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things, and the knowledge of useful facts, will form the largest proportion of the work of the primary school; while the formative elements, those which seek to give general power and capacity-language, logic and science will be less prominent, simply for the reason that time is limited. But these higher elements should not be absent even from a course of instruction which ended at io or II. And the reason why a High or public school course or a University course better deserves to be called a course of liberal education than the other, is not because it neglects the 'real' elements of manual arts and matters of fact, but simply because a larger proportion of its work is essentially formative and disciplinal; and because every year enables the student to give relatively more attention to those studies, by which taste and
power and thoughtfulness are increased. From this point of view, it will be seen how unsatisfactory are such designations as 'Classical school, Realschule, or ‘Science' school, which imply that all the intellectual training is to be of one kind, or worse than all ‘Commercial' school, which implies that there is to be no intellectual training at all, but that the whole course shall be consciously directed rather to the means of getting a living, than to the claims of life itself.
And if this be the true principle to be kept in view dation of in the gradation of schools, it follows, that except within
certain limits, we must not regard the primary as a preparatory school for the secondary, or the secondary for the high school. We need, no doubt, to construct the ladder of which we have so often heard, from the lower to the highest grades of public instruction. But it is a grave mistake to suppose that the highest step in a primary school corresponds with the lower one in the secondary. Or to change the figure, the three courses of instruction-primary, secondary and higher-may be compared
to three pyramids, of different sizes, though all in their way
indeed fit on, with a certain practical conve-
School. notion that the higher or more expensive school may be regarded as a sort of finishing school for pupils from the lower. There is still a theory, current especially among parents in regard to girls, that it is worth while to take a pupil from one school, and send her for the last year to some expensive establishment to‘finish. I know few more pestilent heresies than this—the notion that a little topdressing of accomplishments is the proper end of a school course. There is a great break in the unity and sequence
of the school career; and the new books and new aims come much too late to be of any real service, and indeed serve only to unsettle the pupil. When schools are rightly graded each will have its own complete and characteristic course; and for this reason, it is only within certain limits, that is to say, about two years before its natural completion, that any one of these courses can
be rightly regarded as preparatory to the other'. Day and In fashioning schemes of instruction, it is well to boarding make up our minds as to the relative advantages of day Schools.
schools and boarding schools. In this part of our island, a strong preference has long been felt for boarding schools; and it is believed that a more complete as well as a more guarded course of education is attainable in them than in day schools. In Scotland and in most European countries the opposite feeling has prevailed ; and wherever good day schools are within reach parents prefer to use them, and to look after the moral discipline of their children at home. I believe that this view is becoming more prevalent among us, and that the establishment of large public day schools in towns, is doing much to reconcile parents especially in regard to girls, to a method of training which a few years ago, was generally
1 The desire of the Schools Inquiry Commission was to make three grades of Schools above the primary :—the Third grade for scholars who would leave at 15, in which the fees should be £4 or £5 a year; the Second grade to take boys to 16 or 17, and to charge fees of £8 or £10; and the First grade to retain scholars till at the age of 18 or 19 they should be able to proceed to the University; and in such schools the fees might be fixed from £15 to £20 a year for tuition only. This theory has proved to be unworkable, (1) because, in fact, it separates three classes rather too rigidly, when two would have sufficed; and (2) because of the unfortunate use of the word 'grade,' which is popularly taken to connote social rather than educational rank.
regarded by the middle and upper classes, as inadequate and just a little lowering from the social point of view. The discipline of an orderly and intelligent home, and the intercourse with brothers and sisters is itself an important part of education. But this cannot be attained, when three-fourths of the year are spent in an artificial community, which is very unlike a home, in which one's companions are all of one sex and nearly of the same age, and in which the child is placed under the discipline of strangers who have no other than a professional interest in his progress. If we consider the matter well, Home there is a sense in which the custom of relying on the
a place boarding school implies the degradation of the home. of work. It attaches the ideas of duty, order and systematic work exclusively to the school; and of leisure, licence and habitual indulgence to the home. Now the highest conception of the life of youth regards both school and home as places of systematic discipline, and of orderly and happy work. It is after all in the home that much of the serious work of men, and nearly all the serious work of women has ultimately to be done; and the sooner this fact is made evident to the young scholar the better. No parent should willingly consent to part for a large part of the year with the whole moral supervision of his child. That so many parents do thus consent may be attributed partly to the conviction of some, that they are unable owing to other occupations or to personal inaptitude to do the work properly; and partly to the love of social exclusiveness which is a prominent characteristic and not the noblest characteristic of people in the middle and upper ranks. We all know that a day school is often spoken of as an inferior institution, one in which there will be mixture of classes, an object of special dread to the vulgar rich. With a truer
sense of responsibility on the part of parents and truer notions as to the functions of a school, this difficulty is likely to become less seriously felt. The association of scholars from different ranks of life in classes and lessons, involves no real danger to the manners and habits of a child. On the contrary such association is well calculated to break down foolish prejudice, to furnish the best kind of intellectual stimulus, and to shew the scholar his true place in the world in which he has to play his part. This principle is already widely recognised in regard to boys; but it is for obvious reasons, not so readily admitted in its relation to girls, although it is not less true and sound in their case. Ere long, I hope it will be admitted even by the most refined of parents that, with reasonable care as to the associations which their daughters form out of school; they may not only without risk, but with great advantage, permit them to share all the advantages of good public day schools; and need feel no greater misgiving as to the results of association for school purposes, than they do in respect to the meeting together on Sundays in the same place for public worship.
In the boarding-school, however, habits and personal associations are necessarily formed. And since partly from necessity and partly from the preference of parents, boarding-schools will always exist; it is well to bear in mind that the reasons which render them desirable, and which should control their organization differ much in the case of boys and of girls. The great public school has much to teach besides what is learned in the form of lessons, much which could not be learned by boys at home. It is a moral gymnasium, an arena for contest, a republican community in which personal rights have both to be maintained for oneself and respected in
The boarding, school.