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Present force.—The active teaching staff for the latest year of report (1889) was composed as follows: Cortificated teachers : Male .........
18, 250 Female ........
27, 184 Assistant teachers : Male.........
5, 100 Female ..............
15, 142 Pupil-teachers ........
30, 397 Total ..................................
... 96, 073 The great and increasing proportion of female teachers is a matter noted in each successive report. In 1869, out of every 100 teachers of each class, 48 certificated teachers, 60 assistant teachers, and 57 papil. teachers were women; in 1889 these proportions were 60, 75, and 74 respectively.
Training of teachers.—The expression “trained teachers" is applied to those who have passed through a training college under Government inspection.
Demand vs. supply of trained teachers.-In 1889 these colleges! were attended by 3,294 students, which is very nearly the entire number for which they afford accommodation.
This attendance would furnish a yearly supply of 1,500 teachers hav. ing two years' training, a supply which would be amply sufficient to fill up the waste in a staff of 25,000 teachers or a little more than half the number of certificated teachers actually engaged in the schools. One of the most important problems at present under consideration is the means of increasing the provision for training teachers.
In discussing this subject in their report for 1889–90 the committee of council say:
The extent to which the training colleges have contributed to the present supply of efficient teachers in England and Wales is shown by the fact that of 18,250 masters employed in schools reported on in 1888–89, 11,559, or 63.34 per cent. had been trained for two years, and 909, or 4.98 per cont., for less than two years; while 5,782, or 31.68 per cent., were untrained. In like manner, of 27,184 schoolmistresses, 11,502, or 41.31 per cent., had been trained for two years ; 893, or 3.28 per cent, for less than two years; and 14,789, or 54.41 per cent., were untrained.
Of the teachers, however, who, from whatever canse, have not attended a training college, a considerable proportion can not, except in a technical sense of the word, be classed as untrained, having, under the superintendence of some of the best teachers, passed through the pupil-teacher's course and served as assistants in large schools before passing the examination for a certificate and undertaking independent charges.
Under present conditions, a considerable number of teachers who have not passed through the training college will always be required for service in the small schools of the country, since the trained masters can not be secured for schools that offer less than $500 a year for head
'A detailed view of training colleges is given on a subsequent page.
or assistant masters, and even the salaries commanded by women after two years of training are beyond the means of the majority of small schools.
SUBJECTS OF INSTRUCTION. The obligatory subjects of elementary instruction in day schools are reading, writing, and arithmetic, with needlework for girls and drawing for boys in schools for older scholars. These subjects are arranged in seyen grades, called standards. Pupils must pass an examination in each standard before passing to the next, and as the examinations are annual it follows that a standard is equivalent to a year.
Additional subjects may be included in the programme, to be taken either by classes or by individuals. Pupils may be drawn from one or more standards, i. e., grades, for instruction in the class subjects, exam. inations in the same being conducted by classes and not by individuals. The subjects comprised in this category are singing, recitation (i. e., of literary selections), English, geography, elementary science, drawing for boys in infant schools and classes, needlework for girls (optional as a class subject).
The following subjects may be taken by individuals who have passed the fourth standard, intended to be reached by pupils at 10 years of age :
Algebra, Euclid and mensuration, mechanics, chemistry, physics, animal physiology, botany, principles of agriculture, Latin, French, domestic economy (for girls), Welsh (for scholars in schools in Wales), German, bookkeeping; shorthand, according to some system recognized by the department; cookery and laundry work may be taken by girls.
Any subject, other than those mentioned above, may, if sanctioned by the department, be taken as a specific subject, provided that a graduated scheme for teaching it be submitted to and approved by the inspector.
Instruction may be given in other secular subjects, and in religions subjects, but no grant is made in respect to any such instruction; as a rule little is attempted beyond the official programme.
Actual state of the schools as regards subjects of instruction.-An in. teresting view of the actual scholastic work of the schools is presented in the report of the annual examinations for 1888–89. The number of schools comprised in the report is 19,310, i. e., 99 per cent. of the entire number, and enrolling 99 per cent. of the pupils, or practically the whole school attendauce. About 30 per cent. of these pupils were in infant schools. Of the 70 per cent. in the schools for older pupils, 2,580,720 were presented for examination. From the report it appears that whereas as many as 1,410,626 being over 10 years of age, ought to have been presented in Standards IV-VII, only 962,565 were so presented, while 448,061 (or 31.76 per cent.) were presented in standards suited for children of seven, eight, and nine years of age. Those figures, however, show marked improvement over the condition of former years. Thus, in 1883-84, of the children over 10 years of age, 42.77 per cent. were presented in standards below the 4th ; while in 1978-79 the proportion' above 10 years of age in the lower standards was 59 per cent. In other words, there has been during the decade a gain of 65 per cent. in the proportion of children orer 10 years of age in standards appropriate to them.
The grant for class subjects was claimed by 89.91 per cent. of the schools for older scholars, having an average attendance of 2,511,057, and was allowed for 86.82 per cent. of the schools on the basis of an average attendance of 2,465,486, that is, 94 per cent. of all older scholars. English, i. e., grammar and grammatical analysis, was the first class subject in all cases.
In 70.98 per cent. of the schools, grants were claimed for two class subjects. In the majority, i, e., 76.50 per cent., geography was the second class subject. Optional needlework (girls), history, and elementary science made up the remaining number.
In their report the committee of council say:
The wider range of class subjects allowed by the code under the head of "elementary science" does not appear to be taken advantage of to any great extent at present. The returns slow but 30 schools which have taken subjects under this head.
The 10 per cent. of schools in which no class subject was taken were evidently small schools. They comprised only 4 per cent. of the average attendance of scholars, while the average "number for payment" in each of them was 47, as against 127 in the schools which secured payment for class subjects and 66 in the schools which failed.
As to specific subjects, it appears that 14.83 per cent. of the scholars eligible for examination in these subjects were so examined.
The London school board district furnished a large proportion, viz, 39 per cent. of this number; board schools of that district surpassing the voluntary schools in this respect in the proportion of 7 to 3.
The results of the examinations in specific subjects were as follows: Number examined
72,781 Examined in one subject only...
54, 429 Passed ..................
42,772 Examined in two subjocts ...
11, 149 The subjects giving the highest number of passes were algebra, 30 per cent.; domestic economy, 24 per cent.; animal physiology, 18 per cent. French followed at a distance, having 7 per cent.
The examination developed the fact that cookery had been taugbt in 1,355 departments; 57,539 girls gaining the grant for this brancb.
Military drill, which (as distinguished from the ordinary school drill practiced in every good school) was first recognized by the code of 1871, is systematically taught to the boys attending 1,414 day schools.
Drawing, which has just been made an obligatory subject for boys, is not a vew feature of the programme. In 1885 it was pursued in 4,637 elementary schools, and over halfa million children passed examination in the elementary stages. Owing to changes in the status of the subject, it declined for a while, but the lost ground bas apparently been recovered, as in 1889 the number of children examined in this branch was very nearly $50,000. In Leeds, where drawing has been especially developed, the school board employ an art inspector, at a salary of £350 ($1,750).
The scheme of elementary study considered as a whole is an interesting illustration of the conflicting views of the scope and purposes of elementary education under which it has been framed. The narrow range of obligatory subjects accords with the opinion of a large class of English statesmen, who hold that in the interests of economy and public content the education of the people should be confined to tho rudiments of knowledge.
The class subjects are a concession to those more liberal-minded men who realize that the rudiments are in themselves lifeless, while in the larger opportunities which the scheme offers to individuals there is a hint of the relation that elementary instruction should bear to complete education. As it now stands, the scheme is not coördinated to or in unison with any other part of the educational provision of the country. Its deficiencies in this respect are radical, as is shown whenever the endeavor is made to bring the elementary schools into direct relations with higher institutions.
Notwithstanding these inherent difficulties, however, many indi. vidual papils in the elementary schools have been successfully prepared for secondary schools, and have eventually gained distinction as university stadents. These higher provisions are made available to a limited number of elementary school pupils by scholarships created for the purpose and secured by competitive examination. The London board possesses fourteen such scholarships, ranging in value from $125 to $175. Additional scholarships are also annually placed at the disposal of this board. One of the practical results vf the passage of students from the elementary schools to the higher institutions of learn. ing is an increased recognition of the need of better adjustments between the courses of study of different classes of schools.
CONDUCT OF STUDIES AND DISCIPLINE.
Intellectual tone of the schools. The prevailing methods of instruction in elementary schools affect individual minds and characters even more than do the subjects of instruction. These methods depend upon the professional qualification of the teacher and the demands which he is constrained to meet. In the English system, the one orershadowing influevce is the inspector's annual examination, since upon the report of this official depends the amount of grant that a school may claim. The scheme of study already presented is a significant indication of the Government requirement, which guides the work of both teacher and examiner. This is first and foremost, a definite, although very mea. ger, attainment in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Experience has proved that children can be brought to the required proficiency in these subjects by drill of a mechanical kind, which immature and inferior teachers can use as effectively as the able and ex. perienced. Pupil.teachers, however promising they may appear, lack both maturity and experience, and the tendency to grinding routine, inseparable from the peculiar systeín of examinations, is increased by the large proportion of this class of teachers, who constitute 30 per cent. of the entire force.
The low limit of attainment bitherto required for exemption from school attendance, viz: the fourth standard, which may be reached at 10 years of age, and actually is reached at that age by two-thirds of the children, has tended also to keep the work of the schools within narrow lines. Under these circumstances, professional skill and phil. osophical insight, which are not wanting to the teaching fraternity of England, count for little. Teachers, school board officials, and others have been urgent in their endeavors to secure some relief from these depressing conditions, and while as yet they have failed in effecting radical changes they have met with some measure of success.
The code of 1890 provides some relief from these depressing condi. tions; it allows the teacher greater freedom in the classification of pupils than heretofore, greatly reduces the amount of individual examination, and gives larger credit for excellence in the general conditions of the schools, and raises the age of exemption from 10 to 12 years. These concessions bave revived the efforts of those who advocate more natural methods of instruction and a larger range of obligatory subjects.
Moral quality. While the average intellectual standard of the Eng. lish elementary schools (if both urban and rural schools be included) is not high, the moral quality is positive and pervasive.
This is a very natural consequence of the part which the Church has taken in the establishment and maintenance of the schools. It is further attributable to the influence of the training colleges, through which the majority of the head teachers have passed, which colleges being denominational schools are deeply penetrated with the religious spirit. The attitude of the Government accords with this spirit. A portion of the parliamentary grant is allowed upon the inspector's report as to the organization and discipline of a school. In recommend. ing this grant the inspector is instructed to have
Special regard to the moral training and conduct of children, to the neatness and order of the scbool premises and furniture, and to the proper classification of the scholars, both for teaching and examination. * * * To meet the requirements respecting discipline the managers and teachers will be expected to satisfy the inspector that all reasonable care is taken in the ordinary management of the school to bring up the children in babits of punctuality, of good manners and language, of