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and the fear of disgrace, effectively to bear upon his mind, and, in the last resort, by the diead of punishment. The most important by far of the stimulants which a school is able to supply is furnished by the system of promotion.”
The number of hours per week given to the different departments of study, on an average, is as follows:
The subject of Discipline, and especially of Fagging claims justly a large amount of attention from the Commissioners. We quote the following upon this topic from a review of the report in Barnard's American Journal of Education :
“In regard to this practice and to determine whether it is productive of bodily ill-usage, or is likely to be injurious to character, or is oppressive or troublesome to younger boys by encroaching on their hours of study or play, examinations were made of Masters, whose duty it is to know how it works, and of young men who have had experience of it both as fags and fag-masters, and of little boys from the foundation schools, where from the force of usage and tradition, fagging may reasonably be expected to exist in a more systematic shape than elsewhere, and to retain more of its old roughness and severity.
“ The right to fag belongs at every school to a portion of the senior boys; the liability to be fagged attaches itself commonly to a portion only of the juniors. The duties of a fag are at some schools much lighter and more limited than at others; in their largest extent they embrace some special personal services to the boy to whom the fag is assigned, and some general services which he may be called on to render to the whole body of the masters, with “fielding,” when required, at cricket, and compulsory attendance at some other games. Some of the services are such as would at the present day be performed by servants, had not the custom grown up of allowing them to be performed by fags. In some instances the compulsory attendance at games, which is far from being always an evil, is so enforced as to trench upon the fag's opportunities for play. But on the whole, and with some exceptions, we are satisfied that fagging, mitigated as
it has been, and that considerably, by the altered habits and manners of the present day, is not degrading to the juniors, is not enforced tyrannically, and makes no exorbitant demand upon their time, and that it has no injurious effect upon the character of the seniors. The relation of master and fag is generally friendly, and to a certain though perhaps a slight extent one of patronage and protection, and it sometimes gives rise to lasting intimacies. It is an institution created by the boys themselves in the exercise of the liberty allowed to · them, and is popular with them; and it is tacitly sanctioned by the Masters, who have seen the tyranny of superior strength tempered and restrained in this way by rule and custom till it has practically ceased to be a tyranny at all. It is only recommended that the practice be watched; that fags should be relieved from menial service, and that care should be taken that neither their time for lessons nor their time for play be unduly encroached upon.”
But to our mind the most important subject treated of in the report is the relative importance which the ancient languages, and the mathematics and natural sciences maintain in those schools. It will be seen from the number of hours devoted to these different branches, as given above, that more hours in each week, during the entire school course, are given to the ancient languages than to all other study.
This topic, at an early date, presented itself to the Commission, and for the purpose of obtaining the requisite information, they invited the testimony of many of the most prominent educators in the kingdom. The testimony of these gentlemen is given in the Appendix of the Report of the Commission recently published, and from it we derive the following interesting summary. The grounds taken by the advocates of an extended classical education, are well represented in the following answer given by the Rev. F. Temple, master of the famous Rugby School, in reply to a question of the Commission :
Question—“ As in your judgement the opinion of a first-rate scientific man, who is not a first-rate man in classical attainments, depreciatory of the disciplinary value of classical attainments, is not of very high value, so would you think that the opinion of a first-rate classical scholar not having the same rank scientifically and tending to depreciate the disciplinary value of scientific attainment was also not of very great value ?”
Answer—"No; I do not think it would be in the same degree at all, because it is essentially a part of the one kind of study to know human nature, and it is not a part of the other. The one is naturally led to the study of man, and to the study, therefore, of what is good for the discipline of the mind; the other has not studied man, but things, and it is not his business to know what is good for the discipline of the mind. The study of the philosophy of the question comes properly within the sphere of one man's science, but not properly within the sphere of the other roan's science.”
Among the scientists whose testimony was taken, were Professors Faraday, Owen, Sir Charles Lyell, Dr. Carpenter (the well-known author of several works on anatomy, physiology, and the microscope), and others. Their testimony is clear, decided, and very convincing. Differing on some minor points, they united in asserting that the sin of the public schools is, that although the great majority of boys do not go to the universities, yet the requirements of those who do go to the universities in fact regulate the system. Dr. Carpenter, in arguing that even mathematics is no substitute for the physical sciences, remarked :
“Mathematical training exercises the mind most strenuously in a very narrow groove, so to speak. It starts with axioms which have nothing to do with external phenomena, but which the mind finds in itself; and the whole science of mathematics may be evolved out of the original axioms which the mind finds in itself. * * * Now it is the essence of scientific training that the mind finds the object of its study in the external world; and it appears to me that a training which leaves out of view the relation of man to external nature, is a very defective one, and that the faculties which bring his intelligence into relation with the phenomena of the external world are subjects for education and discipline equally important with the faculties by which he exercises his reason purely upon abstraction. * * * I may add, that having given considerable attention to the refuted phenomena of mesmerism, electro-biology, spiritualism, etc., I have had occasion to observe that the want of scientific habits of mind is the source of a vast amount of prevalent misconception as to what constitutes adequate proof of the marvels reported by witnesses neither untruthful nor unintelligent as to ordinary matters. I could mention striking instances of misconception in men of high literary cultivation, or high mathematical attainments; whilst I have met with no one who had undergone the discipline of an adequate course of scientific study, who has not at once recognized the fallacies in such testimony when they have been pointed out to him.”
Sir Charles Lyell considered that the principle of limiting education to the languages and the mathematics is a direct injury to many men. A large portion of those who would have shown a strong taste for the sciences, are forced into one line, and after they leave their colleges they neglect branches they have been taught, and so culivate neither the one nor the other. I have known men quite late in life, who have forgotten all the Latin and Greek which they spent their early years in acquiring, hit upon geology or some other branch, and all at once their energies have been awakened, and you have been astonished to see how they came out. They would have taken that line long before, and done good work in it, had they been taught the elements of it at school. Question. So there was a mental waste in their youth ? Answer. Quite so.
The following is an extract from Prof. Faraday's testimony:
“ Up to this very day there come to me persons of good education, men and women quite fit for all that you expect from education ; they come to me, and they talk to me, about things that belong to natural science ; about mesmerism, table-turning, flying through the air, about the laws of gravity; they come to me to ask me questions, and they insist against me, who think I know a little of these laws, that I am wrong and they are right, in a manner which shows how little the ordinary course of education has taught such minds. Let them study natural things, and they will get a very different idea from that which they have obtained by that education. It happens up to this day. I do not wonder at those who have not been educated at all, but such as I refer to, say to me, “I have felt it, done it, and seen it, and though I have not flown through the air, I believe it.' Persons who have been fully educated according to the present system, come with the same propositions as the untaught and stronger ones, because they have a stronger conviction that they are right. They are ignorant of their igorance at the end of all that education. It happens even with men who are excellent mathematicians. * * * Who are the men whose powers are really developed ? Who are they who have made the electric telegraph, the steam engine, and the railroad? Are they the men who have been taught Latin and Greek ? Were the Stephensons such ? These men had that knowledge which habitually had been neglected and pushed down below. It has only been those who, having a special inclination for this kind
of knowledge, have forced themselves out of that ignorance by an education and into a life of their own.”
The language of the other gentlemen consulted was of the same tenor, and equally urgent for a change in the dominant system. They showed that the physical sciences might be safely studied before the languages are commenced; that they might be pursued hand in hand with the languages without crowding and with a gain of time. And they especially insisted that no nation in this day can safely continue a system of education which ignores the study of natural laws and the physical constitution of the globe.
We have here presented some of the main points of this remarkable report as briefly as seemed consistent. That the leading schools of England should exhibit such incongruities and palpable faults seems to us, Americans, almost impossible. That, as was shown by the Commissioners, a large proportion of the graduates of these schools, of world-wide renown, should be lamentably ignorant of the simple principles and practice of Arithmetic and other mathematical studies, Natural Philosophy, and the natural sciences generally, is a reproach and a well-deserved rebuke to proud Englishmen who have boasted of their learning, and never ceased to deride our people for their ignorance and boorishness. But we only see here the legitimate faults of monarchical governments. A few educated by an effete and onesided system, while the mass are degraded.
Quite the reverse is it in the Great Republic of America. The best education, mathematical, scientific and classical, is within the reach of the poorest boy in America. Here it is no uncommon thing that a boy from the lower walks of life rises to a post of the highest honor as a scholar in all three of these departments of study. And it is certainly a source of just pride to us that, whatever faults exist in our American system of schools --and they are many — that system has shot far ahead of the unpractical, fossilized system of Great Britain. Far be it from us to say one word derogatory to classical education in America. We believe the only true system of education includes a thorough drill in the philosophy of the Greek and Latin languages. But we believe, also, that it by no means excludes a thorough drill in the principles of mathematical science and acquisition of the leading facts and principles of natural science.
Free use has been made, in this article, of the paper previously alluded to in Mr. Barnard's Journal, and to a synopsis of the report in the late volume of Mr. Wells’ Annual of Scientific Discovery.