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books. I own I should like to see a larger admis. how much more pains are required with some ture of good working lessons among the fables than with others, this seems the most sensible and fairy tales of the modern books: and I hope plan. It certainly produces a visible effect on the teachers will find that there is a golden mean clearness and accuracy of all the written exercises equally remote from Goody Two Shoes, and from in the school. those appalling essays on the graminivorous “The failures which bring down the per-centage quadrupeds and the monocotyledonous plants, of marks for writing are really due to the bad which have so long bewildered the little readers spelling which is often found in the third and of the Irish books.
fourth standards. I believe that this sometime “On the whole, writing is the subject best arises from too exclusive a reliance on dictation taught in schools; and I find that out of 11,476 as a means of teaching spelling. The best teachers children, I have passed the writing of 10,427, or are those who employ dictation, transcribing, and more than 91 per cent. By requiring all the oral spelling, each in its turn, and do not depend children in the upper half of the school to work wholly on any one of these methods. A dictation exercises on paper, the New Code has done special exercise imperfectly overlooked and corrected service. I find the children greatly interested to does more harm than good. It only confirms learn that the papers bearing their own names children in error, and makes them contentedly and containing their work are to be sent up to familiar with the sight of ill-spelt words. Every London for inspection, and I believe that this exercise of this kind which is to be of any raine form of test will correct many of the evils which should be short, and should be thoroughly es. too much slate-writing is apt to generate. For amined. hitherto there have been many schools in which “ The failures in arithmetic amounted in nun. all the written exercises, except the formal lines ber to 2138 out of 11,476, or nearly 18 per in copy-books, have been done exclusively on and are chiefly attributable to the mechanical way slates. Children thus taught never do themselves in which it is too often taught. When a question justice when a separate sheet of paper is placed is written down before a child in the shape of a before them. They are in doubt as to the right sum, he generally answers it with more or less use of capitals, and they do not know how to lo- correctness; but if it is dictated in words, or if cate the beginnings of sentences, or the lines in a the figures are so presented that he is required to letter or verse of poetry. Another fault, which arrange or interpret them for himself, the chance appears to me on the increase, in spite of constant of failure is very considerable. Among children warnings, is the excessive prevalence of small- who profess to have 'gone through'a great many hand, especially in schools in wbich the children rules, such a question as 'Find the difference bepurchase their own copy-books. The temptation tween ninety.seven and four hundred and thirto gratify the parents in this, the one subject of teen ?' is often unanswered, because it is not even school instruction which they think they under- understood. Sometimes a teacher will tell me, stand, is too strong for many teachers, and hun-apparently in good faith, that notation is not dreds of children are filling copy-books with pre- specified in the Code, and that if I will write the tentious exercises in commercial' or 'angular' sums in figures on the blackboard, the children hand, who ought never to have been permitted to will work them, even up to hundreds of millions write anything but large text. I wish teachers The number of teachers who are thus enslaved by would remember that in the words of John Locke, routine is becoming smaller every day, but there 'every one naturally comes by degrees to write a are still many who need to be reminded that less hand than he at first was taught, but never a arithmetic is an exercise in thinking as well as in bigger,' and that therefore he who learns at school manipulation ; that the power to translate words to form every letter well, on a large scale, will into figures, and to know how and why figures fashion a good small hand for himself afterwards are arranged, is a "condition precedent' to the without teaching; while he who writes nothing proper working even of the humblest sum in addibut small hand at school will never be a good or tion; and that the arithmetical problems of daily legible writer as long as he lives. The best writ- life are not presented to us in the form of sums ing which I find is in schools where it is the prac written on blackboards. To secure greater accur. tice to give to the lower classes special lessons on acy and promptitude in working, teachers should the forms and proportions of single letters, and to give more frequent oral practice, consisting of exemplify them on the blackboard. Considering short exercises in computing to be worked withhow few letters and figures have to be learned, out the help of slates. To make the processes how readily they may be grouped in classes, and understood, however, another kind of exercise is
needed. A sum should be taken once or twice a “Nevertheless, I cannot resist the unwelcome week and dealt with simply as an illustration of conviction that the New Code is also tending to the 'rationale' of the rule. It should be worked formalise the work of the elementary schools, and in the presence of the class, and made the subject to render it in some degree lifeless, inelastic, and of a sort of parsing, i.e. of questioning so exbaus- mechanical. I find too many teachers disposed tive that the meaning and value of every figure, to narrow their sense of duty to the 'Six Stanand the reason for placing it, shall be thoroughly dards,' or to what they sometimes call, with unexamined. By the judicious use of these two conscious sarcasm, the 'paying subjects.' I find methods, in addition to the ordinary slate work, an increasing eagerness on the part of teachers it will be easy for teachers to attain far more to get hold of text-books, which are 'specially satisfactory results than are reached at present. adapted to the requirements of the Revised Code,' If, instead of inquiring what is the particular and which claim as their chief merit that they do method of test likely to be employed by the in- not go a step beyond those requirements. The spector, teachers would vary their own modes of practice of explaining and questioning on the teaching and of testing, and try to look at the meanings of words appears to me on the decline. work of each rule from as many different points Spirited oral teaching, mutual interrogation, home of view as possible, their scholars would be equally lessons, and other devices, by which the intellecwell prepared for any form of examination which tual life of a school is kept up, are far less comthe inspector might happen to adopt.
mon than they ought to be, and, as I have reason “ The practice of copying is not wholly un- to believe, than they once were. The teaching known even in the best schools. It is a form of of grammar, history, and geography has been untruthfulness in which a little child cannot be much discouraged. It has always been a charac. expected to see anything seriously wrong unless teristic of the best schools that in each of them he has been taught to do so. I adopt a few little there was some one subject, which, if not a hobby espedients for preventing it on the day of examin- of the master's, was yet one in which his own ation, such as the use of printed cards containing tastes led him to take particular interest, and different sums, and the separation of children which by its special finish and excellence served from each other. But it is very undesirable that to prove that his heart was in his school, and that these precautions should be imitated, as I find he was proud of its success. I regret to say that they are occasionally, by the teacher in the daily I see comparatively little of this sort of enthusiasm, work of the school. A good method of testing is and that the adoption of a uniform standard tends, not necessarily the best method of teaching. It in some measure, to discourage it. is often very important in collective instruction "Such disadvantages as these are fully outthat all the children should be working the same weighed by the unquestionable excellencies of the sum, and when this exercise is watchfully con- new system, and may, I believe, be wholly reducted, it may be made a means of correcting moved by a little care in its administration. But rather than encouraging the tendency to copy. they exist nevertheless. Ere long teachers will, It is a great point in the daily discipline of a 1 hope, become aware that the subjects specified school to give habits of truthfulness and honour in in Article 48 of the Revised Code represent the little things, and to make each child feel personally minimum to be required in the most unfavourresponsible for the accuracy of his own work. able circumstances; and that in all schools well
“I have no doubt that in regard to all the sub- equipped with apparatus and teaching power, and jects of elementary instruction, the standard fixed attended with moderate regularity, much more by the Revised Code has wrought most benefi- may reasonably be expected. There is an imporcially, and that it has revealed even to faithful | tant provision in Article 52, which enables an inand hard-working teachers defects in their methods spector to deduct from the total amount of the which they did not suspect. Laborious as the grant one or more tenths for 'faults of instrucnew form of individual examination is to the in- tion,' and after the first year I believe it will be spector, every day's experience proves that it fur- both right and necessary to make free use of this nishes the truest form of test, that it is the only power in all schools in which the teaching is dull real check to unsound and pretentious teaching, and unintelligent, or in which any opportunities that it secures the proper distribution of the teach- of promoting the mental or moral improvement ing power throughout all the classes of a school, of the children are habitually neglected. and that it enforces a thoroughness and exactness “It is right to add that the best schools, in which, it must be owned, many schools of great such, for instance, as those which are specified repute were seriously deficient.
by name in Mr Brodie's last report on this dis
trict, these remarks do not apply. All the first- versational lessons or lectures on some subject rate teachers continue to employ without change not included in any regular course of reading, but the methods and the course of instruction by selected with a view to encourage observant and which they were accustomed to obtain credit inquisitive habits of mind, and to enlarge the under the Old Code. They take care of every- pupil's general information. The chief fault of thing but the examination, and let the examina- these lessons is that they are apt to be desultory tion take care of itself.' And this always turns and immethodical, and to have little or no conneeout to be the most politic course, as it is certainly tion with each other. Now and then I find that the most honest. For the rudiments are never so for three months at a time the series of miscelwell taught, and the per-centage of children who laneous lessons is on the animal kingdom; that pass the elementary examination is never so great, this is followed by another course, consisting of as in schools in which other subjects are also the biographies of the most famous men in Engtaught, and in which the general level of intelli- lish history; and by a third on the natural history gence is highest.
of the articles used in food, or on the structure of “Of these higher or supplementary subjects it simple machines. But it is much more common is difficult to say which is the most valuable, since to find on inquiry that the subjects are taken at so much depends on the manner in which the hap-hazard, and are without unity or coherence. subject is treated. The common fault in all the A good deal of labour and ingenuity may thus be more ambitious teaching, whether of grammar, wasted. The teacher who would economise his geography, or physics, is the habit of mistaking own resources wisely will always take care, first, the terminology of a science for the science itself. to make every collective lesson form one of a I am especially struck with this in the teaching of series, and be part of a well-considered plan; grammar, which is too often a string of unmean- secondly, to collect and prepare his material careing terms, but which, under certain conditions, fully; and, thirdly, to preserve his notes. For may become the most valuable of all instruments this purpose the log book may be made very usefor mental discipline in the elementary school. ful. It should record the commencement and These conditions are very simple. A technical end of each course of Biblical or other collective term should never be taught as having any value lessons, and should mention each specific subject in se, but only as the record of some logical dis on its proper day. tinction which has been first explained and under- " It seems the more important to call attention stood. As soon as a distinction of this kind has to this subject, because the best elementary been recognised, the pupil should be called on to schools have long been distinguished for the exsee the purpose served by it in a sentence, and to cellence of their oral lessons, and for the vivacity form sentences of his own wbich is exempli- and interest with which those lessons have been, fied. Composition or sentence-making ought invested. And now that book, and slate, and always to be pursued pari passu with technical memory work have been so much and so properly grammar. But it is curious to see how rare in insisted on as a means of counteracting the fimsischools are even the humblest exercises in the ness and inaccuracy of mere oral teaching, there right use of words. The consequence is that the seems some danger of its wholly superseding such language of books remains a foreign speech to a teaching. But I should be especially sorry to see child through the whole of his school life ;-a such a result in our primary schools. The child language occasionally translated, it is true, and of a gentleman needs at school comparatively like the Latin of a half-educated man, partially little, except the sort of task work which places understood with a little effort, but not appropri- at his command the instruments of obtaining ated or spontaneously used as if it were his own. knowledge, because the subjects treated of in I like to hear a teacher who, after taking a read- books are talked of at home, and he has constant ing lesson to pieces, and illustrating the meaning opportunities of hearing and of learning to use the of the prominent nouns or verbs, writes down a language of intelligent men. And unless the list of a dozen of them, and gives out as the home school teaching of the poor man's child is to belesson for the evening, 'Make sentences of your come utterly unfruitful, he also must be talked to own, each containing one of these words. Such and made to talk about what he reads. But this exercises enlarge a child's command of language, must be done at school or it will not be done at all. and with it his power of thinking, to a remarkable Hence questioning, conversations on familiar obextent.
jects, and exercises in the use of language, acquire “In most schools it is the practice for the head in schools for the poor a special value which does teacher to give, once or twice in the week, con- not belong to them as parts of general education."
MILL ON HAMILTON.
HEN Sir William IIamilton's Lectures as large as his own if he happened to differ from
on Logic and Metaphysics made it. Indeed, we think he has set a bad example. their appearance, we read them If Mr Mill had confined himself to those points of through with great care, in the hope philosophy, in regard to which he holds different
that they might throw some light on opinions from Sir William Hamilton, and if he the work of education. We confess we were dis- had tried to shew how it was that Sir William appointed. There were small portions here and Hamilton went wrong, and how it is that we may there which gave some insight into the present go right, we should have no objection to the book. action of the mind; but for the most part we But instead of this, Mr Mill has ransacked the had discussion after discussion which did not works of Sir William Hamilton, fragmentary and affect education at all, which had nothing to do posthumous as most of them are, for any faults he with the modes of the mind's activity, and in re- could find, and, in fact, his book looks like a list gard to which it was a matter of practical indiffer- of the errata in Sir William Hamilton's works, ence what way they might be settled. When we which Mr Mill would have corrected. At least opened Mr Mill's examination of Sir William this is the impression which it produces on us. Hamilton's Philosophy, we expected that we We may be wrong. But if we are, why should should find a discussion of his methods, that we Mr Mill be so eager to deprive Sir William should be enlightened how it happens that psycho- Hamilton of the credit of stating clearly the logy has borne so little fruit, and we trusted that relativity of human knowledge? Why should he a better and more scientific basis would be laid take such pains to refute the special arguments of for a science which ought to be of the deepest Sir William Ilamilton in regard to the absolute, practical moment. We are disappointed again. when he himself is “entirely with Sir W. HamilMr Mill's work contains no new psychology. We ton?” Why should he have discussed the subhave simply an iteration of his father's principle ject of unconscious mental modifications, in conof inseparable association, by which he explains nection with Sir William Hamilton, when it everything, but which stands very much in need occupies only a small and unconnected portion of of explanation itself. Yet Mr Mill justifies his his expositions, but is fully expounded, and forms work by its important bearing on education among an essential element in the psychologies of some other things. “The justification of the work German thinkers? In one word, why have we itself lies in the importance of the questions, to an examination of Sir William Hamilton's rethe discussion of which it is a contribution. marks on certain subjects, when these subjects England is often reproached by Continental have been discussed more fully, systematically, thinkers, with indifference to the higher philo- and ably, by recent writers opposed to Mr Mill, sophy. But England did not always deserve this than by Sir William Hamilton ? And why has reproach, and is already showing, by no doubtful Mr Mill so frequently introduced little slips and symptoms, that she will not deserve it much oversights which he thinks Sir W. Hamilton longer. Her thinkers are again beginning to see, committed? We cannot help thinking that Mr what they had only temporarily forgotten, that a Mill has wished to demolish Sir William Hamiltrue psychology is the indispensable scientific ton, much more than Sir W. Hamilton's philobasis of morals, of politics, of the science and art sophy. Yet Mr Mill must know the attempt to of education ; that the difficulties of metaphysics be vain. Sir William Hamilton was a profound lie at the root of all science; that those difficulties thinker. His writings bear ample testimony to can only be quieted by being resolved, and that that. He exercised, and still exercises, a great until they are resolved, positively if possible, but influence on the thinking of this country. And at any rate negatively, we are never assured that what perhaps is the surest sign of power, he roused any human knowledge, even physical, stands on among his students the greatest enthusiasm for solid foundations."
philosophy, and has done as much as any man We do not intend, in this article, to attempt to towards that revival of philosophical studies in review Mr Mill's book. It is a review itself, and England, of which Mr Mill speaks in the extract a very long one ; and if any one were to proceed we have quoted. He was greater than the books after his example, he would have to write a book he has left behind him, though these books bear
unquestionable evidences of his greatness. We groove, and having only recently become aware of do not deny, in saying all this, that his thought the fact, is at present making convulsive efforts to was fragmentary, that he was not always con- get out of it.” sistent with himself, that he was inexperienced Mr Mill is exceedingly severe with Sir William in the methods of most of the physical sciences, Hamilton for taking so very little notice of his and that he was often rash in his assertions. But father and the inseparable association psychoa man's power and fame are not in proportion to, logy. We think that those German psychologists or dependent on, his consistency, on the univer. who protested at the time against the direction of sality of his knowledge, or on the calmness of his philosophy under Hegel would have equal cause statements. No man has appeared yet who can of complaint against Mr Mill. To take one inclaim to represent all the phases of man's nature, stance out of several, Beneke, in his “System der and no philosopher can be named whose researches Metaphysik und Religions philosophie," published have been so profound, in every department of in 1840, asserts in his preface that by that time human knowledge, as to be a master in each. the German philosophers had begun to see that And we are rather inclined to think that, while out of the Hegelian and similar philosophy, DoMr Mill does his best to expose the weaknesses of thing could be got but the merest phantoms of Sir W. Hamilton, he has laid bare some of his the brain, and that all true philosophy must be
We heartily concur with those who be- based on the broad, sure ground of experience." lieve that Mr Mill is one of the deepest thinkers And even Hegel himself might complain. For this country has produced. We should agree his Phaenomenologie is full of acute observations with those who assert that he is the profoundest and his psychological expositions were such that thinker living, in one sense of the word, thinker. systems of education could be, and actually were In fact, Sir William Hamilton and John Stuart based on them. Mill are the most potent philosophical names of our Looking at Mr Mill's book as a whole, we day. We have, also, no hesitation in saying that should say that in the first part Mr Mill is enMr Mill's work on logic is a most masterly treatise, tirely unsuccessful in his attack on Hamilton; full of careful thinking, beautifully built up, and that, in his treatment of the Relativity of knowrich in benefits for teachers and thinkers. Yet ledge, of the Absolute, and other metaphysical we do not see why this opinion should prevent us points, Mr Mill often does not seem to us to grasp from believing, as this examination seems to us to Sir William Hamilton's ideas or those of the prove, that Mr Mill is not thoroughly at home in speculative philosophers of Germany; and that be metaphysics, that he is occasionally wrong when is guilty of the very fault of which he accuses Sir he controverts Sir William Hamilton's expositions William Hamilton, that of using words in disof ancient philosophy, and that his remarks on ferent senses. At the very outset he should hare German philosophy betray only a very partial attempted to define what he means by existence, and rather popular notion of it. We cannot by knowledge, by truth, and he should have disoccupy our space with attempting to prove all cussed the tests of truth in metaphysical matters, these points; but we shall take the last. Mr as he has done in physical, or, if he finds it imMill remarks—“ If this be the case even in Franco, possible, given up metaphysics altogether. As it is still worse in Germany, the whole of whose the matter stands, Mr Mill seems to us to abound speculative philosophy is an emanation from Des- in self-contradictions, and we should be inclined cartes, and to most of whose thinkers the Baconian to apply to him the remarks which he has made point of view is still below the horizon. Through in regard to Sir William Hamilton : "That the Spinoza, who gave to his system the very forms same philosopher should have written these words, as well as the entire spirit of geometry; through and a little more than a hundred pages after should the mathematician Leibnitz, who reigned su- have defined a judgment as the result of a compreme over the German speculative mind for parison of concepts, either between themselves or above a generation, with its spirit temporarily with individual objects, is, I think, the very crown modified by the powerful intellectual individuality of the self-contradictions which we have found to of Kant, but flying back after him to its uncon- be sown so thickly in Sir W. Hamilton's specula- ! nected tendencies: the geometrical spirit went on tions. Coming from a thinker of such ability, it from bad to worse, until, in Schelling and Hegel, almost makes one despair of one's own intellect, the laws even of physical nature were deduced by and that of mankind, and feel as if the attainment ratiocination from subjective deliverances of the of truth on any of the more complicated subjects mind. The whole of German philosophical specu- of thought were impossible.” Certainly the imlation has run from the beginning in this wrong pression produced on our minds from reading Mr