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ment, my Lord, your most faithful and devoted I cannot doubt that the early bent of the stateshumble servant,
Gaetano RavizzOTTI." man's mind towards foreign politics is traceable How fully the prayer of the grateful Italian was to the conversation and instruction of the accomanswered, it is unnecessary to say.
plished Italian refugee. He devoted himself for Lord Palmerston acquired a fair knowledge of many years to the education of the Temple family, Spanish from his friend and tutor, which stood him and retained to the last the love and esteem of in good stead the moment he entered the WarOffice. his pupils. His son married, if I am not misThe French were in Spain, and the Peninsular war taken, a daughter of General Ramsay, and the had begun. His eldest sister, Frances, studied grateful, benevolent, and kind-hearted statesman Spanish with him, and to her was dedicated a remembered to the latest period of his life his bandsome volume in 8vo., entitled, “ Colleccion de obligations to his earliest, most affectionate, and Poesias Castellanas” (a collection of Spanish best-loved tutor. poetry). The Signor's favourite Spanish author The reader of these incidents in Lord Palmerseems to have been Garcilaso de Vega, of whose ston's early life will be apt to suppose that his life he gives a concise sketch.
father was a man of great discrimination, and While the future Foreign Secretary was quali- somewhat in advance of his time. In the matter fying himself for a diplomatic career, he was not of education, he agreed with the celebrated Earl permitted to neglect the study of the classics. of Chesterfield, who, in the year when Lord His indefatigable tutor conceived the plan of a Palmerston's father was mourning the death of Viridarium Latinum. He collected a mass of his first wife, wrote :-"I am not of the opinion elegant extracts," aphorisms, &c., from the best generally entertained in this country, that man Latin authors, and translated the whole into lives by Greek and Latin alone ; that is, by knowFrench, Italian, and English. The French and ing a great many words of two dead languages Italian were placed in opposition to the Latin, which nobody living knows perfectly, and which and thus the pupil was exercised and taught the are of no use in the common intercourse of life. rules and distinction of three languages at once. Useful knowledge, in my opinion, consists of The Abbé d'Olivet, some of your readers may re- modern languages, history, and geography. Some member, was led to publish the thoughts of Latin may be thrown into the bargain, in comCicero in Latin and French, by encountering in pliance with custom and for closet amusement." the neighbourhood of London a Frenchman who Lord Palmerston inherited a good deal of his taught English boys French and Latin together, father's artistic taste. I have seen some drawings by making them read Quintus Curtius with Vau- executed by him when a youth, of the artificial gelas's translation. The Rev. Alexander Wishart water and park at Broadlands, which manifest conimproved upon the Abbé by superadding an En- siderable acquaintance with the laws of perspecglish translation to Cicero's Latin and d'Olivet's tive. His father and mother are represented in a felicitous French. The Viridarium, after smooth- boat on the lake, and his brother William and ing young Henry Temple's load to the fourth the Signor are walking in the foreground on the form at Harrow, ran to a third edition, and brought gravel path. The figures are well filled in, and the author into great vogue among the aristocracy the youthful artist had a fair eye for colour. as a teacher of languages.
EDUCATIONAL FALLACIES. "A UNI
own peculiar error with a tenacity that obstinately FORM STANDARD OF EXAMINATION," resists the suggestions of reason. AND “ PAYMENT BY RESULTS."
With some men, “the form of words” is more
potent than the substance. Unwilling or unable Sir, - Men, in all ages of the world, seem to have to cope with difficulties, they helplessly cling to been the willing victims of popular delusion. Even the specious formula that vaguely illumines their in our own age of boasted enlightenment, the spell inward darkness, and try to escape from their of baseless fallacies rests on the community like perplexities, by the doubtful light so supplied. a nightmare. Every rank and profession hugs its In short, they solve the most momentous pro
blems, by means of a formula which they have a level in both districts—the failures in Mr demonstrated to be true, and which, at best, is Gordon's being 41:6 per cent. ; in Mr Middleton's applicable only in a very limited sense.
40 per cent., thus shewing a slight difference in "A uniform standard of examination," and favour of the latter. Under the second standard "payment by results,” sound so pleasing to the the same relative merit is very nearly preserved, ear, and seem so suggestive of utopian perfection, the figures being, Mr Gordon's, 43-04 ; Mr Midin any system of education of which they are the dleton's, 41. Both districts up to this point are basis, that they at once become the popular practically on a level. How then are we to account formulæ of the shallow and the ignorant. So for the fact, that of those who have hitherto kept much has been spoken and written of late years pace so steadily together, the better taught, if on this uniformity, that one is tempted to inquire, there be a difference, shew a falling off of nearly how far it really exists, or is possible.
eight per cent. at the next stage, in comparison The Revised Code is the basis of this much with their rivals : Mr Gordon's failures being vaunted uniformity. Each inspector's interpreta- 20.52, and Mr Middleton's, 28. At the fourth tion of that famous document, is almost his sole stage the difference is increased to nearly ten per guide in its administration. Individual bias deter- cent. against Mr Middleton. Now it might be mines the light in which each reads it; and per- natural to infer, that in the one district other sonal peculiarities have already produced so great studies had largely taken the place of arithmetic a divergence in its working, that one inspector after a certain point. If so, then the difference will pass, at least, ten per cent, more than another. must continue. Statistics, however, are the other
This is a fact which I have special means of way, for at the fifth milestone, the youngsters of knowing
the north manifest their pluck by being almost In reality, then, no uniform standard exists. up with their southern neighbours (figures 16-66 Each inspector exercises his own judgment, sub- and 18). Alas, however, for the credit of Perthject to general limitations, in determining the shire and her unrivalled schoolmasters, the Midtest to which the educational efforts of his district dletonians are nearly twelve per cent. behind the shall be brought, and is equally free to decide for Gordonites at the winning-post, their respective himself the amount of proficiency entitled to a figures being 26. and 14:74. pass. As an instance of the latitude exercised An examination of the statistics of reading and by different inspectors, in matters largely affect- writing reveals results no less extraordinary than ing general results, it is merely necessary to refer the above. Can any impartial inquirer, then, fail to the different views entertained and acted upon, to conclude that such strange results are mainly in examining so elementary a subject as the mul- attributable to want of uniformity in the mode of tiplication table. This test of school work is testing the acquirements of the two districts ? applied under the second standard; and consider- Is it conceivable that such results proceed from ing the age at which children are expected to pass peculiarities of teaching? It is scarcely necesthat stage, it will readily be perceived that a want sary to observe that nobody questions the honesty of uniformity in the mode of its application must of the inspectors, and their anxiety to do justice produce very different results. At page 280, Blue- to all concerned. The fault lies in a fallacious book 1864–65, Dr Cumming says : “ The repeti- system, which purports to be what it is not, and tion of the multiplication table may be learned at never can be. If anything were necessary to almost any age.
But the application of it to prove the impossibility of getting different men, the purposes of multiplication, and even the acting independently of each other, and to a large answering of miscellaneous questions in the table, extent on their individual ideas of the proper are a very different matter. I did not find that I means, to work out the uniformity desiderated, was entitled to exact more than the repetition of the following illustration of the wonderful unanthe table." Yet another Scotch inspector (Dr imity manifested by two inspectors (Messrs GorWoodford) applies the “miscellaneous questions” don and Jack), ought to be conclusive, it so test, with a result which will doubtless prove to strikingly shews the different impressions left on those concerned “a very different matter." different minds by things virtually alike. Speak
That the same want of uniformity characterises ing of geography, Mr Gordon says : “ The prelimithe application of the Revised Code at all its nary chapters (of text-books) on the natural stages, is apparent from an examination of general divisions of the globe, its imaginary lines, parallels, statistics. From the figures furnished by Mr zones, and generally the rudiments of mathematiGordon and Mr Middleton, it appears that arith- cal geography, are passed over, or so slightly metic, under the first standard, is very nearly on touched upon as to be straightway forgotten, ...
a defect the more to be regretted, as the case with exercises in two different schools, on what prinwhich they might be learnt equals their import-ciple does this test ensure more uniform results ance.” Mr Jack, discussing the same subject, than those furnished by his erring judgment ? observes, “The master attacks his subject as it Is it not this same erring judgment, so continumight be well to do were his pupil an inhabitant ally liable to disturbing influences, that deterof another planet, in whose company he happened mines the exercises to be prescribed, and decides to be approaching the earth; when it might be on their parity of difficulty? In reality, then, inproper to begin by informing him first of the stead of discarding this helpless victim of fatigue, globular shape of the earth, of the millions of anger, or spleen, he has merely subjected it to a square miles of land and of sea, and of the general process of legerdemain, which will, happily, imshape and outlines of the four quarters of the pose on no one but himself. Mr Fearon can no globe. ... Why should his master not condescend more escape the exercise of judgment than he can to start hand in hand with him from his familiar resist its implacable foes. He must judge for home centre, and shew him afterwards, if he has himself, notwithstanding the conviction that his time for it, how large is the world ?" In order judgments will be erroneous more frequently fully to appreciate the force of the above quota- than might be desirable, unless, indeed, he copy tions, it will be necessary to bear in mind that the example of Mr Capel (page 42, Blue-book), both gentlemen virtually refer to the same dis- and give the youngsters of Standard III. half an trict, for, until last year, when it was divided be- hour to learn their spelling, when, I should fancy, tween them, Mr Jack acted as Mr Gordon's assis- the mental effort of judgment would not be opprestant. Is it then too much to suppose that their sive. Somebody says that a man's religion depends general remarks in a general report apply to the on the state of his stomach. If so, how much district as a whole ? Here, then, we have Mr must depend on the varying moods of an inspecGordon lugubriously bewailing the want of in- tor jaded by monotony, teased by ruthless questerest manifested by the teachers of the west, in tioners, and perhaps wet and hungry. I believe mathematical geography, and Mr Jack, with the I have seen them suffering from all these comjaunty air of a superior being, attributing the posing influences at once. Just fancy a year's geographical failings of the same gentlemen to an labours tested under such circumstances in the exclusive devotion to mathematical geography. magnificent space of two minutes. Yes, two whole Let us be charitable, however, Nemo mortalium minutes without deduction, and in cases of extraomnibus horis sapit. “All very well,” somebody ordinary difficulty with the addition of another will
say, “ but bear in mind, Quidquid delirant half-minute. Such is Dr Cumming's allowance reges, plectuntur Achivi."
(page 280, Blue-book). The effects of the counNot only is it impossible for different inspectors sels, admonitions, reproofs, of the moral precepts to produce uniform results, but it is evident from and social maxims, in short, of the endless influtheir own testimony that the same inspector can- ences exerted by the teacher on the pupil's mind not do so, and that his results are merely an in the course of a year, are tested by an inspector approximation to uniformity. In a former com- in two minutes. Truly, they must be great men. munication I took occasion to quote Mr Fearon's Let us now suppose that examinations are conopinion, that no inspector should be guided by an ducted on a uniform basis. Does it follow that uncertain and random estimate residing some- the results are a fair criterion of the teacher's where in his own imagination, and sure to vary work during the year ? Certainly not. The inwhen he was fatigued, annoyed, or unwell. His numerable influences that operate on an examinaremedy for this human failing is a rigid adherence tion day to deprive the hard-wrought master of to a mechanical system, which he fondly dreams his credit and pay, can never be removed, nor will convert him into a calculating machine. reduced to an inconsiderable minimum. These "Writing, Standards III. and IV., not more than things, however, have been already so often and four mistakes of any kind allowed;" and so of so ably pointed out in the Museum, that I will the other subjects of examination. Now, did Mr merely allude to the effects of the Inspector's Fearon prescribe exactly the same reading, writ- presence on the juvenile mind. ing, and arithmetic exercises, according to stan- The apparition of a carriage suddenly drawn dard, to all the schools of his district, this test up with a jerk at the door of a country school, would be somewhat intelligible, provided always where carriages are probably rare enough, prothat schools in advance got no inkling of their duces in the little minds an uneasy flutter, which nature,
large assumption. But when we know is speedily, in the case of the more timid, conthat it is impossible to prescribe exactly the same verted into something like terror, when the great
man, bristling all over with importance, bustles Curiously, however, I am just as puzzled as they. up the floor with ominous looking papers, bags, It is a subject upon which much can be said on coats, and umbrellas, and takes his stand in the both sides. The interest taken in the question is most commanding position in the room. For a proved by the elaborate attention my remarks moment every eye is turned on the inspectorial have received. When we see a writer's observa"countenance divine" for signs of cloud or sun- tions taken seriatim and commented upon, it shine, and as each has formed an opinion, a slight shews something in the observations. It will shifting of position indicates the completion of even justify you in allowing me a few more last the process. Much, very much depends on these words. first impressions : children have a great dislike to Let me say that I do not yield to any one in some inspectors, and can never acquire confi- devotion to the cause of education. I have been dence in their presence. If the truth were known, a Nazarite from my mother's womb. I bare I daresay there are teachers who share this dis moved and lived and had my being in educational like with the children, and perhaps not without work. Whatever can promote the holy crusade good reason. It is but right, however, to observe against ignorance would find in me an advocate, that others are favourites both with children and if not an eloquent one. If, therefore, this scheme teachers. To return to the work of inspection, - of registration can be shewn to be feasible and under the most favourable circumstances the useful, no one will hail its advent with greater timid children, to a certain extent, break down ; gladness than I. The question is one entirely of but should the great man's countenance be for- possibilities. We need not discuss the importance bidding, and his manner curt and tart, as is not of education, nor of best methods of teaching, nor unfrequently the case, then the nervous boy of training of teachers. Is there so far an analogy bungles his reading: the words fit like ants between teaching as a profession and the registered before his eyes. His multiplication slips through professions as to admit of teaching coming into a hole in his memory, and if he does not exactly the same category? The suggestive difficulties forget his own name, he runs considerable risk of thrown out in my paper on the subject have been forgetting how to spell it. Unfortunately, every met and not been met by your very able correteacher knows that such failures are far from few. spondents. The seriatim minor points are all
Ifsuch be a faithful representation of the much- taken up, and what can be advanced on the other vaunted “ Uniform Standard of Examination,"— side is urged with taste and talent. But the and who that has faith in the Reports of Govern- general difficulty which every one feels remains ment Inspectors, favourable to that sham, can unremoved. This difficulty has two phases. dvubt it?—what is to be said for “Payment by There is the indefinite scope of a Registration Results ?" Simply, that it is an absurdity. It is Act, and there is the legal intangibility of mental a pretence of paying, by measure, for things im- neglect. No profession but is more clearly demeasurable ; or at best, it is the payment of a fined than that of education. Divinity, law, medifixed price for things the same in name, but ever cine, were distinct things before registrations were varying in substance. True, it would be extremely thought of. Institutions existed round which convenient were the theoretical view of uniformity members of these professions gathered, and acathe correct one; so it would be if a thousand demic degrees were granted in each. The preother absurd theories were correct. But since it liminaries had thus been arranged for registration. so happens that an inspector is no more compe- With regard to teaching as a profession, nothing tent to test exactly the quantity and quality of of this sort exists. Our Normal Colleges, and Colthe educative influence exerted on a boy during lege of Preceptors, and kindred institutions, are the year, than of determining the quantity of beef all modern, and cannot exert the force of prescripconsumed by him, during the same period, by an tion. There is nothing of a national character annual process of weighing him, is it very much about them. Were education, however, a faculty, more absurd to pay the butcher than the teacher as well as a profession, the ground would be by results ? A PAROCHIAL SCHOOLMASTER. levelled for incorporation and registration. Schol
astic registration, in this view, is the ultimate,
not the proximate, object teachers should aim at. SCHOLASTIC REGISTRATION.
We should be “unhasting, unresting” to bring SIR,—Your correspondents last month appear both objects about, but in due place and course. puzzled to know whether I am in favour of While the first article on this subject was printScholastic Registration, or opposed to it. Per- ing, the summary of the intentions of the Scholsonally, it is a matter of infinite unimportance. I astic Registration Committee appeared. These
documents indicate how difficulties have daily can only be gained by passing ordeals to merit it. multiplied. Restrictions have evidently been We, none of us, wish education to become a lowfound impracticable, whether upon claimants for caste profession. To make education, therefore,' registration or upon bodies claiming the right to a faculty, would be to give it a worthy test for register. The herald of the Committee proclaims aspirants to its honours; to remove vagueness
of aloud, "Register! Register! Register!" The interpretation ; to make the subject a specialty, scheme is obliged to embrace every claim, how and therefore a valid profession; to facilitate the ever small.
No invidious distinctions must be incorporation of its members, and to place it on a made between institutions or between individuals. level with the recognised professions. The nearest The Committee, as might be foreseen, cannot approach to educational degrees, and to the inafford to reject the countenance of any institution. corporation of educators, is made by the College Authority to register is to be thrown broadcast. of Preceptors. We do not, however, disparage The Committee, in widening the scheme, as cer- this useful and most respectable body, by saying tainly loosen' it.
Individuals are to be dealt with that it represents but a very limited number of in the same liberal spirit. We are to net, in one our teachers, and exercises very limited influence. great catch, fish of all kinds and sizes. How shall Till the College can do and dare more, there is no we keep out the slippery eels? The qualification probability of its becoming anything of national will be so small, that Mr Squeers could qualify. importance. The degrees granted are only ColIt is knavery in the ranks, not the knavery of lege degrees. It is Member, or Associate, or Lioutsiders, that requires guarding against. There centiate, or Fellow of the College. Might not this are few charlatans keeping schools who are quite be made a stepping-stone to degrees in education unconnected with education by previous practice itself ? The limited would thus become general. and experience. Registration will not keep the Something like the College of Surgeons in nature ill-qualified from pretending to teach Greek, nor and functions would thus arise. We believe, unstop other forms of dishonesty. Again, some of fortunately, that the jealousies of other instituour most successful schoolmasters are pardonably tions, more than the want of “go” in the College proud of the nudity of their names. Great com- of Preceptors, prevents this last body, and, in moners of the craft, they rejoice in the service, fact, any other body, from becoming a common but disdain titles. Men who, for their qualifica- centre for the profession to rally round. Surgeons tions, can answer, Ecce signum, pointing to their are loyal to their College. Teachers have a choice work, these men registration would shut out. of twenty loyalties, and their attachment to any
It were easy to take up the points referred to one is proportioned inversely to the number to by your correspondents, and re-answer them. I choose from. To dissipate our loyalty in this do not, however, stand upon details simply, but manner militates against our useful incorporation. upon the spirit of the whole. The philosophy of We want a sovereignty amongst us to incite a the question may be thus expressed. The term useful loyalty. profession always implies two things. It implies We thus summarise the obstacles to scholastic distinctive men and distinctive work. The learned registration. The indefiniteness of the workers professions so-called, were definitely recognised and the work. The absence of a sovereignty in bodies before registration was known, despite the any institution, and the resulting absence of an fact that they were subject to the intrusion of esprit de corps, or loyalty amongst individuals. charlatans. This definiteness was primarily owing Lastly, the non-criminality of the damage done by to academic distinctions. Law, Divinity, Medi- unqualified teachers. False doctrine, injury to cine, were all faculties. The ground was thus health, failure of justice, are equal offences by the prepared for incorporation, and, by consequence, canon or the civil law, if overtly brought about registration. Now, education is not thus pre- by unqualified preachers and practitioners. Ignopared. It is not distinctive enough, either in the rance is no crime. It is not penal. Injury to men or the work, to claim with validity the honour faith, to health, and to property, were provided of being a profession. It has no specific academic against by guarding the entrance to the learned distinctions. Yet, if a profession at all, it is a professions with registration. We cannot in this learned profession, and must rely upon these dis- way guard against ignorance, which is no offence tinctions as its groundwork. Were it possible in law. The more assumption of a title by a even to define the limits of the men and the work, quack is venial, though it indicates a low morality. and to incorporate the whole body of teachers, The harm arises from the ignorance of the man, the prestige and status of the learned professions and culminates in the ignorance of the pupil. If would by none the more be teached. Position scholastic registration merely puts an end to the