord Sherbrooke) as vice-president of the Committee of Council (1859-1864) adopted the system of payment by results in what became famous in history as the Revised Code, issued in 1862 and so called because it was a revision Revised Code. of the minutes and regulations of the Committee of Council, which were first collected and issued in the form of a code in 1860. The Revised Code provided for the payment of a grant of 4s. upon the old principle and a further grant of not more than 8s. upon the result of examination. Mr Lowe declared of the system in the House of Commons that “if it was costly it should at least be efficient; and if it was inefficient it should at least be cheap.” In fact, it proved to be cheap; the giant fell from £813,400 in 1861 to £636,800 in 1865. The upholders of the existing system denounced the Revised Code as an undeserved slight upon the voluntary managers, and even as a breach of faith with the great religious denominations. On purely educational grounds, which need not be here re-capitulated, it was at once viewed with misgiving by many authorities, including Matthew Arnold. To meet objections, some modifications were introduced in the code under the Conservative government in 1867. The system of paying grant upon the result of individual examination of the scholars was not finally abolished till 1904.
The years immediately preceding 1870 were occupied with discussion and preparation for the great legislative measure for which the time was now felt to have arrived. Good work was done in this direction by the Select Committee Proceedings preliminary to the act of 1870. of the House of Commons in 1866, over which Sir John Pakington presided. For reasons connected with the political situation of the moment this committee never reported, but the minutes of evidence and the draft report prepared by Sir John Pakington contained much valuable material in the way of criticism of the existing system and suggestion for the coming settlement; in particular the draft report insisted upon the inevitableness of an education rate. In 1868 the Conservative government brought in, but did not proceed with, an education bill deliberately discarding the principle of rate-aid on the ground that it would destroy voluntary contributions and gradually starve out the denominational schools. In 1867 and again in 1868 Mr Bruce (afterwards Lord Aberdare), Mr W. E. Forster and Mr Algernon Egerton introduced a bill which formed the basis of the measure of 1870. As redrafted in 1868 the bill of Mr Bruce and his coadjutors proposed a universal system of municipal and parochial rating with liberty for voluntary schools to unite themselves to the rate-aided system under their existing management, subject to the acceptance of a conscience clause. The bill also proposed to empower town councils to co-opt outsiders upon their education committees. Thus both in the principle of co-optation and in the extension of rate aid to schools not under public control the bill of these Liberal statesmen in 1868 anticipated certain controverted features of Mr Balfour’s Education Act of 1902. In the meantime, in the country the Education League, originated at Birmingham, was carrying on a propaganda in favour of free secular schools, whilst the Education Union, formed to counteract the influence of the league, urged a settlement upon the old lines. As a concession to the popular feeling against secularism, the league proposed to allow Bible reading without doctrinal exposition. Thus opinion was sufficiently focussed to enable Mr Gladstone’s administration in 1870 to undertake the comprehensive measure of educational reform for which the country had had to wait so long.
The Elementary Education Act of 1870 bore in every respect the marks of compromise. As Mr Forster explained in introducing the bill, the object of the government was “to complete the voluntary system and to fill up gaps,” not to supplant it. Act of 1870. To this end the Education Department was charged with the duty of ascertaining whether or not there was in every parish a deficiency of public school accommodation, and provision made for the formation of school boards in every school district (i.e. parish or municipal borough) requiring further public school accommodation. Such accommodation might consist either of public elementary schools as defined by the act, or other schools giving efficient and suitable elementary education. The definition of public elementary school contained in section 7 of the act is still in force. Shortly, a public elementary school is a school subject to a conscience clause entitling scholars to complete exemption from all religious instruction and observance whatsoever. Any religious instruction or observance in the school must be either at the beginning or the end of the school meeting. The school must also be open at all times to the government inspectors and must be conducted in accordance with the conditions required to be fulfilled in order to obtain an annual parliamentary grant. In the same connexion an important change was made in the conditions of inspection by declaring that it should be no part of the duties of the inspector to inquire into religious instruction, whilst a later section of the act provided that no parliamentary grant should be made in respect of any religious instruction.
Three important changes were made in the measure during its passage through parliament. As at first proposed, (1) the school boards were not to be directly elected by the ratepayers, but were to be appointed by the town council or the vestry. (2) These nominated boards were empowered either to provide schools themselves or to assist existing public elementary schools, provided that such assistance was granted on equal terms to all such schools, upon conditions to be approved by the Education Department. Thus the school board, if it exercised the option of assisting denominational schools, would have been obliged to assist all or none. (3) With regard to its own schools, the school board was to settle the form of religious instruction. These proposals raised serious opposition in the country, and when the committee stage of the bill was reached two fundamental changes were made in the policy of the bill. In the first place, as Mr Gladstone put it, the government had decided “to sever altogether the tie between the local board and the voluntary schools.” In lieu of the suggested rate-aid they proposed an increased grant from the treasury, that is to say, the voluntary schools were left standing as state-aided schools under private management, side by side with the new rate-supported schools.
Next, the character of the religious instruction in the board schools was determined upon an undenominational basis by a provision which has become known to history after the name of its author, then Mr Cowper-Temple, Cowper-Temple clause. as the Cowper-Temple clause (section 14 of the act), directing that “no religious catechism or religious formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination shall be taught in the school.” The clause was not intended to exclude doctrinal exposition, and was in fact a compromise not merely between absolute secularism and denominationalism, but between denominationalism and the view of those who would have the Bible read without note or comment. The Apostles’ Creed as a symbol common to all denominations of Christians was held by Mr Forster (at the suggestion of Mr Gladstone) not to be excluded under the Cowper-Temple clause. The result was the establishment in the schools, upon the lines laid down by Joseph Lancaster at the beginning of the 19th century, of what may be termed the common Protestantism of the English nation; and though Mr Disraeli urged that a religion without formularies was in fact a new religion, and that in leaving its exposition to the teachers we were creating a new sacerdotal class, the Cowper-Temple compromise, notwithstanding its inherent want of logic, stood the test of experience for more than a generation against the consistent denominationalists on the one hand and the party of secular education on the other. It is important to observe that the act of 1870 left the giving of religious instruction, whether in voluntary schools (in which its inclusion might be assumed as of course) or in board schools, purely permissive. In practice it was only in Wales that school boards availed themselves to any extent of the liberty to abstain from giving religious instruction, and this comparative secularism of Wales certainly argued no lack of religious life among the people.
The third change in the bill was the substitution of the ad hoc school board for the municipally appointed board originally proposed, a change which commended itself in view of the special difficulty presented by the case of London. These boards were elected by the system of cumulative voting under which each elector had as many votes as there were candidates to be elected, with liberty to give all his votes to one candidate or to distribute them amongst the candidates as he thought fit. This system was much criticized as being unduly favourable to minorities, whose representation it was devised to secure; it continued, however, until the supersession of the ad hoc authorities by committees of the county and urban councils under the act of 1902.
School boards were empowered not only to acquire sites for schools under powers of compulsory purchase, but also to take transfers of existing voluntary schools from their managers. The section which enables managers to transfer schools to the school board or local education authority for the purpose of board or council schools freed from religious trusts unquestionably marks an important inroad by the state upon the sanctity of trusts. Thus though the act of 1870 did not itself introduce the principle of compulsory transfer, it formed the point of departure for the proposals in this direction which were the basis of the unsuccessful bills of 1906 and 1908. The act of 1870 did not introduce either direct compulsory attendance or free education, but it took a distinct step forward in each direction by enabling school boards to frame by-laws rendering attendance compulsory, and also to pay the school fees in the case of poverty of the parent.
The policy of compromise between the two systems of voluntary and rate-established schools was carried out in the provisions relating to the future supply of schools. On the one hand, building grants were continued temporarily for the benefit of those who applied (as voluntary managers alone could apply) before the 31st of December 1870. On the other hand, the Education Department was authorized to refuse parliamentary grants to schools established in school board districts after the passing of the act if they thought such schools unnecessary.
The following figures are of interest as showing the progress made under the act of 1870. In the year 1870 there was accommodation in inspected day schools for about 2,000,000 children; the average attendance was 1,168,000, and Progress under the act of 1870. the number on the books about 1,500,000. It was computed, however, that there were, exclusive of the well-to-do classes, at least 1,500,000 children who attended no school at all or schools not under inspection. In 1876 accommodation had been provided for nearly 3,500,000, and of the 1,500,000 new places nearly two-thirds were provided by voluntary agencies. “These voluntary agencies,” says Sir H. Craik, “had received grants in aid for about one-third of the schools they had built, the grants defraying about one-fifth of the cost of the aided schools.” On the other hand, the growth of school boards was rapid and continuous, notwithstanding the permissive character of the act and the strenuous efforts of the voluntaryists to keep pace with the new demands. In 1872, 9,700,000 of the population were under school boards, and of these 8,142,000 were under by-laws; in 1876 the numbers were respectively 12,500,000 and 10,400,000. In the same period the annual grants increased from £894,000 in 1870 to £1,600,000 in 1876.
The development evidenced by the above figures, and in particular the fact that 52% of the population were subject to by-laws, enabled Mr Disraeli’s government in 1876 to take a notable step forward in the direction of universal Act of 1876. direct compulsion. The act of 1876 embodied the declaration that “it shall be the duty of the parent of every child to cause such child to receive efficient elementary instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, and if such parent fail to perform such duty he shall be liable to such orders and penalties as are provided by the Act”; next, it rendered an employer liable to a penalty who took into his employment a child under the age of ten years, or a child between the ages of ten and fourteen years who had not obtained the required certificate of proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic, or of previous attendance at a certified efficient school. In order to complete the machinery for compulsion, the act directed that, in every district where there was no school board, a school attendance committee should be appointed by the local authority. The law as to school attendance, resting upon this and subsequent enactments, is complicated and in some details obscure. The subject was dealt with in the report of an inter-departmental committee in 1909, who recommended the abolition of the partial exemptions permitted, and the raising of the age of exemption to 13.
In 1880 Mr Mundella, as vice-president of the Council in Mr Gladstone’s administration, passed a short act which made the framing of by-laws compulsory upon school boards and school attendance committees, thus completing the Act of 1880. system of universal direct compulsion. Under the acts of 1876 and 1880 the average attendance increased from 2,000,000 in 1876 to 3,500,000 in 1878 and 4,000,000 in 1881; in terms of percentage to population, 8.06 in 1876, 9.60 in 1878, and 10.69 in 1881. In the last-mentioned year the annual grant rose to £2,200,000, having more than doubled in the decade.
With the passing of the Elementary Education Act 1880 the education question entered upon a new phase. The country was now possessed of a national system of elementary education, in the sense that provision was made for Development of public opinion. the supply of efficient schools and for compulsory attendance. The question of free education was brought within the range of practical politics by the adoption of universal compulsion, but as yet it was advocated only by a small political group of pronounced collectivist tendencies. Whilst opinion was maturing on this topic, there began to force itself upon the public mind the vastly more difficult problem of combining the two systems of voluntary, denominational, state-aided schools on the one hand, and public, undenominational, rate-supported schools on the other. From the denominational point of view the problem presented itself as that of a burden imposed and a danger threatened in ever-increasing degree by the competition of the board schools, a competition that was felt not so much by direct rivalry of school with school as indirectly by the steady raising of the standard of efficiency with respect to buildings, equipment, salaries of teachers and educational attainment which inevitably resulted from the establishment of authorities with power to draw upon the rates. On the other hand, from the purely educational point of view, it was seen that the dual system tended in practice to an illicit but almost inevitable recognition of two standards of efficiency, the lower being conceded to voluntary schools in consideration of their comparative poverty. Experience, too, of the shortcomings of small country school boards was beginning to confirm the misgivings entertained long before by the Newcastle Commissioners as to the wisdom of entrusting autonomous powers to the parish, when the reform of local government by the creation of popularly elected county authorities turned attention once more to the question of organizing education upon a county basis.
In 1887 a royal commission under the presidency of Viscount Cross was appointed to inquire into the working of the education acts. The labours of this commission produced a thorough discussion of the educational problem in all Cross Commission, 1887. its aspects, political, administrative, scholastic and religious. For any clear recommendations with regard to the reorganization of education generally the moment was not opportune, inasmuch as the commission just preceded the establishment of the new county authorities and the powers with respect to instruction other than elementary which parliament was shortly to confide to them under the Technical Instruction Acts. Nevertheless the report of the majority of the commissioners pointed unmistakably towards the solution adopted in the act of 1902, and their definite recommendation that voluntary schools should be accorded rate-aid without the imposition of the Cowper-Temple clause, served as the basis of that legislation. The commission brought into strong relief the opposing currents of thought in educational politics, the majority report, representing the principles of denominationalism, being balanced by a strong minority report embodying the views of those who looked for progress along the lines of the school-board system. Taken together, the two reports form a comprehensive survey of the difficulties which still in the main beset public education in this country.
Of the developments which followed the Cross report, it is convenient to mention in the first place, out of chronological sequence, the practical establishment of free education by the act of 1891, not by the absolute prohibition of Elementary Education Act 1891. school fees but by the device of a special grant payable by parliament in lieu of fees, called the fee grant. The result of this legislation and of subsequent administrative action was to place free education within the reach of every child, fees being retained (with few exceptions) only where some instruction of a higher elementary type was given.
The establishment of county councils by the Local Government Act 1888 introduced a new factor which was destined to exert a determining influence upon subsequent developments of public education. In the first place, it at once Education other than elementary. rendered possible the partial and experimental provision for higher education attempted by the Technical Instruction Acts, which affected secondary education as well as technical education in the proper sense of the term. In order to understand the state of secondary education at this period, it is necessary to refer back to the first attempts made to deal with secondary education a generation earlier.
In 1861, that is to say, nearly thirty years after the state began to concern itself with elementary education, the first step in the way of intervention in what is now called secondary or intermediate education was taken by the appointment Public Schools Commission, 1861. of a royal commission, presided over by Lord Clarendon, to inquire into the condition of nine of the chief endowed schools in the country, viz. Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Charterhouse, St Paul’s, Merchant Taylors, Harrow, Rugby and Shrewsbury. The report of this commission led to a statute, the Public Schools Act of 1864, which introduced certain reforms in the administration of seven of these schools, leaving the two great London day schools, St Paul’s and Merchant Taylors, outside its operation. The results achieved were seen to be important enough to call for a further and much wider inquiry.
Accordingly in 1864 the Schools Inquiry Commission was appointed under the presidency of Lord Taunton to inquire into all the schools which had not been included either in the commission of 1861 or the Popular Education Commission Schools Inquiry Commission, 1864-68. of 1858. It included several men of eminent distinction, such as Dr Temple (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury), Mr W. E. Forster, Dean Hook, and Sir Stafford Northcote; and it was singularly fortunate in its staff of assistant commissioners, among whom were numbered Mr James Bryce, Mr Matthew Arnold, and Mr (afterwards Sir Joshua) Fitch. It thoroughly explored the field of secondary education, discussing all the problems, administrative and pedagogic, which the subject presents, and “its luminous and exhaustive report” (to quote the words of Mr Bryce’s Commission of 1894) remains the best introduction to the problem of public secondary education in England. The existence of numerous and frequently very wealthy endowments arising from private benefactions and bequests has at all times been a feature in education as in other departments of English social life. In the organization of secondary education in particular, private endowments have played and continue still to play a part which cannot be paralleled in any other country. This circumstance has undoubtedly resulted in a great economy of resources, though in numerous instances the difficulties occasioned by the haphazard distribution of endowments and the local jealousies invariably aroused by any attempt to readjust their areas to modern conditions have obstructed useful reform and proved a source of misdirected and wasted effort. At the date of the Schools Inquiry Commission the state of the ancient endowments was largely one of abuse. Very many endowments intended for advanced education were applied for instruction of a purely elementary character, and that of an inferior kind; indeed the possession of an endowment in a rural locality not infrequently operated to prevent the establishment of an efficient state-aided school. The evidence showed that the proportion of scholars in the country grammar-schools who were receiving some tincture of the classical education intended by the founders was steadily decreasing, and nothing had been done to bring the curriculum into harmony with the actual needs of the time. No doubt a small élite of classical scholars were sent to the older universities by these schools, but in the main they were in a feeble and decadent state, giving, more or less inefficiently, an education wholly unsuited to the wants of the class to whom they ministered. In addition to the general inelasticity of the curriculum, the special evils from which the grammar-schools suffered were the want of effective governing bodies and the freehold tenure of the headmasterships.
The commission was singularly successful in bringing about the reform of these abuses, its report being immediately followed in 1869 by the Endowed Schools Act, which was based upon its recommendations and conferred upon a special Endowed Schools Acts 1869-74. commission (united in 1874 with the Charity Commission) very wide and drastic powers of reorganizing ancient endowments. A direction for extending the benefits of endowments to girls did much to assist the movement for the secondary education of girls. The Endowed Schools Acts 1869-1874 introduced modifications of importance and general interest into the law of trusts. Under the existing rules of the court of chancery, which rules were also binding upon the Charity Commissioners, educational endowments were generally treated, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, as subject to a trust for instruction in the doctrines of the Church of England. Under the Endowed Schools Acts the presumption is reversed, and ancient trusts are treated as free from denominational restrictions, save in virtue of express conditions imposed by or under the authority of the founder. The result was that in framing schemes for the reorganization of ancient endowed schools the commissioners found themselves able to treat the majority of cases as undenominational. In such cases the general practice was to direct that instruction should, subject to a strict conscience clause, be given in the principles of the Christian faith; this provision corresponded in a way to the Cowper-Temple clause in elementary education, with the important distinction that it was positive, not negative, and did not exclude special doctrinal instruction.
Besides the recommendations for the reform of endowed schools, to which substantial effect was given directly or indirectly by means of the Endowed Schools Acts, the Schools Inquiry Commission also submitted proposals Schools Inquiry Commission’s proposals for reform of secondary education. for the general administrative organization of a system of secondary education. They recommended the establishment of three authorities—(1) a central authority; (2) a local or provincial authority, representing the county or a group of counties, with a certain jurisdiction both in proposing schemes for the reform of endowed schools in their area (such as that afterwards conferred upon the joint education committees under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act), and in administering these schools; and (3) a central council of education charged with examination duties. Further, it was proposed to raise the level of proprietary and private schools by offering them inspection and examination and by establishing a system of school registration. Lastly, in order that the supply of public secondary schools might not be dependent upon endowments, it was proposed to confer upon towns and parishes powers of rating for the establishment of new schools. For these proposals as a whole the time was not ripe. The bill of 1869 as originally introduced in the House of Commons attempted to give effect, with some variations, to one of these suggestions, namely, that for the creation of a central council, but exigencies of parliamentary time made it necessary to drop this part of the measure; the result was that the plan of the commissioners was only half carried out. Nevertheless, owing to the multiplicity and wealth of endowments, the work accomplished was sufficient to exert a considerable influence upon the secondary education of the country. Thus in 1895 Mr Bryce’s Commission was able to report that schemes under the Endowed Schools Acts had been made for 902 endowments in England, excluding Wales and Monmouth, leaving only 546 endowments out of the total of 1448 endowments in England known to be subject to the Endowed Schools Acts, which had not felt the reforming hand of the commissioners. The total income of the endowments known to be Subject to the Endowed Schools Acts, and therefore available for purposes of secondary education, according to the estimate of the Secondary Education Commission (still in 1909 the latest available source of complete information), was in 1895 about £735,000 gross.
Twenty years after the Schools Inquiry Commission the creation by the Local Government Act in 1888 of the representative and popular county authorities of which the need had been felt by reformers alike in secondary and Technical Instruction Acts 1889, &c. elementary education, rendered the first step in the direction of the municipalization of secondary instruction at last possible. In 1889 the Technical Instruction Act (extended in some particulars by an act of 1891) empowered the councils of counties, boroughs and urban districts to levy a rate (not exceeding a penny in the pound) for the support or aid of technical or manual instruction. Comparatively few councils were prepared to resort to their rating powers, but progress under these acts was greatly facilitated by the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act of 1890, which mentioned technical instruction as one of the purposes to which the imperial contribution paid to local authorities in respect of the beer and spirit duties might be applied. By virtue of the very liberal interpretation given to technical instruction by these acts the financial assistance afforded under them was extended to cover the whole field of mathematical and physical science, as well as modern languages.
The Department of Science and Art acted as an agency in the development of secondary education upon the same lines as the Technical Instruction Acts, administering a parliamentary grant which was gradually extended with a Grants of science and art department. view to encouraging literary studies as well as the scientific and mathematical subjects to the promotion of which it was primarily directed. Thus the combined effect of the local resources available under the Technical Instruction Act and the imperial grant administered by the department was gradually to develop a national system of secondary education with a marked bias on the side of physical science.
An undoubted stimulus was given to secondary education in the great centres of industry during the last quarter of the 19th century by the rise of the new university colleges, Influence of new university colleges. among which must be reckoned those established expressly for women. In the main the influence of these new institutions made for a non-classical and scientific type of curriculum in the popular secondary schools.
At the same time, the pressure of the school boards influenced secondary education in two ways. In the first place, the elementary schools were found to act as feeders for schools of a higher type, and the idea of the “educational Influence of school boards. ladder” began to play a leading part in plans for the organization of national education. It was seen that there must be schools to which the more advanced scholars could pass from the public elementary schools, and scholarships to assist such scholars to continue their education in this way. In the next place, it was recognized that to provide adequately for the further education of public elementary scholars a new type of school was required. Thus there came into being through the initiative of the great school boards what were known as higher-grade elementary schools. These were really secondary schools of the third grade, and, as the Commission on Secondary Education observed, the school boards simply stepped in to fill the educational void which the Schools Inquiry Commissioners had proposed to fill by schools of that name. The happy obscurity of the legal definition of elementary education left these schools free to develop during the long years of the neglect of secondary education by the state, and when in 1901 the famous judgment in the test case of Rex v. Cockerton pronounced them to be illegal, it was at once recognized that the legislature must without delay step in to secure the educational work which the undoubtedly correct principles of judicial interpretation had placed in jeopardy.
Such were the agencies at work in the domain of secondary education when in 1894 a royal commission was appointed under the presidency of Mr Bryce to inquire into this branch of education. The terms of reference excluded Secondary Education Commission, 1894. elementary education, and the report may be taken as embodying the views of that school of educational statesmen who held that progress would best be attained by keeping elementary and secondary education entirely separate for purposes of local administration, the parish being regarded as the natural unit for elementary and the county for secondary education, a topic to which it will be necessary to revert in connexion with the act of 1902. The principal recommendations of the commission were: (1) the unification of the existing central authorities, viz. the Department of Science and Art, the Charity Commission (so far as it dealt with educational endowments), and the Education Department, in one central office, and the establishment of an educational council to advise the minister of education in certain professional matters; (2) the establishment of local authorities, to consist of committees of the county councils with co-opted elements; (3) the formation of a register of teachers with a view to the encouragement of professional training, and a system of school registration upon the basis of inspection and examination. The first of these recommendations was carried out by the Board of Education Act 1899, as mentioned below, and under the same act an attempt was made to give some effect to the third-named object, which, though it unfortunately fell short of success, may serve as a point of departure for further efforts. The realization of the second, and the most important, of the recommendations was deferred till 1902, when it was brought about as a part of a wider reorganization of the educational system.
The religious difficulty in elementary education during the period immediately succeeding the report of Mr Bryce’s Commission in 1895 once more reached an acute stage, and this circumstance was immediately unfavourable to a Agitation on behalf of voluntary schools. resolute handling of educational problems as such, public attention being largely concentrated upon the demand of the supporters of voluntary schools for relief from the growing financial burden which was laid upon them by that steady raising of the standard to which reference has been made above. In 1896 an endeavour was made to meet the demands of the voluntary managers by means of a bill introduced by Sir John Gorst on behalf of the Conservative government. This bill with its provision for a special aid grant to be administered by county education authorities, which were to exist side by side with the school boards, represented a kind of compromise between the systems of 1870 and 1902. It encountered opposition in all quarters and was withdrawn. In 1897, however, the position of the denominational schools was strengthened by the Voluntary Schools Act, which provided for a special aid grant of five shillings per head of the scholars in average attendance in these schools.
In view of the difficulties which beset any comprehensive treatment of the education question, partial effect was given to the recommendations of the Secondary Education Commission by the Board of Education Act of 1899, Board of Education Act 1899. which abolished the office of vice-president of the council, united the Department of Science and Art with the Education Department in one central office under the title of the Board of Education, with a president and parliamentary secretary; and provided for the transfer to this board of the powers of the Charity Commissioners in relation to educational endowments; also for the association with the board of a consultative committee, consisting as to not less than two-thirds of persons qualified to represent the views of university and other bodies interested in education, for the purpose (1) of framing a register of qualified teachers, and (2) of advising the Board of Education upon any matters referred to the committee by the board. The administrative reorganization of the Education Office was completed shortly after the passing of the act of 1902, when a tripartite division was adopted to correspond with the three branches of education with which the Board of Education is concerned, viz. elementary, secondary and technological.
No law of recent years has excited an acuter or more prolonged controversy than the Education Act of 1902, and amid the dust of religious and political strife it is not easy for contemporaries to view it objectively and in its true Act of 1902, general principles. proportions. Nevertheless, considered historically, the act becomes intelligible as the product of the forces, partly religious and partly educational, which have been already described. The immediate impulse for this measure must be sought in the agitation that during the preceding decade had been gathering force among the adherents of the Established and Roman Catholic churches for equality of financial treatment as between voluntary and board schools. It must be placed to the credit of the constructive statesmanship of the Conservative party that it availed itself of an ecclesiastical agitation to take an important step forward in the organization of national education. The difficulty inherent in such a measure was the admitted difficulty of securing public control, as a necessary concomitant of public maintenance, without jeopardizing or destroying the special religious character of the voluntary schools. The act of 1902 sought to solve this problem, so difficult of solution under democratic conditions, upon the principle of a division of financial responsibility justifying a corresponding division of control between the voluntary managers and the local authority. The constitution of the local authority to be charged not only with the delicate duty of participating in the dual control of the voluntary public elementary schools, but also with the responsible task of co-ordinating public higher with public elementary education, presented features of controversy only less formidable than the purely religious question itself. Boldly reversing the settlement of 1870, the act of 1902 abolished the parochial school boards, and with them the system of ad hoc election, and made the county councils, already seised of technical and secondary education under the Technical Instruction Acts, the local authorities for all forms of education, thus reverting to the solution propounded by Conservative statesmanship in the middle period of the 19th century and endorsed by an important memorandum contributed by Lord Sandford (formerly permanent secretary of the Education Department) to the report of the Cross Commission. The unquestionable niggardliness and inefficiency of many small country school boards, which had been foretold by the prescience of the Newcastle Commissioners, constituted the chief educational argument for the selection of the wider area so far as the interests of elementary education alone were concerned. On the other hand, experience has shown that in the rural districts against the undoubted gain in general efficiency there must be set a certain loss on account of the decay of local and personal interest consequent upon the centralization of authority in the hands of the county councils. Account, too, must be taken of the comparative heaviness with which a uniform county rate is apt to press upon sparsely populated agricultural parishes, especially in counties which include considerable industrial districts. Notwithstanding these minor drawbacks, it may be said that upon the whole the best opinion has endorsed the policy of 1902 with respect to the area of administration. At any rate it has been necessary to recognize the impracticability of disestablishing the strongly organized provincial authorities which the act brought into being, and proposals for amendment in this particular have been confined to schemes, favoured in principle by all parties, for securing some measure of decentralization and delegation of powers calculated to restore and stimulate local interest without derogating from the financial and administrative responsibility of the county council.
The principal provisions of the act of 1902 may be summarized as follows:—
Part I. Local Education Authority. The council of every county and of every county borough is the local education authority for the purposes of the act, i.e. for both higher and elementary education, but for the purpose of elementary Act of 1902, summary of provisions. education autonomous powers are conferred upon boroughs with a population of over 10,000, and urban districts with a population of over 20,000 (§ 1).
Part II. Higher Education. “The L.E.A. (local education authority) shall consider the educational needs of their area and take such steps as seem to them desirable, after consultation with the Board of Education, to supply or aid the supply of education other than elementary, and to promote the general co-ordination of all forms of education.” For this purpose the application of the money received by the local authority under the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act 1890, heretofore optional, is made compulsory, and power is given to levy a rate which in the case of a county is not to exceed two pence in the pound, or such higher rate as the county council with the consent of the Local Government Board may fix (§ 2). Concurrent powers are given to the councils of non-county boroughs and urban districts, with the limit of a penny rate (§ 3). A council must not require any particular form of religious instruction or observance, but the usual conscience clause in schools, colleges, or hostels provided by the council is modified by a provision for facilities for any particular religious instruction to be given at the request of parents of scholars at such times and under such conditions as the council think desirable, otherwise than at the cost of the council (§ 4).
Part III. Elementary Education. (1) Powers and duties. School boards and school attendance committees are abolished and their powers and duties are transferred to the L.E.A., who are also to be responsible for and have the control of all secular instruction in public elementary schools not provided by them (§ 5).
(2) Management of schools. (a) For public elementary schools provided by the L.E.A. (now officially styled “council schools”): (1) in counties, there is to be a body of six managers, viz. four appointed by the county council and two by the borough or urban district council, or parish council or parish meeting as the case may be, called in the act the minor local authority; (2) in non-county areas, the L.E.A. (being the borough or urban district council) may, if they think fit, appoint a body of managers consisting of such number as they may determine (§ 6 ).
(b) For schools not provided by the L.E.A. (voluntary schools) the act directs that there shall be a body of six managers, of whom four are to be “foundation managers,” and two are to be appointed as follows: in counties, one by the L.E.A. and one by the minor local authority, and in autonomous boroughs or urban districts both by the borough or urban district council (§ 6 ). Directions for the appointment of foundation managers are given by § 11, which in effect declares that, unless the trust deed of the school provides for the appointment of the required number, the foundation managers must be appointed under an order of the Board of Education, in making which the board are to have regard to the ownership of the school building and to the principles on which the education given in the school had been conducted in the past. It was found necessary for the board to make over 11,000 of these orders, a heavy task which was rendered the more formidable by the controversial character of the questions arising upon trust deeds as to the mode of appointment and the qualifications of managers.
(3) Maintenance of schools (§ 7). (a) Powers. The L.E.A. are required to maintain and keep efficient all public elementary schools which were necessary (i.e. which, as defined by § 9, have an average attendance of not less than thirty), under certain specified conditions, of which the most material are as follows. The managers must carry out the directions of the L.E.A. as to the secular instruction to be given in the school, including any directions with respect to the number and educational qualifications of the teachers, and for the dismissal of any teacher on educational grounds (§ 7  [a]). The consent of the L.E.A. is required to the appointment of teachers, but that consent may not be withheld except on educational grounds; and the consent of the authority is also required to the dismissal of a teacher unless the dismissal is on grounds connected with the giving of religious instruction (§7  [c]).
(b) Liabilities. The managers are required to provide the school premises to the L.E.A. for use as a public elementary school free of charge, except that a rent is payable for the teacher’s residence where one exists; and the managers are further required out of funds provided by them to keep the school premises in good repair and to make such alterations and improvements in the buildings as might reasonably be required by the L.E.A. On the other hand, the L.E.A. are required to make good such damage as they consider to be due to fair wear and tear of rooms used by them (§ 7  [d]).
Thus, by virtue of the teacher’s house rent and the wear-and-tear allowance the voluntary managers secured a valuable set-off against the cost of ordinary repairs.
Any question arising under this section (§ 7) between the L.E.A. and the managers of a voluntary school is to be determined by the Board of Education (§ 7 ).
It is further provided with respect to teachers in voluntary schools that assistant teachers and pupil teachers may be appointed “if it is thought fit” without reference to religious creed and denomination, and in any case in which there are more candidates for the post of pupil teacher than there are places to be filled, the appointment is to be made by the L.E.A. (§ 7. ).
A provision, § 7 (6), known from the name of its author (d. 1908), Colonel Kenyon Slaney, M.P., as the Kenyon-Slaney clause, attracted considerable attention and formed the subject of much ecclesiastical controversy during the passage of the bill through parliament. The Kenyon-Slaney clause requires the religious instruction in voluntary schools to be in accordance with the provisions (if any) of the trust deed, but also to be under the control of the managers as a whole, whereas the common form of trust deed of the National Society reserves the control of religious instruction to the clergyman, whilst the clause was equally in conflict with the well-known sacerdotal principles of the Roman Catholic Church. Thus the clause represented a revival, as did the questions with respect to foundation managers, of the early controversy over the management clauses of the Committee of Council on Education. Its special interest lies, not so much in its intrinsic importance, as in the precedent it affords, specially notable as emanating from a Conservative source, for the overruling of trust deeds upon grounds of public policy. By way of saving another familiar provision of the trust deeds, a proviso to the Kenyon-Slaney clause reserves the existing trust-deed rights of appeal to the bishop or other denominational authority as to the character of the religious instruction.
Provision of New Schools.—New schools may be provided either by the L.E.A. or any other persons, subject to the issue of three months’ public notice, and to a right of appeal on the part of the managers of any existing school, the L.E.A. (in the case of proposed voluntary schools) or any ten ratepayers of the district, to the Board of Education on the ground that the proposed school is not required, or that a school provided by the L.E.A., or not so provided, as the case might be, is better suited to meet the wants of the district than the proposed school. Any enlargement of a public elementary school which in the opinion of the Board of Education is such as to amount to the provision of a new school is to be so treated for the purposes of the section, and any transfer of a school to or from the L.E.A. must be treated as the provision of a new school. In deciding appeals as to new schools and in determining a case of dispute whether a school was necessary or not, the board are directed to have regard to the interest of secular instruction, the wishes of parents as to the education of children, and the economy of the rates, but existing schools are not to be considered unnecessary if the average attendance is not less than thirty (§§ 8-9). The last-mentioned canons have played a prominent part in subsequent discussions. Experience of these sections has shown that though it is extremely difficult to set up new voluntary schools in face of opposition from the L.E.A., such opposition is rarely offered or pressed where any really strong local demand is shown to exist.
Aid Grant.—Section 10 provides a new aid grant payable to the L.E.A. in respect of the number of scholars in average attendance in schools maintained by them. This new grant, calculated by an elaborate method which need not here be set out, took the place of the grants under the Voluntary Schools Act 1897, and § 97 of the act of 1870 as amended by the Elementary Education Act 1897.
Education Committees.—The constitution of education committees is dealt with by § 17. All councils having powers under the act, except those having concurrent powers as to higher education only, must establish education committees in accordance with schemes made by the councils and approved by the Board of Education (§ 17 ). A scheme may provide for more than one education committee under a single council, but before approving such a scheme the board must satisfy themselves that due regard is paid to the importance of the general co-ordination of all forms of education (§ 17 ). All matters relating to the exercise by a council of their powers under the act, except the power of raising a rate or borrowing money, stand referred to the education committee; the council may also delegate to the education committee any of their powers other than financial powers as above (§ 17 ). Every scheme must provide (a) for the appointment of a majority of the committee by the council, the persons so appointed to be persons who are members of the council unless in the case of a county the council otherwise determine; (b) for the appointment by the council, on the nomination or recommendation, where it appears desirable, of other bodies (including associations of voluntary schools) of persons of experience in education, and of persons acquainted with the needs of the various kinds of schools in the area of the council; (c) for the inclusion of women. Provision was also made (d) for the representation in the first instance of members of existing school boards (§ 17 ).
Expenses.—All parliamentary grants are made payable to the L.E.A. instead of as previously to the managers (§ 18 ). The county council must charge a proportion of all capital expenditure and liabilities, including rent, on account of the provision or improvement of any public elementary school on the parish or parishes which in the opinion of the council are served by the school, such proportion to be not less than one-half or more than three-fourths as the council think fit (§ 18  [c] [d]). The county council may also if they think fit charge on the parishes benefited any expenses incurred with respect to education other than elementary (§ 18  [a]).
Endowments.—The act introduced a new principle into the administration of endowments by directing that their income so far as necessarily applicable in any case for those purposes of a public elementary school for which the local authority are liable must be paid to that authority for the relief of the parochial rate (§ 13). As the result of technicalities of legal interpretation the section has been found to have in practice a narrower scope than had been generally anticipated.
The act of 1902 was extended to London by a separate act in 1903, containing certain special provisions of only minor importance.
The hostility of Nonconformists to the extension of rate-aid to denominational schools led to the organization upon a considerable scale of what became known as the “Passive Resistance” movement, a number of Nonconformist “Passive resistance” to 1902 act. Default Act 1904. rate-payers refusing to pay the education rate on the ground that their consciences forbade their supporting the religious teaching in denominational schools; and their willingness to become subject to distraint and consequent inconveniences rather than pay the rates became the foundation of a widespread political campaign. In Wales, where in the rural districts the schools were commonly Anglican whilst the population was Nonconformist, particular difficulties arose in administering the act in consequence of the hostile attitude of the county authorities. Friction likewise manifested itself in one or two English areas, which reflected militant Nonconformist views. Accordingly the government passed the Local Education (Local Authority Default) Act 1904, empowering the Board of Education, in the case of default by the local authority, to make payments direct to the managers of the school and to deduct the amount from the sums payable to the defaulting authority on account of parliamentary grants.
When the liberal party came into power again in 1906, Mr Birrell as president of the Board of Education in Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s administration introduced a bill to amend the Education Acts 1902-1903, with Bill of 1906. the object of securing full public control of all rate-aided schools and the appointment of teachers without reference to religious belief. The bill was of a highly complex character; its principal features were,—compulsory transfer of existing voluntary schools to the local authority, facilities for the giving of denominational instruction in transferred schools out of school hours by persons other than the regular teachers, and the recognition in populous districts, upon the demand of parents, of special publicly maintained schools in which denominational teaching could be included in the curriculum; the latter schools might (according to the bill as finally amended) in the last resort, i.e. if the local authority refused to maintain them, be recognized as state-aided schools. The bill encountered strong opposition from Anglicans and Catholics (though the Catholic Irish members finally voted for it as amended); it passed the House of Commons by a large majority, but after unavailing attempts at compromise upon the amendments introduced in the House of Lords, the two Houses failed to agree and the measure was lost.
Mr Birrell was soon transferred to another office, and nothing more was done to amend the act of 1902 till early in the session of 1908, his successor Mr McKenna introduced a bill based on what was known as “contracting out.” In Bills of 1908. single-school parishes the existing schools were to be compulsorily transferred, subject to the grant of denominational facilities out of school hours; elsewhere a sufficiency of places in schools with Cowper-Temple teaching, which the bill proposed to make compulsory in all provided schools, must be supplied by the local authority, while existing voluntary schools might become state-aided schools upon terms of receiving a grant of 47s. per head. The bill was accompanied by a financial scheme for a new system of allocating the parliamentary grant. In view of the improbability of its passing into law the bill was not pressed beyond the stage of second reading. Meanwhile, when Mr Asquith reorganized the cabinet, Mr Runciman succeeded Mr McKenna at the education office, and in the autumn he introduced a fresh measure framed as the result of negotiations between the government and the archbishop of Canterbury (Dr Randall Davidson) and designed to be passed rapidly through parliament by consent of all parties. Mr Runciman’s bill, like his predecessor’s, was based upon the principle of compulsory transfer in single-school parishes and contracting out elsewhere, but it gave a right of entry for denominational teaching on two days a week during school hours in all council schools whether transferred voluntary schools or otherwise, with liberty to employ for this purpose assistant teachers, but not (save temporarily at first in transferred schools) head teachers. Provision was also made for the payment of a small rent which would be applicable for or towards the cost of the denominational instruction. Unfortunately, the compromise failed at the last moment for want of agreement as to the financial terms of “contracting out,” the government offering 50s. per head and the Church demanding 7s. more. It is obvious that “contracting out” is open to serious objection upon educational and economic grounds, and that if resorted to upon any very considerable scale it would involve a disruption of the public elementary system, and a duplication of schools which would constitute a wasteful drain upon the national exchequer. Upon such a system, therefore, some check is necessary, and, once decided that the check should take the form of financial pressure, rather than request of parents as in Mr Birrell’s bill, or some form of administrative control, the question of pecuniary terms became one of principle and not merely of financial detail. Moreover, the difficulty of adjusting differences was intensified by the opposition of the extremists on either side, which daily gathered force, and the bill was withdrawn by the government when in committee of the House of Commons. The conciliatory efforts of Mr Runciman and Dr Randall Davidson revealed the existence of a considerable body of influential opinion among all schools of thought in favour of a national compromise, and the proposals embodied in the bill marked on the part both of Churchmen and Nonconformists important concessions to each other’s views, engendering reasonable hopes of an ultimate settlement being reached at no distant date.
Two subsidiary points as regards educational machinery have to be noted. The Education (Provision of Meals) Act 1906 enabled local education authorities to aid voluntary agencies in the provision of meals for children attending Feeding of school children. public elementary schools, and in certain cases with the consent of the Board of Education to defray the cost of the food themselves. In 1907-1908 forty, and in 1908-1909 seventy-five authorities in England and Wales were authorized by the board to expend moneys from the rates on food under this act. In addition, a number of authorities expended funds on equipment and service.
In 1907 an uncontroversial act entitled the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act, besides dealing with various matters of technical and administrative detail, laid upon local education authorities the new duty of providing for Medical inspection. the medical inspection of all children attending public elementary schools. In connexion with this act the Board of Education established a medical department to advise and assist them in supervising local education authorities in carrying out their statutory duties in this regard. The whole departure is significant of the new sense of the importance of physical culture and hygiene which has been one of the remarkable features in recent educational developments.
Sir Joshua Fitch, in his article on education in the 10th edition of this work, describes how experience had led the Education Department to abandon the system of payment by results, to establish “in place of testing General progress in elementary education. the proficiency of individual scholars, ... one summary estimate of the work of the school; in place of an annual examination, occasional inspection without notice; in place of a variable grant dependent on a report in detail on the several subjects of instruction and on particular educational merits and defects, one block grant payable to all schools alike.” He at the same time expressed some misgiving as to the effect of “so large a relaxation of the conditions by which it had hitherto been sought to secure accuracy and thoroughness in teaching.” The act of 1902, by placing secular education in public elementary schools under the control of strongly organized local education authorities may be said to have largely removed such dangers as were to be apprehended from the relaxation in question. Thus it was possible for the Board of Education in the code of 1904 to abolish the last traces of the system of payment by results, by setting forth (in the language of their report for 1903-1904) “a properly co-ordinated curriculum suitable to the needs of the children, with an indication of the relation which the various subjects of instruction should bear to each other, in place of the relatively haphazard list of possible branches of knowledge which were formerly presented to the choice of individual schools or authorities.” In the new code also the board for the first time endeavoured to state for the guidance of teachers and parents the proper aim of the public elementary school, laying stress upon that element of the training of character which the system of payment by results had so unfortunately obscured. The new spirit was strikingly manifested in the volume of Suggestions for the Considerations of Teachers, issued by the Board of Education in 1905. This volume represented a notable attempt to connect administration with educational theory, without in any way seeking to crush individual initiative, or to impose a bureaucratic uniformity of method upon those engaged in the actual work of the schools. Apprehension of the true aim of elementary education as essentially and primarily a preparation for practical life has led to a corresponding development of instruction of a practical character, observation lessons and nature study being treated as a necessary element in the curriculum, while handicraft and gardening, and domestic subjects (for girls), are encouraged by special grants. Particular attention has been bestowed both by the central and local authorities upon the problem of rural instruction, and much has been done in many areas to bring the schools into closer relations with the needs of agricultural and rural life generally. In this way the old and perhaps not altogether ill-founded distrust of popular education as tending to unfit the working classes for industrial pursuits is being broken down and a public opinion more favourable to educational progress in the widest sense is being created.
According to the official returns for 1907-1908, the total number of scholars on the registers (England only) was as follows:—council schools, 2,991,741; voluntary schools, 2,566,030; total, 5,557,771, and the total attendance upon which grant was paid was 4,928,659. The percentage of actual average attendance to average number on the registers was 88.50%. The parliamentary grant (England and Wales) for elementary schools, other than higher elementary, amounted to £11,023,433.
The development of higher elementary education in England is now proceeding very much upon the lines that have been noted in France. The old higher-grade board-schools (declared illegal under the Elementary Education Acts Higher elementary schools. by the judgment in the case of Rex v. Cockerton in 1901, and legalized temporarily by an act passed for the purpose in the same year) were mostly converted into municipal secondary schools under the act of 1902. In the succeeding years provision was made in the code for higher elementary schools of a specialized and technical type intended only for industrial districts. In 1906, as the result of the recommendations of the Consultative Committee, a new type of higher elementary school was admitted for children over twelve, corresponding generally to the French école primaire supérieure, described as having “for its object the development of the education given in the ordinary public elementary school, and the provision of special instruction bearing on the future occupations of the scholars, whether boys or girls.” It may be possible to supplement this system in the rural areas to some extent by “higher tops” to the ordinary elementary schools in cases where it is not practicable to establish a fully organised higher elementary school; but for such “higher tops” no central grant is available. The total number of scholars upon the registers of higher elementary schools (England) in 1907-1908 was: New Type, 3178 (against 2715 in the previous year); Old Type, 4492 (against 5866 in the previous year).
The total expenditure (exclusive of capital outlay) of the local authorities (1906-1907) in England only upon elementary education, including “industrial” and “special” schools, was £19,776,733, of which (a) £10,408,242 Expenditure on elementary education. was met by the ordinary parliamentary grant, and (b) £8,930,468 was the balance required to be met by rates, the difference being represented by receipts from various sources. The average cost per child of elementary schools in England and Wales (excluding London) may be taken at £3 (including London £3, 4s. 10d.), and the average central grant (excluding grants for special purposes) at 41s., leaving 19s. to be raised locally.
The training of teachers for the two great branches of public education, elementary and secondary respectively, is an important part of the general administrative problem. Since the middle of the 19th century there has been Preliminary training of elementary teachers. a great development of public opinion with regard to their professional qualifications. Sir Joshua Fitch (Ency. Brit. 10th ed.) pointed out that the full appreciation of the importance of training began at the lower end of the social scale. Shuttleworth and Tufnell in 1846 urged the necessity of special training for the primary teacher, and hoped to establish State Training Colleges to supply this want; but the one college at Battersea which was founded as an experiment was soon transferred to the National Society (the “National Society for educating the poor in the principles of the Established Church”: founded in 1811). Before this, Bell and Lancaster had made arrangements in their model schools for the reception of a few young people to learn the system by practice. In Glasgow, David Stow, who founded in 1826 the Normal Seminary which afterwards became the Free Church College, was one of the first to insist on the need of systematic professional preparation. The religious bodies in England, notably the Established Church, availed themselves promptly of the failure of the central government, and a number of diocesan colleges for men, and separately for women, were gradually established. In 1854 the British and Foreign School Society (founded 1808) placed their institutes at the Borough Road and Stockwell on a collegiate footing, and subsequently founded other colleges at Swansea, Bangor, Darlington and Saffron Walden; the Roman Catholic Church provided two for women and one for men; and the Wesleyans two, one for each sex. The new provincial colleges of university rank were invited by the Education Department to attach normal classes to their ordinary course and to make provision for special training and suitable practice in schools for those students who desired to become teachers. Thus the government came to recognize two kinds of training schools—the residential colleges of the old type and the day colleges attached to institutions of university rank; both were subsidized by grants from the Treasury, and regularly inspected. As the need of special training for teachers became further recognized by the consideration of the same question as regards teachers in higher and intermediate schools (Cambridge instituting in 1879 examinations for a teacher’s diploma, and other universities providing courses for secondary as well as primary teachers, and establishing professorships of education), the attitude of the government, i.e. the Board of Education, towards the problem gradually became more and more a subject of controversy and of public interest, as indicated by the clause in the Act of 1899 providing for a public registration of qualified teachers and for the gradual elimination from the profession of those who were unqualified. And meanwhile the increased solidarity of the National Union of Teachers (founded in 1870), the trade union, so to speak, of the teachers, brought an important body of professional opinion to bear on the discussion of their own interests.
The question of the preliminary education of elementary teachers had after some years of discussion reached a critical stage in 1909. The history of pupil teachership as a method of concurrent instruction and employment shows that it was in its inception something in the nature of a makeshift; the ideal placed before local education authorities in the recent regulations and reports of the Board of Education is the alternative system whereby with the aid of national bursaries (instituted in 1907) “the general education of future teachers may be continued in secondary schools until the age of seventeen or eighteen, and all attempts to obtain a practical experience of elementary school work may be deferred until the training college is entered, or at least until an examination making a natural break in that general education and qualifying for an admission to a training college has been passed.” Under the revised pupil-teacher system established by the regulations of 1903 provision is made for the instruction of pupil teachers in centres which as far as possible are attached to secondary schools receiving grants from the Board of Education under the regulations for secondary schools, about two-thirds of the secondary schools on the grant list undertaking this work. Accordingly, the result of recent changes is to modify the old system in two ways: first by providing the alternative of a full course of secondary education, secondly by associating pupil teachership itself as far as possible with part-time attendance at a secondary school. The total number of pupil teachers recognized during the year 1907-1908 was 20,571, and of these 9770 were in centres forming integral parts of secondary schools. The number of bursars who passed the leaving examination was 1486.
One of the principal difficulties which confronted the state and the local authorities in their task of organizing an improved system of public education under the act of 1902 lay in the deficiency of training colleges in view of Training colleges. the increased number of teachers. Local authorities naturally hesitated to burden themselves with the cost of providing such institutions in view of the fact that there is nothing to prevent teachers trained at great expense by one authority taking service under a less public-spirited authority who had contributed nothing to such training; hence a widespread feeling that the provision of training colleges should be undertaken by the state as a matter of national concern. Under these circumstances a new system of building grants in aid of the establishment of training colleges was instituted in 1905. In 1906 these grants were raised from 25 to 75% of the capital expenditure, but were limited to colleges provided by local authorities. A further difficulty in view of the municipalization of education arose from the fact that the majority of the residential colleges were in the hands of denominational trusts which did not admit a conscience clause. Under the presidency of Mr McKenna in 1907, the Board of Education, in regulations which excited much controversy, “with a view to throwing open as far as possible the advantages of a course of training in colleges supported mainly by public funds to all students who are qualified to profit by it irrespective of religious creed or social status,” laid down that the application of a candidate might in no circumstances be rejected on any religious ground, nor on the ground of social antecedents or the like. The same regulations provided that no new training colleges would be recognized except on terms of compliance with certain conditions as to freedom from denominational restrictions or requirements. The obligation as to religious exemptions has since been limited to 50% of the admissions. There were in attendance (Statistics, England, 1907-1908) in the various colleges, 6561 women and 2835 men, of whom 1619 women and 335 men were in colleges provided by local education authorities. The grants made by the Board of Education for training colleges were as follows: maintenance grants £383,851; building grants £45,000. These figures include Wales.
The fear has been widely entertained that a considerable part of the national expenditure upon elementary education is wasted for want of an effective system of continuative instruction to be given out of working hours to adolescents engaged in Continuative education. industrial employment. The whole subject was exhaustively treated by the report in 1909 of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education. This report seeks to base an efficient continuative system upon the improvement of elementary education by reducing the size of the classes in the elementary schools upon the lines now laid down by the new staffing regulations of 1909; by increasing the amount of instruction in hand-work with a view to rendering the curriculum less bookish and more efficient as a training for industrial and agricultural life; and by legislation to reform the system of half-time attendance and raise the age of compulsory attendance to thirteen and ultimately fourteen. Upon the foundation of an improved and prolonged elementary education there would be reared a superstructure of continuative schools or classes, attendance at which up to seventeen would be compulsory under bye-laws adoptive locally at the option of the local education authorities. In 1906-1907 about 21 per thousand of the population of England and Wales attended evening schools and classes inspected by the Board of Education, and grant amounting to £361,596 was paid in respect of 440,718 regular attendants.
The most marked progress has undoubtedly been in secondary education, and in no direction has the act of 1902 proved more fruitful. At the end of the 19th century secondary instruction in England was still provided chiefly by Secondary education. endowed grammar-schools, by proprietary schools established by religious bodies or joint-stock companies, and by private enterprise. No public provision was made for secondary education as such; what financial assistance was forthcoming from municipal sources was given indirectly under cover of the grants under the Technical Instruction Acts, while in the administration of central grants for the first years of the working of the Board of Education Act 1899, no absolute differentiation between secondary and technological functions was recognized. The establishment of local authorities with direct duties in respect of secondary education, and the reorganization of the central office with reference to the three branches of education, elementary, secondary and technological, rendered possible for the first time an adequate treatment of the problem of public secondary education as a whole. “The regulations for secondary schools,” says the prefatory memorandum to the regulations of the Board of Education, “grew up round the old provisions of the Directory of the Science and Art Department. Detached science classes were gradually built up into schools of science. Schools of science were subsequently widened into schools of what was known as the ‘Division A’ type, providing a course of instruction in science in connexion with, and as part of, a course of general education. Aid was afterwards extended to schools of the ‘Division B’ type in which science did not form the preponderating element of the instruction given. In 1904 the board recast the regulations so as to bring all schools aided by grants within the general definition of a school offering a general education up to and beyond the age of sixteen through a complete graded course of instruction, the object of which should be to develop all the faculties, and to form the habit of exercising them.”
Two main tendencies distinguish the recent development: on the one hand the tendency to municipalization, or at least to the establishment of public control; on the other hand the tendency (marked especially by the regulations of 1907) to greater elasticity in regard to curricula, and so to the freer encouragement of local initiative and local effort.
In 1907 the government of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman placed greatly increased funds at the disposal of the Board of Education for the purpose of secondary education. The regulations under which the increased grant was administered imposed conditions in respect of freedom from denominational restrictions or requirements, representative local control, and accessibility to all classes of the people, which, like the analogous rules with regard to training colleges, roused considerable controversy. With regard to religious instruction, the requirement was made that no catechism or formulary distinctive of any particular religious denomination might be taught in the school except upon the request in writing of the parent or guardian and at the cost of funds other than grants of public money. Power was at the same time reserved to the board to waive the new conditions in the event of the local education authority passing a resolution that the school was in their view required as part of the secondary school provision for their area, and that the conditions, or one or more of them, might be waived with advantage in view of the educational needs of the area. It will be noticed that one effect of the regulations (as of the training college regulations) was to recognize as a kind of established religion those elements of Christianity which are shared in common by the various Protestant churches, according to the system of Lancaster and the Cowper-Temple compromise. Normally schools are required to provide 25% of free places for scholars from public elementary schools, and, with a view to encouraging the transference of children from the public elementary school at an early age, a grant of £2 was made payable on account of ex-public elementary scholars between ten and twelve years of age. The full scale of grants is £2 for ex-public elementary scholars between ten and twelve, and £5 for scholars between twelve and eighteen. To schools previously recognized and failing to comply with the new conditions, grant may be paid on the lower scale of £2 and £2, 10s. respectively.
Secondary school grants are assessed upon average attendance, and efficiency is guaranteed by inspection and not by individual examination. All recognized schools must provide at least the substantial equivalent of the four-years’ course formerly required, and recognition is withheld or withdrawn if an adequate number of the scholars do not remain at least four years in the school, or do not remain up to sixteen; in rural areas, however, and small towns, a school life of three years and a leaving age of fifteen may be accepted. “The board are now in a position, through their inspectorate, to keep a watch and exercise a guidance which were previously impossible over the planning and working of school curricula. Detailed reports following upon full inspections, and the more constant if less obvious influence exercised through informal visits, conferences, reports and suggestions, may now be relied upon to guard against the risks of one-sided education, of ill-balanced schemes of instruction, and of premature or excessive specialization” (Report of Board of Education, 1906-1907, page 68). The curriculum must provide instruction duly graded and duly continuous, in the English language and literature, in geography and history, in mathematics, science and drawing, and in at least one language other than English. Where two languages other than English are taken, Latin must ordinarily be one. Provision must be made for organized games, physical exercises and manual instruction, and in girls’ schools science and mathematics other than arithmetic may be replaced by an approved scheme of practical housewifery for girls over fifteen. The total number of secondary schools recognized for grant (Statistics, 1907-1908) was 736, of which only 220 were directly provided by local authorities. The number of pupils in attendance was 68,104 boys and 56,359 girls, total 124,463. The government grants for 1907-1908 amounted to £320,873 besides grants from local authorities.
Notwithstanding the important differences which exist between the social and especially the religious conditions of England and Wales respectively, Wales continued to be treated as one with England for purposes of educational administration down to quite recent years. Towards the end of the 19th century the striking revival of Welsh nationality, in itself largely an educational and a literary movement, led to a spontaneous demand among the Welsh people for the organization of a national system of higher education. In accordance with the recommendations of a special royal commission the Welsh Intermediate Education Act passed in 1889 provided for the creation in every county in Wales (including Monmouthshire) of joint education committees consisting of three nominees of the county council and two nominees of the lord president of the council. To these committees were entrusted the duties of framing (under the Charity Commissioners) schemes for the establishment of intermediate and technical schools and for the application of endowments, and for administering a ½d. county rate, which was supplemented by a treasury grant not exceeding the amount raised by the rate. Certain supervisory functions were entrusted to a Central Education Board, to which are committed the duties of inspection and examination. The joint education committees have now (except for the purpose of framing schemes for endowments) been superseded by the local education authorities under the act of 1902. The public assistance afforded to secondary education in Wales under the Intermediate Act is supplemented by the grants of the Board of Education, and the Board’s revised Secondary School Regulations were applied to Wales in 1908. There were (1907-1908) 92 county secondary schools in Wales administered under schemes made under the Welsh Intermediate Act, attended by 6235 boys and 6727 girls, total 12,962; and 12 other secondary schools, of which 8 were provided by local authorities. The total attendance at all secondary schools was 13,615, viz. 6819 boys and 6796 girls. The Board of Education grant amounted to £31,090. The expenditure of the local authorities for the year 1906-1907 was £85,242.
The number of scholars on the registers of ordinary public elementary schools in Wales was (Statistics, 1907-1908), in council schools 330,413, and in voluntary schools 100,290, total 430,703. The percentage of average attendance was 86.98. The ordinary parliamentary grant (1906-1907) was £794,161, and the net expenditure of local authorities £561,234.
In 1907 a Welsh department of the Board of Education was established with a permanent secretary and a chief inspector, each responsible directly to the president. A movement was in progress in Wales in 1908-1909 for the creation of a national council of education under an independent minister, but this change could in any case only be effected by legislation; and meanwhile the special religious and social conditions in Wales caused administrative difficulties in working an act (that of 1902) primarily designed to meet those prevailing in England.
History.—The first white settlers who came to North America were typical representatives of those European peoples who had made more progress in civilization than any other in the world. Those settlers, in particular those Beginnings. from England and from Holland, brought with them the most advanced ideas of the time on the subject of education. The conditions of life in the New World emphasized the need of schools and colleges, and among the earliest public acts of the settlers were provisions to establish them. The steps taken between 1619 and 1622 to provide schools for the colony of Virginia were frustrated by the Indian war which broke out in the latter year, and were never successfully renewed during the colonial period. In New York, where the influence of the Dutch was at first predominant, elementary schools were maintained at the public expense, and were intended for the education of all classes of the population. This policy reflected the very advanced views as to public elementary education which were then held in the Netherlands. The assumption of control in the colony of New York by the English was a distinct check to the development of public elementary education, and little or no further progress was made until after the Revolution. The most systematic educational policy was pursued in the colony of Massachusetts. As early as 1635, five years after it was founded, the town of Boston took action to the end that “our brother Philemon Pormort shall be entreated to become schoolmaster for the teaching and nurturing children with us.” The General Court of the colony in 1636 made the first appropriation for what was to become Harvard College, taking its name in honour of the minister, John Harvard, who died in 1638, leaving his library and one-half of his property, having a value of £800, to the new institution. The amount of this appropriation of 1636 (£400) was remarkable in that it was probably equal to the whole colony tax for a year. In 1642 followed a legislative act which, while saying nothing of schools, gave to the selectmen in every town power to oversee both the education and the employment of children. It is made the duty of the selectmen to see that the children can read and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of the country, and that they are put to some useful work.
Five years later, in 1647, was enacted the law which is not only the real foundation of the Massachusetts school system, but the type of later legislation throughout the United States. This epoch-making act, the first of its kind in the world, represented the public opinion of a colony of about 20,000 persons, living in thirty towns. It required every town of fifty house-holders to establish a school, the master of which should be paid either by the parents of the children taught or by public tax, as the majority of the town committee might decide; and it further required every town of one hundred families or house-holders to set up a grammar school in which pupils might be prepared for the “University,” as the new institution at Cambridge was designated. Moreover, a penalty was attached to neglect of this legislative requirement, in the form of a fine to be devoted to the maintenance of the nearest school. Horace Mann said of the act of 1647: “It is impossible for us adequately to conceive the boldness of the measure, which aimed at universal education through the establishment of free schools. As a fact it had no precedent in the world’s history; and, as a theory, it could have been refuted and silenced by a more formidable array of argument and experience than was ever marshalled against any other institution of human origin. But time has ratified its soundness. Two centuries of successful operation now proclaim it to be as wise as it was courageous, and as beneficent as it was disinterested.” The significance of these acts of 1642 and 1647 is that they foreshadow the whole American system of education, including elementary schools, secondary schools and colleges, and that they indicate the principles upon which that system rests. These principles as summarized by George H. Martin in his Evolution of the Massachusetts Public School System are the following:—(1) The universal education of youth is essential to the well-being of the state. (2) The obligation to furnish this education rests primarily upon the parent. (3) The state has a right to enforce this obligation. (4) The state may fix a standard which shall determine the kind of education and the minimum amount. (5) Public money raised by general tax may be used to provide such education as the state requires. The tax may be general, though the school attendance is not. (6) Education higher than the rudiments may be supplied by the state. Opportunity must be provided at the public expense for youths who wish to be fitted for college. These principles have now found expression in the public acts of every state, and upon them education in the United States is founded.
Despite the praiseworthy attempts made in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to develop schools and school systems, very little was accomplished in those colonies which was permanent. The sentiment in the more southern Development. colonies was, as a rule, unfriendly to free schools, and nothing of importance was attempted in that section of the country until the time of Thomas Jefferson. Through religious zeal or philanthropy colleges were founded as far south as Virginia, and no fewer than ten of these institutions were in operation in 1776. Their present names and the dates of their foundation are: Harvard University, Massachusetts (1636); College of William and Mary, Virginia (1693); Yale University, Connecticut (1701); Princeton University, New Jersey (1746); Washington and Lee University, Virginia (1749); University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania (1749); Columbia University, New York (1754); Brown University, Rhode Island (1764); Rutgers College, New Jersey (1766); and Dartmouth College, New Hampshire (1769). In the colleges the ecclesiastical spirit was at first almost uniformly dominant. The greater number of their students were preparing for the ministry in some one of the branches of the Protestant Church. These facts caused the grammar schools to take on more and more the character of college-preparatory schools; and when this was brought about they supplied the educational needs of but one portion of the community. As time passed, the interdependence of governmental and ecclesiastical interests began to weaken in the colonies, and there arose among those who represented the new secularizing tendency a distrust of the colleges and their influence. This gave rise to a new and influential type of school, the academy, which took its name from the secondary schools established in England by the dissenting religious bodies during the latter part of the seventeenth century at the suggestion of Milton. These academies were intended to give an education which was thought to be more practical than that offered by the colleges, and they drew their students from the so-called middle classes of society. The older academies were usually endowed institutions, organized under the control of religious organizations or of self-perpetuating boards of trustees. Their programme of studies was less restricted than that of the grammar schools, and they gave new emphasis to the study of the English language and its literature, of mathematics and of the new sciences of nature. For two generations the academies were a most beneficent factor in American education, and they supplied a large number of the better-prepared teachers for work in other schools. These schools were in a sense public in that they were chartered, but they were not directly under public control in their management. Early in the 19th century there arose a well-defined demand for public secondary schools—high schools, as they are popularly known. They were the direct outgrowth of the elementary school system. Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York were the first of the large cities to establish schools of this type, and they spread rapidly. These public secondary schools met with opposition, however, springing partly from the friends of the academies, and partly from those who held that governmental agency should be restricted to the field of elementary education. The legal questions raised were settled by a decision of the supreme court of Michigan, which contained these words: “Neither in our state policy, in our constitution, nor in our laws do we find the primary school districts restricted in the branches of knowledge which their officers may cause to be taught, or the grade of instruction that may be given, if their voters consent, in regular form, to bear the expense and raise the taxes for the purpose.” This decision gave marked impetus to the development of public secondary or high schools, and they have increased rapidly in number. The academies have relatively declined, and in the Western states are almost unknown.
Meanwhile the elementary school system had grown rapidly. The school district, the smallest civil division, was created in Connecticut in 1701, in Rhode Island about 1750, and in Massachusetts in 1789. From the point of view of efficient, well-supported schools, it has been felt since the time of Horace Mann that the substitution of the small school district for the town as the unit of school administration was a mistake. Yet the school district has exercised a profound influence for good upon the American people. In New York state, for example, there were in 1900 over eleven thousand school districts, and in Illinois over twelve thousand. The districts are small in extent and often sparsely settled. Their government is as democratic as possible. The resident legal voters, often including women, hold a meeting at least once a year. They elect trustees to represent them in the employment of the teacher and the management of the school. They determine whether a new schoolhouse shall be built, whether repairs shall be made, and what sum of money shall be raised for school purposes. In the rural districts this system has often been itself a school in patriotism and in the conduct of public affairs. Recently the tendency is to merge the school districts into the township, in order that larger and better schools may be maintained, and that educational advantages may be distributed more evenly among the people. Most of the southern states have the county system of school administration. This is because the county, rather than the township, has been the political unit in the south from the beginning. Special laws have been made for the school system in cities, and the form of these laws differs very much. In nearly every city there is a separate board of education, sometimes chosen by the voters, sometimes appointed by the mayor or other official, which board has full control of the schools. The city board of education has as its executive officer a superintendent of schools, who has become a most important factor in American educational administration. He exerts great influence in the selection of teachers, in the choice of text-books, in the arrangement of the programme of studies, and in the determination of questions of policy. Sometimes he is charged by law with the initiative in some or all of these matters. He is usually a trained administrator as well as an experienced teacher. The first superintendent was appointed in 1837 at Buffalo. Providence followed in 1839, New Orleans in 1841, Cleveland in 1844, Baltimore in 1849, Cincinnati in 1850, Boston in 1851, New York, San Francisco and Jersey City in 1852, Newark and Brooklyn in 1853, Chicago and St Louis in 1854, and Philadelphia in 1883. In general, it may be said that the progress of public education in the United States is marked by (1) compulsory schools, (2) compulsory licensing of teachers, (3) compulsory school attendance, and (4) compulsory school supervision, and by the increasingly efficient administration of these provisions. The compulsion comes in each case from the state government, which alone, in the American system, has the power to prescribe it and to enforce it. Each state is therefore an independent educational unit, and there is no single, uniform American system of education in any legal sense. In fact, however, the great mass of the American people are in entire agreement as to the principles which should control public education; and the points in which the policies of the several states are in agreement are greater, both in number and in importance, than those in which they differ. An American educational system exists, therefore, in spirit and in substance, even though not in form.
Neither in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution of the United States is there any mention of education. The founders of the nation were by no means indifferent to education, but they shared the common view of National policy. their time, which was that the real responsibility for the maintenance of schools and the expense of maintaining them should fall upon the several local communities. The relation of government to education was not then a subject of ordinary consideration or discussion. Later, when this question did arise and the power of taxation was involved, the several states assumed control of education, as it was necessary that they should do. Nevertheless, from the very beginning the national government has aided and supported education, while not controlling it. This policy dates from the 13th of July 1787, when there was passed the famous “Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North-West of the River Ohio,” meaning the territory north and west of the Ohio river now represented by the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the eastern side of Minnesota, embracing more than 265,000 sq. m. of territory. This ordinance contains this declaration: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall for ever be encouraged.” The Ordinance of 1787 also reaffirmed the provisions of the so-called Land Ordinance of 1785, by which section No. 16 in every township (a township consists of 36 numbered sections of 1 sq. m. each), or one thirty-sixth of the entire north-west territory, was set aside for the maintenance of public schools within the township. The funds derived from the sale and lease of these original “school lands” form the major portion of the public school endowment of the states formed out of the north-west territory. The precedent thus established became the policy of the nation. Each state admitted prior to 1848 reserved section No. 16 in every township of public land for common schools. Each state admitted since 1848 (Utah being an exception, and having four sections) has reserved sections No. 16 and No. 36 in every township of public lands for this purpose. In addition, the national government has granted two townships in every state and territory containing public lands for seminaries or universities. A third land grant is that made in 1862 for colleges of agriculture and the mechanical arts. The sum total of these three land grants amounted in 1900 to 78,659,439 acres, to which there must be added various special grants made from time to time to the states and devoted to education. The portion of the public domain so set apart in 1900 amounted in all to 86,138,473 acres, or 134,591 English sq. m. This is an area greater than those of the six New England states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware added together. It is a portion of the earth’s surface as great as the kingdom of Prussia, about seven-tenths as great as France, and considerably greater than the combined areas of Great Britain (including the Channel Islands) and the kingdom of Holland. Besides the enormous grants of land in aid of education, the national government has maintained since 1802 a military academy at West Point, New York, for the training of officers for the army, and since 1845 a naval academy at Annapolis, Maryland, for the training of officers for the navy. It has also taken charge of the education of the children of uncivilized Indians, and of all children in Alaska. It has voted, by act of 1887, a perpetual endowment of $15,000 a year for each agricultural experiment station connected with a state agricultural college, and, by act of 1890, an additional endowment of $25,000 a year for each of the agricultural colleges themselves. The aggregate value of land and money given by the national government for education in the several states and territories is about $300,000,000.
In 1867 the Congress established a bureau of education, presided over by a commissioner who is under the jurisdiction of the secretary of the interior, the purpose of which is declared to be to collect “such statistics and facts Bureau of education. as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several states and territories, and of diffusing such information respecting the organization and management of school systems and methods of teaching as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.” The bureau has therefore no direct power over the educational policy of the several states. It has, however, exercised a potent influence for good in its advisory capacity. Up to 1900 this bureau had published 360 separate volumes and pamphlets, including 31 annual reports, covering from 800 to 2300 pages each; and the number has since been much increased. The annual reports alone of the Commissioner of Education are mines of information. These standard works of reference are distributed gratuitously in large numbers to libraries, school officials and other persons interested, and to foreign governments. The several commissioners of education have been: Henry Barnard, 1867-1870; John Eaton, 1870-1886; Nathaniel H. R. Dawson, 1886-1889; William T. Harris, 1889-1906; Elmer Ellsworth Brown, 1906- .
In the United States the sovereign powers are not all lodged in one place. Such of those powers as are not granted by the Constitution to the national government are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. The power State governments and education. to levy taxes for the support of public education has been almost universally held to be one of the powers so reserved. The inhabitants of the several local communities, however indisposed they may have been to relinquish absolute control of their own schools, have been compelled to yield to the authority of the state government whenever it has been asserted, for except under such authority no civil division—county, city, township, or school district—possesses the power to levy taxes for school purposes. Moreover, since the exercise of state authority has uniformly improved the quality of the schools, it has usually been welcomed, not resisted. In general, it may be said that the state has used its authority to prescribe a minimum of efficiency which schools and teachers must reach, and it enforces this minimum through inspection and the withholding of its proper share of the state school fund from any locality where schools or teachers are permitted to fall below the required standard. In extreme cases the state authorities have interfered directly to prevent the evil results of local inefficiency or contumacy. In addition, the states, almost without exception, maintain at their own expense schools for the training of teachers, known as normal schools. Many of the states also offer inducements to the cities, towns and districts to exceed the prescribed minimum of efficiency. Through the steady exercise of state supervision the school buildings have improved, the standard for entrance upon the work of teaching has been raised, the programme of studies has been made more effective and more uniform, and the length of the school term has increased. The Constitution of every state now contains some provision as to public education. Each state has an executive officer charged with the enforcement of the state school laws. Sometimes, as in New York, this official has plenary powers; sometimes, as in Massachusetts and Ohio, he is little more than an adviser. In twenty-nine states this official is known as the superintendent of public instruction; in Massachusetts and Connecticut he is called secretary of the state board of education; other titles used are commissioner of public schools, superintendent of common schools, and superintendent of public schools. The schools are administered, on behalf of the taxpayers, by an elected board of school trustees in rural school districts, and by an elected (though sometimes appointed) board of education or school committee in cities and towns. In 836 cities and towns there is a local superintendent of schools, who directs and supervises the educational work and acts as the executive officer of the board of education. The schools in the rural districts are under the direct supervision of a county superintendent of schools or similar official, who is often chosen by the people, but who sometimes is named by the state authorities. The county and city superintendents are often charged with the duty of holding examinations for entrance upon the work of teaching, and of issuing licences to those persons who pass the examinations. This system works best where it is carefully regulated by state law. Thirty states, one territory, and the District of Columbia have enacted compulsory education laws, but the enforcement of them is usually very lax. In fifteen states and territories there are no compulsory education laws, although there are in existence there fully organized school systems free to all children. The usual age during which school attendance is required is from 8 to 14. Provision is made in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan, for sending habitual truants to some special institution. Laws forbidding the employment of children under a specified minimum age in any mercantile or manufacturing establishment are in force in twelve states, and are usually administered in connexion with the compulsory education laws.
The universal establishment in America of public secondary schools (high schools), and the existence of state universities in all of the states south and west of Pennsylvania, have brought into existence a system of state education which reaches from the kindergarten and the elementary school to the graduate instruction offered at state colleges and universities. This system includes (1) about 1500 free public kindergartens scattered over fifteen states; (2) free public elementary schools within reach of almost every home in the land; (3) free public secondary schools (high schools) in every considerable city or town and in not a few rural communities; (4) free land grant colleges, supported in large part by the proceeds of the nation’s endowment of public lands, paying particular attention to agriculture and the mechanical arts, in all the states; (5) state universities, free or substantially so, in all the states south and west of Pennsylvania; (6) free public normal schools, for the professional training of teachers, in nearly every state; (7) free schools for the education of defectives in nearly all the states; and (8) the national academies at West Point and Annapolis for the professional training of military and naval officers respectively.
Miss Susan E. Blow, herself the leading exponent of kindergarten principles in the United States, has pointed out that the history of the kindergarten movement reveals four distinct stages in its development: the pioneer stage, having Boston as Kindergartens. its centre; the philanthropic stage, which began in the village of Florence, Mass., and reached its climax at San Francisco, California; the national or strictly educational stage, which began at St Louis; and the so-called maternal stage, which from Chicago as a centre is spreading over the entire country. During the first stage public attention was directed to a few of the most important aspects of Froebel’s teaching. During the second stage the kindergarten was valued largely as a reformatory and redemptive influence. During the third stage the fundamental principles underlying kindergarten training were scientifically studied and expounded, and the kindergarten became part of the public school system of the country. The fourth stage, which, like the third, is fortunately still in existence, aims at making the kindergarten a link between the school and the home, and so to use it to strengthen the foundations and elevate the ideals of family life. By 1898 there were 4363 kindergartens in the United States (1365 of which were public), employing 9937 teachers (2532 in the public kindergartens) and enrolling 189,604 children (95,867 in the public kindergartens). Of the 164 public normal schools, 36 made provision for training kindergarten teachers. The scientific and literary activity of some of the private kindergarten training classes is very great, and they exert a beneficial and stimulating effect on teaching in the elementary schools. It is generally admitted that from the point of view of the children, of the teachers, of the schools, and of the community at large, the kindergarten has been and is an inspiration of incalculable value.
The elementary school course is from six to nine years in length, the ordinary period being eight years. The pupils enter at about six years of age. In the cities the elementary schools are usually in session for five hours daily, Elementary schools. except Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9 A.M. There is an intermission, usually of an hour, at midday, and short recesses during the sessions. In the small rural schools the pupils are usually ungraded, and are taught singly or in varying groups. In the cities and towns there is a careful gradation of pupils, and promotions from grade to grade are made at intervals of a year or of a half-year. The best schools have the most elastic system of gradation and the most frequent promotions. In a number of states there are laws authorizing the conveyance of children to school at the public expense, when the schoolhouse is unduly distant from the homes of a portion of the school population. Co-education (q.v.) in the elementary school has been the salutary and almost uniform practice in the United States. The programme of studies in the elementary school includes English (reading, writing, spelling, grammar, composition), arithmetic (sometimes elementary algebra also, or plane geometry in the upper grades), geography, history of the United States, and elementary natural science, including human physiology and hygiene. Physical training, vocal music, drawing and manual training are often taught. Sometimes a foreign language (Latin, German or French) and the study of general history are begun. Formal instruction in manners and morals is not often found, but the discipline of the school offers the best possible training in the habits of truthfulness, honesty, obedience, regularity, punctuality and conformity to order. Religious teaching is not permitted, although the exercises of the day are often opened with reading from the Bible, the repetition of the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of a hymn. Corporal punishment is not infrequent, but is forbidden by law in New Jersey, and in many states may be used only under restrictions. Text-books are used as the basis of the instruction given, and the pupils “recite” in class to the teacher, who, by use of illustration and comment, makes clear the subject-matter of the prescribed lesson. The purpose of the recitation method is to make the work of each pupil help that of his companion. Skilfully used, it is the most effectual instrument yet devised for elementary school instruction.
The secondary school course is normally four years in length. The principal subjects studied are Latin, Greek, French, German, algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry, physical geography, physiology, rhetoric, English literature, civics and history. Secondary schools. Although but 11.36% of the students in public high schools and 25.36% of those in private secondary schools are preparing for a college or scientific school, yet the conditions prescribed by the colleges for admission to their courses affect powerfully both the secondary school programme and the methods of teaching. Of late years no educational topic has been more widely discussed than that as to the proper relations of secondary schools and colleges. As a result, special examinations for admission to college are either greatly simplified or entirely abolished, and the secondary studies are much more substantial and better taught than formerly. An increasing proportion of secondary school teachers are college graduates. The most extraordinary characteristic of secondary education in recent years is the rapid increase in the number of students taking Latin as a school subject. Meanwhile the proportion of those studying physics and chemistry has fallen off slightly. The rate of increase in the number of pupils who study Latin is fully twice as great as the rate of increase in the number of secondary school students. Between 1890 and 1896, while the number of students in private secondary schools increased 12%, the number of students in public secondary schools increased 87%. Since 1894 the number of students in private secondary schools has steadily declined.
The American college, although it is the outgrowth of the English colleges of Oxford and of Cambridge, has developed into an institution which has no counterpart in Europe. The college course of study, at first three years in The colleges. length, was soon extended to four years, and the classes are uniformly known as the freshman, the sophomore, the junior and the senior. The traditional degree which crowns the college course is that of Bachelor of Arts (A.B.). The studies ordinarily insisted on in the case of candidates for this degree are Latin, Greek, mathematics, English, philosophy, political economy, history, at least one modern European language (French or German), and at least one natural science. The degrees of Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Philosophy (Ph.B.), and Bachelor of Letters (B.L.) are often conferred by colleges upon students who have pursued systematic courses of study which do not include Greek or the amount of Latin required for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The best colleges give instruction which is similar in character to that given in Germany in the three upper classes of the gymnasium and in the introductory courses at the universities, in France in the two upper classes of the lycée and in the first two years of university study, and in England in the upper form of the public schools and during the years of undergraduate residence at Oxford and Cambridge. Since 1870 the colleges have developed enormously. Their resources have multiplied, the number of their students has increased by leaps and bounds, the programme of studies has broadened and deepened, the standards have been raised, and the efficiency of the instruction has greatly increased. Rigidly prescribed courses of study have given way to elective courses, and a knowledge of Greek is no longer required for the degree of A.B. at such influential colleges as Harvard, Columbia, Cornell and Williams. A strong effort is being made to have the leading colleges give but one degree, that of Bachelor of Arts, and to confer that upon those who complete any substantial course of college studies. A marked change has taken place in the attitude of the college authorities toward the students. In 1870 the college president was a paterfamilias. He knew each student and came into direct personal contact with him. The president and the faculty had supervision not only of the studies of the students, but of their moral and religious life as well. The older type of college professor was not always a great scholar, but he was a student of human nature, with keen intuitions and shrewd insight. The new type, which had come into existence at the opening of the 20th century, was more scholarly in some special direction, often regarded teaching as a check upon opportunities for investigation, and disdained troubling himself with a student’s personal concerns or intellectual and moral difficulties. The change was not altogether for the better, and a desirable reaction has been observable. Each college, however small or ill-equipped, exercises a helpful local influence. Ninety per cent of all college students attend an institution not more than one hundred miles from their own homes. Few colleges have a national constituency, and even in these cases an overwhelming preponderance of the students come from the immediate neighbourhood. This explains, in a measure, the powerful influence which the college has exercised in the life of the nation. While hardly more than one in a hundred of the white male youth of the country has had a college education, yet the college graduates have furnished one-half of all the presidents of the United States, most of the justices of the Supreme Court, about one-half of the cabinet officers and United States senators, and nearly one-third of the House of Representatives. Before the Revolution eleven colleges were founded. From 1776 to 1800, twelve more were added; from 1800 to 1830, thirty-three; from 1830 to 1865, one hundred and eighty; from 1865 to 1898, two hundred and thirty-six. Their standards, efficiency and equipment are very diverse, many of the so-called colleges being less effective than some of the better organized secondary schools. Except in New York and Pennsylvania, there is no statutory restriction upon the use of the name “college.” This is an abuse to which public attention has in recent years been increasingly called.
In the United States the title “university” is used indiscriminately of institutions which are in reality universities, of institutions which are colleges, and of institutions which are so ill-equipped as not to take rank with The universities. good secondary schools. Only time and a greatly increased capacity to distinguish the various types of higher schools will remedy this error. Putting aside tentative and unsuccessful attempts to develop genuine university instruction much earlier, it may safely be said that the opening of the Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore in 1876 began the present movement to organize carefully advanced study and research, requiring a college education of those who wish to enter upon it. This is university instruction properly so called, and though found elsewhere, it is given chiefly at fourteen institutions: California University, Catholic University of America, Chicago University, Clark University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan University, Pennsylvania University, Princeton University, Leland Stanford Jr. University, Wisconsin University and Yale University. All of these institutions, except the Catholic University of America, are also colleges. The combination of collegiate and university instruction under one corporation and one executive administration is distinctive of higher education in the United States, and its chief source of strength. The crowning honour of the university student is the degree of Ph.D., although that of A.M.—obtainable in less time and much easier conditions—is also sought. The minimum period of study accepted for the degree of Ph.D. is two years after obtaining the bachelor’s degree; but in practice, three, and even four, years of study are found necessary. In addition to carrying on an investigation in the field of his main subject of study, the candidate for the degree of Ph.D. is usually required to pass examinations on one or two subordinate subjects, to possess a reading knowledge of French and German (often of Latin as well), and to submit—usually in printed form—the dissertation which embodies the results of his researches. The methods of instruction in the universities are the lecture, discussion and work in laboratory or seminary—the latter transplanted from the German universities. The degree of Master of Arts is conferred upon students who, after one year of university residence and study, pass certain prescribed examinations. This degree, like those of D.D., S.T.D. and LL.D., is often conferred by colleges and universities as a purely honorary distinction. The degree of Ph.D. is not so conferred any longer by the best universities. Not a few of the universities maintain schools of law and medicine. Harvard and Yale universities maintain schools of theology as well. The learned publications issued by the universities, or under the direction of university professors, are of great importance, and constitute an imposing body of scientific literature. The national and state governments make increasing use of university officials for public service requiring special training or expert knowledge. In 1871-1872 there were only 198 resident graduate (or university) students in the United States. In 1887 this number had risen to 1237, and in 1897 to 4392. These figures are exclusive of professional students, and include only those who are studying in what would be called, in Germany, the philosophical faculty. (See also Universities.)
Most extensive provision is made in America for professional, technical and special education of all kinds, and for the care and training of the dependent and defective classes (see Blindness and Deaf and Dumb), as well as for the education of the Indian (see Indians, North American), and—in the Southern states—of the negro (q.v.).
Statistics.—Details as to education in each state of the American Union are given in the articles under state headings. But a more comprehensive view may be obtained here from the general statistics. The introduction to the statistical tables in vol. ii. of the Commissioner of Education’s Report for 1907 may usefully be quoted. Mr Edward L. Thorndike, of the Teachers’ College, Columbia University, there summarizes the national account as follows:—
“We use in formal school education a material plant valued at from twelve to thirteen hundred million dollars, the labour of 550,000 teachers or other educational officers, and more or less of the time of some eighteen million students.... We pay for the labour of these teachers, many of whom work for only part of the normal city-school year, about $300,000,000. We pay for fuel, light, janitorial services, repairs, depreciation of books, school supplies, insurance and the like, about $90,000,000. For depreciation of the plant not so charged we should properly provide during the year a sinking fund of perhaps $25,000,000. Adding an interest charge of 5% on the investment in the plant, our annual bill for formal school education comes to over $475,000,000. Additions to the plant were made [in 1906-1907] to the extent of from ninety to a hundred million dollars. As a partial estimate of the returns from this investment we may take the number of students whose education has been carried to a specified standard of accomplishment and power. Thus I estimate that, in 1907, 3000 students reached the standard denoted by three years or more of academic, technical or professional study in advance of a reputable college degree; that 25,000 students reached the standard denoted by at least three and not over four years of such study in advance of a four-year high-school course; than an eighth of a million students reached the standard denoted by at least three and not over four years of study in advance of an eight-year elementary-school course; and that three-quarters of a million students reached the standard of completion of an elementary-school course of seven or eight years or its equivalent.... Roughly, nine-tenths of elementary education and the education of teachers, over two-thirds of secondary education, and over a third of college and higher technical education are provided and controlled by the public. Professional education, other than the training of teachers and engineers, is still largely a function of private provision and control.
“The following rough comparison may serve to define further the status of education in the country at large. The plant used for formal education is valued at 1% of our entire national wealth, or twice the value of our telephone systems, or ten times the value of our Pullman and private cars, or one-tenth the value of our railroads. The number of teachers is approximately that of the clergymen, engineers, lawyers and physicians together, five times that of the regular army and navy, and about twice that of the saloon-keepers and bar-tenders and their assistants. The annual expenditure for education, exclusive of additions to the plant, is somewhat over twice the expenditure for the war and navy departments of the national government. It is three and a half times the expenditure of the national government in 1907 for pensions. It is about one and a fourth times the cost (New York wholesale prices) of the sugar and coffee we consume annually.”
The above comparison indicates perhaps, not inadequately, the “business” conception of the value of education prevailing in the United States, where its practical advantages are realized as in no other country, not even Germany.
From the same report the following statistics may be cited for 1906-1907.
Common Schools (including Elementary and Secondary Public Schools only).
|Total number of pupils of all ages||16,820,386|
|Average number of days schools open||151.2|
|Average number of days attended by each pupil||106.2|
|Number of male teachers||105,773|
|Number of female teachers||369,465|
|Number of school houses||259,115|
|Average monthly wage of male teachers||$56.10|
|Average monthly wage of female teachers||$43.67|
|Value of all school property||$843,309,410|
|Income from permanent funds and rents||$16,579,551|
|Income from State taxes||$46,281,501|
|Income from local taxes||$230,424,554|
|Income from other sources||$50,317,132|
|Expenditure on sites, buildings, furniture, libraries and apparatus||$65,817,870|
|Expenditure on salaries||$196,980,919|
|Expenditure on other purposes||$67,882,012|
|Expenditure per head of population||$3.90|
|Expenditure per pupil||$27.98|
The Bureau of Education in 1907 received reports from 606 universities, colleges and technological schools; they had a teaching force of 24,679, and an enrolment of 293,343 students. The number of public and private normal schools reporting was 259, with an enrolment of 70,439 students in the regular training courses for teachers, 12,541 graduates and 3660 instructors. There were 148 manual and industrial training schools (independently of the manual training taught in the public schools and in 66 Indian schools), with 1692 teachers and an enrolment of 68,427 students; and 445 independent commercial and business schools, with 2856 instructors and 137,364 students.
Bibliography.—For the study of education as an aspect of religious, social, moral and intellectual development, the material is practically inexhaustible, and much of the most valuable does not treat specifically of the education given in schools and colleges. The most useful guide is E. P. Cubberley’s Syllabus of Lectures on the History of Education (1902), which consists of an analytic outline of topics with copious and detailed references to authorities. See also W. S. Monroe’s Bibliography of Education (1897). The best general history in English is P. Monroe’s Text-Book in the History of Education (1905), which, like Davidson’s much briefer History of Education, treats the subject broadly and in relation to other aspects of life. Williams’s History of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Education is a useful statement of the main facts of educational progress taken somewhat by itself. In German the standard work is K. A. Schmid’s Geschichte der Erziehung, a comprehensive and detailed treatment in which each period is dealt with by a specialist. Ziegler’s Geschichte der Pädagogik is a good short history. In French, Letourneau’s L’Évolution de l’éducation is especially good on ancient and non-European education. Draper’s Intellectual Development of Europe is vigorous and interesting, but marred by its depreciation of the work of the Church. Guizot’s History of Civilization is still of value, as are parts of Hallam’s Literary History. Lecky’s History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, and Buckle’s History of Civilization in England, contain much that is of value. The best encyclopaedias are W. Rein’s Encyklopädisches Handbuch der Pädagogik, and F. Buisson’s Dictionnaire de pédagogie, première partie. Sir Henry Craik’s The State and Education (1883) is an excellent text-book on national education.
Of books dealing with special periods and topics, S. Laurie’s Historical Sketch of Pre-Christian Education, Freeman’s Schools of Hellas, Girard’s L’Éducation athénienne au Ve et au IVe siècle avant J.-C., Davidson’s Education of the Greek People, Mahaffy’s Old Greek Education and Greek Life and Thought, Nettleship’s article on “Education in Plato’s Republic” in Hellenica, Capes’s University Life in Athens, Hobhouse’s Theory and Practice of Ancient Education, Grasberger’s Erziehung und Unterricht im classischen Alterthum, Wilkin’s Roman Education, and Clarke’s Education of Children at Rome, are valuable for classical times.
For the somewhat obscure transition centuries there is much of value in Taylor’s Classical Heritage of the Middle Ages, Dill’s Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, especially the chapter on “Culture in the 4th and 5th centuries,” Boissier’s La Fin du paganisme, and Hatch’s Influence of Greek Thought upon the Christian Church.
The best general account of medieval education is in Drane’s Christian Schools and Scholars; and J. B. Mullinger’s Schools of Charles the Great treats well of the Carolingian Revival. G. B. Adams’s Civilization during the Middle Ages is excellent; and Sandys’s History of Classical Scholarship is a valuable book of reference. On the scholastic philosophy Turner’s History of Philosophy, and Hauréau’s Histoire de la philosophie scolastique, are useful. Medieval schools are described in Furnivall’s preface to The Babees Book, which deals with “Education in Early England,” and in Leach’s Old Yorkshire Schools and History of Winchester College. The most important books on the universities are Rashdall’s Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, Jourdain’s Histoire de l’université de Paris aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, Lyte’s History of the University of Oxford to 1530, and Mullinger’s History of the University of Cambridge to the Accession of Charles I. Paulsen’s Geschichte des gelehrten Unterrichts auf den deutschen Schulen und Universitäten is the best history of education in Germany.
On the Renaissance in Italy, Villari’s Introduction to his Life and Times of Machiavelli, and Burckhardt’s Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (translated into English), are of the first importance. Other valuable books are the first volume of the Cambridge Modern History and Symonds’s great work on The Renaissance in Italy, especially the volume on The Revival of Learning. Dealing more specifically with education are Woodward’s excellent monographs on Education during the Renaissance, Vittorino da Feltre and Erasmus. Janssen’s Geschichte des deutschen Volkes (translated into English) gives a good account of the social and intellectual condition of Germany in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Christie’s Life of Étienne Dolet is of value for the Renaissance in France. For the movement in England Seebohm’s Oxford Reformers, Gasquet’s Eve of the Reformation in England, Einstein’s The Italian Renaissance in England, and Leach’s English Schools at the Reformation, 1546-1548, are particularly important.
For later times the material is chiefly in the form of monographs, of which the following, among others, are of value: Adamson’s Pioneers of Modern Education, Laas’s Die Pädagogik des Johannes Sturm, Beard’s Port Royal, vol. ii., Kuno Fischer’s Fr. Bacon und seine Nachfolger, Laurie’s John Amos Comenius, Morley’s Rousseau, Pinloche’s La Réforme de l’éducation en Allemagne au dix-huitième siècle, Biedermann’s Deutschlands geistige, sittliche, und gesellige Zustände im XVIII. Jahrhundert.
For the 19th century and after, the best sources of information are the official Reports, such as those of the Royal Commissions on the English Universities, the Public Schools, and the other English secondary schools; the “Special Reports,” issued by the English Board of Education; the encyclopaedic annual Reports of the American Commissioner of Education (dealing not only with the United States, but with progress in other countries); monographs in the French Musée pédagogique, and various German Reports.
For education in the United States, see also Boone’s History of Education in U.S.A. (1889); N. M. Butler (editor), Education in the U.S.A. (1900), a series of monographs prepared for the Paris Exposition; E. G. Dexter’s History of Education in the United States (1904); and the Proceedings of the National Educational Association.
On the leading writers on education the monographs in the Great Educator Series are useful, and editions and translations of the best known of these writers are available. The greatest systematic collection is the Monumenta Germaniae paedagogica. On the development of the means of education, Montmorency’s two books on State Intervention in English Education from the Earliest Times to 1833, and The Progress of Education in England, Balfour’s Educational Systems of Great Britain and Ireland, Allain’s L’Instruction primaire en France avant la Révolution, Lantoine’s Histoire de l’enseignement secondaire en France au XVIIIe et au début du XVIIIe siècle, and Konrad Fischer’s Geschichte des deutschen Volkschullehrerstands, may be mentioned.
- For the evolution of the school as such from early times see Schools.
- See especially Das öffentliche Unterrichtswesen Deutschlands, by Dr Paul Stötzner (Leipzig, 1901).
- A valuable bibliography of Mr Harris’s contributions to educational literature is given in the Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1907 (Washington, 1908).
- See especially the second Annual Report of the President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (pp. 76-80), quoted in the Report for 1907 of the Commissioner of Education.
- In private schools there were also 1,304,547 pupils.