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and much more interesting. Taking a constitutional walk, for walking and for exercise sake, is as we all know, less enjoyable, and even less invigorating than walking to some place we want to go to. So a child likes better to achieve some results to overcome some difficulty; than to go through a set of exercises which are of no value except as exercises, and which lead to
nothing in which he is interested. Over- The need of free animal pastime is already so fully estimate of athletic
recognized in Boys' schools, that there is some danexercises ger of over-estimating its importance as an element for boys.
in school life. Considering that it is, at any rate the first business of a school to encourage learning, and develop mental power, it is rather a discredit to some of our great schools that so large a proportion of time and thought should be devoted to athletics; and that success in cricket and football and rowing should so often be valued as much as intellectual distinction. We are in danger of presenting boys with a false ideal of manliness, when we lead them to suppose that they come to school merely to become healthy and robust. Let us by all means place scholars in conditions favourable to the highest physical activity and development, but do not let us so mistake the true proportions of things as to exalt mere healthy animalism into a schoolaccomplishment or a moral virtue. The publicity and show often attendant on the exhibition of athletic sports
in a school may easily be carried to a mischievous extent. More of
It need not be said that we are in no such danger in them
schools for girls. There, the great fauit is the frigid proneeded for girls. priety, the languor and inaction, which too often fill up
the leisure time. Girls need the free exercise of their limbs, as much as their brothers, but they are not nearly so conscious of this need ; and exercises must therefore
Sunday discipline in boarding-schools.
be devised for them. Tennis, fives, and even cricket are among the out-door games which would serve the purpose well; something more is wanted than mere dawdling in the open air over such a game as croquet ; and as to the prim and solemn promenade two and two, under the severe scrutiny of an assistant mistress, it is hardly to be called relaxation in any sense.
One of the hardest of the disciplinal problems of a Sunday in boarding-school is the regulation of the employments a boarding
school. for Sunday. You want that the day shall have a special character, that its religious associations shall be respected, and above all that it shall be felt by all the scholars to be a day of rest, refreshment and enjoyment. It must not be passed in mere idleness, so one or two lessons of an appropriate kind must be devised; but with these there should be required as little as may be of irksome effort. The religious services should be short, varied, and interesting, and if possible such as to enlist the aid of the scholars in the choir. And for the rest, leave as much liberty as you can, both as to the reading and the occupations of the day. Let the claims of the higher life be recognized, and do what you can, rather by opportunity and by the general calm and order of the day's arrangements, to shew that you regard those claims as paramount. But do not map out your Sunday scheme on the assumption that a day full of devotion or of religious reading or exercises, can be delightful to a boy, or is appropriate to so early a stage in his moral and spiritual progress. Any attempts to enforce upon him the behaviour and the tastes of older and serious people are apt to defeat their own purpose. They produce a sense not only of unreality but of weariness and disgust in those who rebel; or worse still, they sometimes generate insincerity and religious
conceit, in those who submit. Whatever else is done, let Sunday exercises be such as can be reasonably enforced and honestly enjoyed.
We have to consider now the influence of rewards and punishments on the discipline of a school, and on the formation of individual character. Now a child may be stimulated to exertion by very different motives :
(1) By the desire to get something: or by the hope of some tangible reward.
(2) By the desire of distinction and the wish to excel his fellows.
(3) By the desire to win approbation from parents or teachers.
(4) By the simple wish to improve, and to do the right thing because it is right.
Now here is a whole gamut of motive, and I have put first that which is clearly the lowest, and have arranged them according to their degrees of worthiness. You may feel that so long as you can get right conduct and intellectual exertion, you will be well content, whichever of these motives prevails. But at the same time you are conscious that it is a much nobler result of your discipline to get them from the last motive than from any one of the others. For the first has an element in it of selfishness and covetousness, the second is nearly akin to vanity, and even the third is not perfectly pure. And one rule of action will be anticipated at once by all who follow me in this classification of motive forces. Never appeal to the lower form of inducement if you can make the higher suffice. But it is notorious that we do appeal very much in England to the hope of reward. Our whole educational plans both for boys and for men are pervaded through and through with the prize system. We have rewards, exhibitions, money prizes, scholarships, fellowships-an elaborate
system of bribery, by which we try to stimulate ambition and to foster excellence. A recent traveller in England, Dr Wiese, the late director of public instruction in Prussia, a man of keen insight, and strongly predisposed to admire British institutions, expresses great surprise at this. “Of all the contrasts which the English mode of thinking and acting shews, none has appeared to me so striking and contradictory as the fact that a nation which has so great and sacred a sense of duty makes no use of that idea in the school education of the young. It has rather allowed it to become the custom, and it is an evil custom, to regard the
prospect of reward and honour as the chief impulse to industry and exertion.” This is to be found, he goes on to say, at all stages of instruction from the University to the Elementary School. Prizes and medals are given not only for progress in learning but also for good conduct. “If any one in England wishes to benefit an institution the first thing always is to found prizes and scholarships, which in this way have enormously increased in some schools.” And he then expresses his amazement not only at the large proportion of scholars who at a breaking-up day are found to have been couronnés or rewarded in some way, but at the heap of gift-books which often falls to the lot of a single scholar. Now Dr Wiese has here hit an undoubtedly weak point in our English education. We use rewards somewhat lavishly. We rely on them too much, as furnishing the motive to excellence, and we thus do not give a fair chance to the development of purer and nobler motives. There are many reasons for this. I have seen schools in which prizes were numerous and costly, out of all proportion to the merits of the scholars, and have been told that the parents expected it, that they would be offended if the children brought nothing home at Christmas, and that therefore it was necessary under some pretext or other that nearly every child should have a prize. Then rich people of kindly instincts who take an interest in a school often know no other way of gratifying those instincts than by establishing a prize. The immediate result is so pleasant, the gratification of the receiver of the prize is so evident, that it is very hard for the
generous giver to believe that he has done any harm. Prizes But harm is done nevertheless. It is here as with charity should be carefully
to the poor, about which so much has been said of late. economized. We have no right to gratify our kindly sensibilities at the
expense of the manliness and strength of those whom we wish to benefit. What we see in both cases is pleasure, gratitude, very agreeable things to recognize; but what we do not see is some enervation of the character, the silent encouragement of a false and lowered estimate of duty. Hence I venture to offer this general counsel. Use rewards sparingly. Do not rely on their influence too much. Do not give them for ordinary obedience, or fair average application ; but let them be felt as real distinctions; reserve them for cases of special effort or excellence; and do not feel bound to accept every gift or endowment, by which an amiable friend of the school may propose to enrich it, unless you see that there is
likely to be genuine merit to correspond to the gift. And com
And in like manner I would urge upon you to economize mendation
your praise. People of kindly natures who are much in contact with children are apt to be profuse in little expressions of satisfaction, “Very well done,” and the like. And if such phrases are habitually used, one of two things will happen; either they will be taken at their real worth—as amiable but rather feeble utterances, and not true criticisms—in which case the teacher's influence will be diminished, and he will have no means left for