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cleanliness and neatness, and also to impress upon the children the importance of cheerful obedience to duty, of consideration and respect for others, and of honor and truthfulness in word and act. The inspector should also satisfy himself that the teacher has not unduly pressed those who are dull or delicate in preparation for examination at any time of the year.
Methods of instruction.--Instruction by repetition is a method much in vogue in English schools.' One pupil repeats after the teacher and a second pupil after the first, until by dint of reiteration the matter is mastered.
Concert repetition is also a common exercise. In the teaching of arithmetic more attention seems to be given to drill in processes than to the analysis of principles and relations. Object lessons are employed in infant schools and in those for older pupils, but more generally take the form of talks by the teacher than of instruction based upon perception and observation.
Among many excellent features of the system we may note that infant schools have been the subject of special care and thought, and many of them approach very near the ideal formulated by Mr. Fitch. “ The English ideal of an infant school,” says Mr. Fitch, “ as one in which elementary instruction in reading, writing, and counting is interspersed with simple lessons on the phenomena of nature and of common life, and with interesting and varied manual employment, has not pro. vailed in America. I confess I greatly prefer it. It seems to me to put what are commonly called kindergarten methods and discipline into their proper place, rather as organic parts of a good and rounded sys. tem of juvenile acquisition of knowledge than as constituting even in the earliest years a separate organization, having aims and principles different from those which should prevail during the rest of the school life.” 1
These infant schools are most numerous in crowded city districts, and with their games, songs, and free converse bring light and joy to multitudes of children belonging to the poorest classes.
Sewing and cookery as developed in the large cities and in certain districts, especially of Yorkshire, greatly increase the influence of the schools over the home life of the poor.
Clay modeling has been introduced to some extent in infant schools, and is attempted occasionally in schools for older scholars in con. nection with drawing. Manual training experiments have been started in a few cities, and in June, 1890, the Science and Art Department announcerl that grants would be made toward the maintenance of man. aal classes in connection with the teaching of drawing in the elementary schools.
By recitation in English schools is meant the verbatim repetition of assigned selections from the writings of the best authors, an exercise
· Vide: Notes on American Schools and Training Colleges.
apon which much stress is laid in the higher standards. Another very valuable language exercise which is much used, although not included in the obligatory course, is the analysis of words, and the grouping to. gether of those having a common root.
What is known as the peripatetic plan of instraction has been successfully employed for science classes in Birmingham, Sheffield, Man. chester, Huddersfield, and other manufacturing towns, and also in Lon. don. By this plan a special teacher, accompanied oftentimes with an assistant and equipped with a portable laboratory, goes from school to school to conduct classes. Physical training, as we have already seen, is not entirely ignored. The Swedish system of gymnastics has been introduced extensively into the London schools for girls. Swimming classes for boys bare also been formed in some schools of the metropolis and of other cities.
Lessons in thrift and economy are enforced by the maintenance of savings banks, or by use of the post-office savings system. Iu 1889 the number of schools reporting penoy banks was 2,509, which is very nearly three times the number reported in 1881..
From an exhaustive inquiry made in the board schools of London in 1887, it appeared that very few banks had been established in the schools, but the post-office system was popular.
The way in which this system was operated in the schools is thus described in the report of the investigation:
The working of the system is in this rise: On a Monday morning a teacher takes the moneys saved by each scholar, from a penny up to a shilling, and enters each aloount in a cash book opposite the scholar's name. As several amounts are thus entered they are transferred to a ledger, whence the total savings of each scholar can be seen. Having done this the teacher sends the total sum received on the Monday to the nearest post-office and obtains a deposit receipt in an ordinary savings-bank book, which serves as a pass book.
Again, that which is known as the stamp plan is used in a few schools, the teacher supplying stamps to the scholars for the purpose of being affixed to a form which is also supplied to each scholar. When a dozen stamps have been thus affised the form is sent to the post-office and an account is opened. In that case no cash book or ledger is kept at the school.
With respect to text-books the local managers bave entire freedom, and the text-book trade flourishes in England. The books are not, . however, comparable either in respect to contents or to typographical finish with those used in the United States or upon the Continent.
Efforts are also made to supply schools with general reading matter; in 1888–39 school libraries were reported from 4,311 schools, or about one-fifth of the whole number.
Discipline. — The discipline of the schools is as various as we find it in our own country. Corporal punishment is very generally employed, but is guarded in many ways.
The London board, for instance, prohibits any but head teachers from inflicting it, and orders a detailed record of each case to be made.
See report with (nller details in "School Board Chronicle” of December 24, 1887.
Parents are quite sensitive in this matter, and it is not uncommon to hear of teachers being summoned before magistrates to answer charges of assault.
ORGANIZATION OF SCHOOLS.
The organization of elementary schools is regulated to some extent by the provisions of the education acts and code, but beyond this, is left entirely to local managers.
Essential characteristics of elementary schools.-An elementary school is defined by the education act“ to be a school in which elementary education is the principal part of the education given,” and does not in. clude any school or department in which the ordinary payments in respect to the instruction, from each scholar, exceed ninepence a week. In reality the weekly fee is seldom as high as ninepence. In 1889-90 52.67 per cent. of the pupils in England and Wales paid less than 3d. a Week; 38.63 per cent. paid between 3d. and 6d., and 3.75 per cent. paid 6d. and over; 4.95 per cent. were free scholars.
In order to be classed as a “public elementary school," a school must be bound by the "conscience clause" of the act, which reads as follows:
It shall not be reqnired, as a condition of any child being admitted into or continuing in the school, that he shall attend or abstain froin attending any Sunday school or any place of religious worship, or that he shall attend any religious observance or any instruction in religious subjects in the school or elsewhere, from which observance or instruction he may be withdrawn by his parent, or that he shall if withdrawn by his parent, attend the school on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his parent belongs.
The time or times during which any religious observance is practiced or instruction in religious subjects is given at any meeting of the scbool shall be either at the begin. ning or at the end, or at the beginning and the end of such meetings, and shall be inserted in a time-table to be approved by the Education Department, and to be kept permanently and conspicuously a fixed in every school room, and any scholar may be withdrawn by his parent from such observance or instruction without forfeiting any of the other benefits of the school.
The scbool shall be open at all times to the inspection of any of Her Majesty's inspectors, so, however, that it shall be no part of the duties of such inspector to inquire into any instruction in religious subjects given at such school, or to examine any scbolar therein in religious knowledge, or in any religious subject or book.
The school shall be conducted in accordance with the conditions required to be ful. filled by an elementary school in order to obtain an annual parliamentary grant.
This section is equally binding upon board and voluntary schools; it will be noticed that it does not exclude sectarian teaching, but simply provides for the withdrawal of children from such instruction if the parents so desire.
Additional clause respecting religious instruction binding upon board schools.-The board schools are bound by an additional clause which forbids the teaching of any religious catechism, or religious formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination.
Special requirements.— The time-table must be approved for the school by the inspector on behalf of the department, and in a school
provided by a school board the consent of the department must have been given to the weekly fee prescribed by the board.
The school must not be established where there is already adequate provision in approved schools, nor conducted for private profit.
The principal teacher must be certificated, and the school must have met at least 400 times during the year.
In England, as elsewhere, under other systems, individual schools present varied degrees of development, and varied modes of operation within the limits imposed.
The board schools, as a rule, have better teachers than the voluntary schools, are better organized, and yield better results. This is to be expected, as boards control the greater proportion of the schools in the cities and thickly settled communities where it is easiest to excite and maintain a professional spirit. Moreover the boards being elective bodies, the rate-payers have a lively sense of their responsibilities and privileges in respect to the schools, and thus a popular sentiment is awakened which is stimulating alike to teachers and to pupils. There are, however, many superior voluntary schools, as there are indifferent board schools. The Jew's Free School, of London, is a notable example of a school established by the benevolent for the benefit of the poorest class, thoroughly organized, employing a corps of superior teachers, and holding high rank in all scholarly conditions and results.
Special requirements for infant classes and schools.-Infant classes are for pupils below seven years of age, but such a class is not recognized if the average attendance be less than twenty. The class must be taught by a teacher over eighteen years of age, approved by the inspector, if the average attendance be above thirty, and by a certificated teacher if the average attendance be above fifty. The highest grant can not be claimed unless the class is taught in a room of its own, constructed and furnished for the work. The number of schools thus equipped steadily increases.
In 1889 the number of scholars in the registers of infant schools and classes was 1,601,689, and of these 884,834 were instructed in separate schools under certificated teachers of their own.
Night schools.-In order to secure a grant, a night school must have at least forty-five sessions during the year. No scholar can be presented for examination in any standard lower than the third, and no scholar can be presented who has not attended the school for eight weeks and been present at least twenty-four times since the previous examination. In 1889 the number of scholars in average attendance upon night schools was 37,118.
Size and grading of elementary day schools. The size and grouping of schools depend upon various circumstances, of which the principal is location, as rural or urban. There are no general statistics bearing upon this point beyond the statement that 19,398 schools comprise 29,336 departments in which separate head teachers are employed.
The division of the obligatory curriculum into seven standards forms a basis for grading and for grouping pupils in separate rooms, where the school building permits.
The provision for a wide range of specific subjects open to pupils who have passed the elementary examination in any standard above the fourth, forms an initial stage in the establishment of what would be called in the United States high-school grades or high schools. · The evolution of these high grades has reached an interesting stage in many places, more especially in the provincial manufacturing centers. In Bradford it has taken the form of special schools, four in number, which are intended as models, including the entire course of study al. lowed by the scheme. In Sheffield, Huddersfield, and Birmingham the movement is toward what we should call high schools. The rapid in. crease of the higher grade departments and schools in the chief cities has excited much discussion in Parliament and among the people. It is contended in many quarters that such provision is not authorized by the education acts, the same arguments being advanced that have been used against public bigh schools in the United States.
It is interesting to note, also, that the obligation to train pupil-teachers has led many city boards to establish what are cailed central classes for this purpose. Here the pupil-teachers assemble for instruction.
School buildings and premises.-As regards the school buildings and premises, the department must in every case be satisfied
That the school premises are healthy, are properly constructed, lighted, warmed, drained, and ventilated, are supplied with suitable offices, contain sufficient accommodation for the scholars attending the school, and are properly provided with furniture, books, maps, and other apparatus of elementary instruction.
The employment of pupil-teachers in the schools existing prior to the passage of the education act gave rise to a peculiar style of school room, which is still in use.
It is long and wide and provided with parallel rows of benches and desks, facing the teacher's desk. It is sometimes so planned that ad. ditional benches and desks can be placed at the sides facing toward the others. Floor space is left at the sides of the room, where classes are drawn up in semicircles for lessons under the pupil teachers, the head teacher overlooking all from his position.'
The simultaneous recitations of different classes make to American ears a perfect Babel of confusion.
The Wesleyan school rooms, built before 1870, are modeled on the plan advocated by Mr. Stow. The principal feature is a gallery wherein a collective lesson may be given to a large number of children. These galleries accommodate infant classes and are also used for religious lessons and exercises. The Wesleyans, however, very early recognized the need of class rooms. These open from the main room and, like that, are provided with galleries.
Board school architecture shows the influence of German and Amer.
For detailed description of the earlier school buildings see School Architecture, by E. R. Rolison.