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writers are apt to dwell on so exclusively. You will find materials for such lessons not only in Hallam and Creasy, but also in Bagehot, and in Sir Erskine May.
Nor ought we to overlook the necessity for so teaching as to inspire our scholars with a love and admiration for the country we live in and for the institutions by which we are governed. It used to be the fashion much more than now, for Englishmen, especially after dinner, to talk much of our glorious and unrivalled constitụtion in Church and State. No doubt there was in all this an element of insular boastfulness, and perhaps a little selfishness and vulgarity. But after all patriotism is one of the things which our teaching ought to cultivate—a rational and affectionate regard for the country in which we have been born, and for the privileges we enjoy in it:
“It is the land that freemen till,
That sober suited Freedom chose,
The land where, girt with friends or foes,
A land of just and old renown,
Where freedom broadens slowly down
But by degrees to fulness wrought
The strength of some diffusive thought
And in every English school something at least should be done to make the scholars proud of this glorious heritage, and to animate them with a noble ambition to live lives and to do deeds which shall be worthy of it.
XIV. NATURAL SCIENCE.
It ought to be frankly premised here that I have had the place no special teaching experience on the particular subject
science in of this lecture such as gives me any right to dogmatize school
education. upon it. Nevertheless, we may with advantage consider the reasons for including such studies in our school-course, and the place they ought to hold in it, for it is, after all, out of such considerations that all discovery of right methods ought to arise. The skilled teacher must look at the whole of the large domain of the inductive sciences, those which depend on observation and experiment, and ask himself how they are related to his special work. Until recently studies of this kind were rarely or never recognized as necessary parts of a liberal education. Even now they are fighting the way to recognition by slow degrees and against some opposition. The staple of school and university instruction down to our own time has consisted of the study of language and that of pure science, including mathematics and logic. On the part of the great majority of educated men in England, whose own minds had been formed in this way, there has been a strong feeling that all true intellectual training was to be had in connexion with these time-honoured studies. It is true that new and most fertile fields of investigation have been discovered and explored. Geology has brought to light marvellous facts respecting the history of our
earth, electricity and magnetism have been applied in unexpected ways to the comfort and convenience of man, biologists have investigated the conditions and resources of life, astronomers have discovered by spectrum analysis the nature, and even the chemical composition of the heavenly bodies; the chemist, the physicist, the botanist have each in his turn revealed to us some hidden forces in nature, and taught us how those forces may be made available in enriching, beautifying and ennobling the life
of man on the earth. The
It must be owned however that these researches have triumphs of science owed little to the direct influence of our schools and not largely colleges. It is not by academically trained men, as a due to school or
rule, that the great physical discoveries have been made. university Those who have made these discoveries have broken teaching
away, so to speak, from the traditional life of a student and a scholar; have quitted the study of books and betaken themselves to the study of things. They have come face to face with the realities of life, have seen and handled the materials of which the visible world was composed, and thus have in time formulated an entirely new body of knowledge, very different in kind from that which is to be found in the books which are called learned. And hence, there has been for a time an apparent antagonism between the men of learning and the great discoverers, inventors and experimenters in the world of physical science. Centuries ago Socrates taught that the only studies which were of real value to man were those which related to his own nature and destiny, to his duty as a member of a family or a state, to the culture of his own faculties and to the relation in which he stood to the gods and to his fellow men. As to investigations into the order of the heavens or into the nature of physical laws, he thought them presumptuous and sterile. The
gods, he thought, had purposely concealed such knowledge from men, while in regard to the means whereby the material comfort of man might be increased he would certainly have dismissed such considerations as mean and ignoble, fit only for a tradesman or mechanic, but unworthy of a philosopher.
Some such feeling has survived among learned men, even down to our own time. You may find it in such utterances as “The proper study of mankind is man. It is shewn in the greater importance assigned to metaphysics and philology, to logic, to mental, moral and theological speculation, and to pure or deductive science, in all systems of academic instruction; and in the distrust felt by many, even down to our own time, of experimental science as something material, loose, and just a little commercial and vulgar. In all the recent investigations into the condition of Position of
natural the great Grammar Schools nothing was more striking
science. than the position of complete inferiority occupied by the study of the physical sciences, even in the rare cases in which they were recognized and admitted into the curriculum. The head-master was generally what is called a classical man, and naturally regarded success in his own department as the best test of a boy's possession of a gentleman's education. The teacher of physical science was only an occasional lecturer, poorly paid and little considered, and boys who devoted much time to that branch of study were understood to have lost caste in some way, and to fall short of the best ideal which the school sought to set up for its scholars. Nor can it be wondered at, that cultivated men felt a little reluctance to admit the physical sciences to honourable recognition as an integral part of the school course. For much of what called itself science was essentially unscientific in its
character and in its methods of investigation. The teachers were often mere specialists, entirely deficient in that general cultivation which alone enables a man to see his own subject in true perspective and proportion, and to teach that subject in the most effective way. A series of lectures illustrated by an orrery, on the “sublime science of Astronomy" in ladies' schools, or a few amusing experiments in chemistry in boys' schools have often represented the teaching of science, and have been regarded very justly by head-masters and mistresses with a little contempt. “May I ask you,” said Lord Taunton, as chairman of the Schools Inquiry Commission to a schoolmaster who in his evidence was giving rather unusual testimony to the interest his boys took in physical science, “what department of science interests the scholars most?” “I think,” was the reply, “it is the chemistry of the explosive substances.” Of course, a bright light and a noise are amusing to schoolboys, but their interest in such phænomena is no very strong proof that they are learning science in any sense, or for any really valuable
And all this time there has been an increasing number views as
of thinkers and students, who, while not destitute of that to the claims of general intellectual training which is to be got in the old this
beaten track of classics and mathematics, have gone out subject.
into the wide domain of physical research and found it more fruitful than they expected. And they say to those who live in the academic world—the world of books and of scholarly traditions, “You are mistaken in supposing that this is a merely material and practical region, while yours is essentially intellectual. There is here a body of truth, of the highest practical utility no doubt, but also of the greatest value for educational purposes. The laws and principles by which the facts of the material world