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bulk of the school was often ne- instincts, have been cultivated, or glected for the sake of four or five even appealed to: the object of scholars of promise, upon whom the examiner must be simply to he expended all the time and at- ascertain whether a particular tention of a private tutor; and candidate knows a sufficient numunder such a system many stu- ber of facts, as tabulated in the dents had gone through a really Government schedule, to justify large course of reading before him in ranking the boy as a entering the university. But all pass”; or, to put it in other this is changed now. The head- words, to certify that his ignormaster of a public school, and his ance is not so great as to justify most able assistants, have to think the Inspector in refusing to allow mainly of the standards and the the grant to be made on his behalf. capitation grant. The work done Let us take Latin as an by a few pupils at the top re- ample. A boy may have passed ceives little no recognition all three stages of the specific either by the Department or by subject of Latin, and yet be desthe School Boards, in payment or titute of all training which can be in any other way; and the kind called literary. At the end of the of work which is laid down for the first year he has to know his study of Latin and Greek under grammar to the end of the regular the “Specific Subject" system is so verbs. At the end of the second meagre in kind, so completely des- year he must know irregular verbs, titute of any flavour of literary and be able to translate simple character, that it can hardly be sentences, of three or four words, regarded in ordinary cases as af- into Latin. At the end of the fording a preparation for the uni- third year he must be able to versity at all. On this point some translate somehow passage illustrations will be offered further from a book of Cæsar, and to on: meantime, I wish to state em- translate somewhat longer senphatically my opinion that no real tences into Latin. All these improvement in the higher educa- things are good, and they must tion of the country is to be ex- be learned ; but a boy may pass pected from any further develop- an examination in them all and ment of this system of specific yet have scarcely commenced his subjects. The table of specific classical education. He has learnsubjects is founded upon the same ed some of the more obvious forms principle as that of the six stand- of the language--I say more obviards. For each year of each sub- ous forms, because no grammatical ject a definite minimum of definite points of any nicety can be exwork is prescribed ; and the ex- pected to be known, not even the amination is, and must be, con- distinctions in meaning between ducted, under such a system, not the various pronouns, as to which with a view to discover whether blank ignorance prevails on the the utmost has been done to de- part of most of such students. velop the boy's mind as a whole, The translation of a Latin book is not to ascertain whether he has to be prepared so that the candiany intelligent interest in the sub- date should be able to stumble ject, whether he has been made to through it in some sort of way; no think freely upon it, whether his difficult questions of syntax can be taste, or his imagination, or his put or answered : an Inspector rereasoning powers, or his literary cently informed me that a teacher

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asked him if he wished to kill and with several pardonable misout” specific subjects altogether, takes. These are the best. The because he set a short compound

doubtful papers

have worse missentence two to turn into takes. Two have unus declined Latin. The candidate is not all through the plural, and such questioned upon the subject-mat- Latin as turus fuit decem pedes ter of what he has read; no altius muro; scio quod haberet attention can be paid to the style (“I understand what he wants "); or suitableness of the English lati essent is translated, “he might words he uses; he need not show have carried," while for eundum that he has been taught to think erit we have the various renderabout his work; if he can avoid ings," he may be going," or, “he more than a fair proportion of might be eating"; and for comgrammatical blunders, and if he position, milites parite suo duct can turn off a few short sentences ("'soldiers, obey your general"), and of dog-Latin with decent correct- castellum fuit decem pedum altius ness, he has done enough to obtain quam murus. The "failures his pass, and more than enough hibit every variety of blunder to justify the Inspector in allow- in accidence and composition; ing the grant, though he may not miseret me hunc virum ; audiverihave exhibited proof of possessing mus eum dicere hanc; fuit decem the smallest tincture of nice pedes alti muro; missit viros dicere scholarship

me hic.

The English is often I have before me examples of scarcely grammatical. Here is a Latin specific-subject papers from specimen : “ That there were some different parts of Scotland. I persons of whose authority pretake at random nine papers pre- vailed greatly upon the people sented by one particular school who being private was able to do an undoubtedly good school. Of more than the magistrates themthese, two are marked “pass,'

selves.” In other papers the two, “doubtful,” and five are English is altogether unintelli“ failures.” The paper includes a gible. On another occasion a few simple questions in accidence; a specific subject” student prea question as to the meaning of sented the following: "Thus a few verbal forms; translation into nobly, in the very moment of Latin of some short simple sentences victory, he breathed his last,” was (two of them compound); and a translated (by help of a dictionpiece of Cæsar to translate. Even ary), “ In momento victoriæ moduthe “passes” have such forms as lum pedis exspiravit"!! In anunæ for the dative of unus, urbum other case, Pisces sunt bonus for the plural of urbs. Eundum cibus passes as a specimen of good erit is translated by one, he will Latin. It is needless to multiply be going.” The sentences are for examples of this kind : any teachthe most part fairly correct, but er of experience knows precisely include such as the following: the degree of culture, and of knowOmnibus amatur (" he is loved ledge of Latin and of language, by all "); misit virum qui mihi which is marked by work of this hanc diceret (" to tell me this”'); stamp. No fault is to be found fuit decem pedes altior quam mu- with the teachers or with the inrus; scio quid opus est, &c. The spectors. The teachers do what translation of a plain piece from they can: the inspectors seem to Cæsar is fairly though baldly done, draw a very fair line, and to un

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derstand what it is possible to upon some of the ordinary themes expect from a three-years' course that may be expected to be set given under the conditions which down by the inspector on the day of are to be found in an ordinary examination. I have been told of school.

pupil-teachers poring for hours I could produce instances still in the week over “compositions " more striking than the above of of this kind, upon such subjects examinations passed by pupils as “ A Snow-storm,” "A Day in teachers at the very end of their the Country,” “Describe your nacourse, after they have had the tive Parish, " Write a letter to benefit of four years' special train- a friend describing a day's holiing at the hands of the head- day.” Well, these are all excellent master of their school. The Latin subjects if put before pupils simply even of picked pupil-teachers is to test their power of stringing not unfrequently deplorable, not sentences together, and of writing merely in point of accuracy, but and punctuating correctly; but from the total want of thinking the essence of their value consists and writing power which it ex- in their being wholly unprepared hibits. As I have said before, it is for, and relating to some subject not so much in Latin as in English which the candidate must have and in general intelligence that the had in his or her mind, but withdeficiency lies. This “ general in- out ever having written about it. telligence" it is the custom to test To prepare candidates elaborately, by means of an English essay; and with a view to enable them to if there is any kind of work which write impromptu essays, on any might be expected fairly to bring chance subject which may be preout the intelligence of the student, sented to them, would appear to to test his general knowledge and be the ne plus ultra of the cramhis power of expressing himself ming system ; and the kind of in his own language, it would be thought and writing which such a an English essay on some of the system must produce may be illussimple themes that are frequently trated by the following papers. prescribed by inspectors. But, un- Both were produced by pupil- . fortunately in this department of teachers in the fourth year of work also, the practice of working their course, and both candidates specially for an examination, and passed successfully the examination for nothing else, has made itself felt. of which these papers formed a It is a common practice amongst part. The subject of the followteachers elaborately to prepare ing very utilitarian “ composition" their pupils to write essays upon is “ Education":impromptu themes.

The object

“ Education is of so much importof writing such essays does not ap

ance nowadays, that a person who pear to be to stimulate the pupils neglects it is very foolish.” By educato read anything, to enlarge their tion we can obtain prominent positions knowledge, or even to enable them in business, and how often do we find to condense and epitomise what a person being raised above another they already know. The object all because his ability is greater. We

are able to understand our motherappears to be to enable them to

tongue, know its history, and are spin out on the spur of the mo

made able to talk with other people ment a certain number of trite quite sensibly. Books can be read commonplaces, combined with cor. by us and we can know their meaning. rect spelling and punctuation, “Great benefit can be obtained by

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reading books, because we come across days, we would soon come to a standphrases and words which sound most still in our trade." pleasant to the ear, these undoubtedly stick to us, and when we are writing

These, doubtless, are extreme or speaking to friends, these phrases instances; but they illustrate well may express our own ideas. Educa- enough the sort of stuff which has tion learns us to speak and write in to pass muster for thought and a manner which can be easily under

composition under a system which stood. In company, when talking in

“its results, general, the ignorant man can be proudly points to singled out from the educated when which makes no effort to develop they begin to speak. The ignorant and interest the intelligence, and person will either keep quiet (a wise which stimulates the teacher by plan) or make a fool of himself. Edu- appealing mainly to the lowest of cation also teaches us manners. all human motives. Many exNo man can say he is thoroughly amples could be produced of work

. ing something of which we know little of their course in which there is ing something of which we know little done by pupil-teachers at the end or nothing. We can greatly improve our education by mixing with learned the same dearth of intelligence, the people. It is to be desired after by same absolute want of literary culeverybody, because as it is in China ture which these papers showso it is here, the passport to wealth though in most cases, no doubt, and honour."

accompanied by a mechanical and The subject of the second is wooden accuracy as regards the “ Arithmetic.” (It will be noted subject actually prescribed for exthat it is no less utilitarian in amination, which I am bound to sentiment. The moral of our public say was not exhibited in the papers educational system may be thus of the particular students whose summed up: “Learn nothing, teach papers are quoted above. But I nothing, which does not pay.")

call attention to the subject, not

for the purpose, on this occasion, “ Arithmetic is of great value in of attacking the pupil-teacher syseducation. It enables us to make our tem as a whole, much as it decalculations in anything. Speculators serves to be attacked, but because require arithmetic very much, as it the instruction afforded to pupilenables them to know how to lay out teachers is very similar in kind to their money to the best advantage. that which is bestowed upon pupils If we wish to spend our money, we always try to spend it where we think preparing for the specific subjects. we may gain something by it. There seems to be something bar

" Then arithmetic is a splendid ren and actually sterilising in the study for the mind. It exercises the process to which pupil-teachers are mind in accuracy. It trains one to subjected during their four-years' be speedy in any calculation he may training, from which only the best require.

- A man entering into a big trade minds seem able to escape. And with a lot of money, and knew nothing it frequently happens, as in the of arithmetic, would soon find the instance of the essay-writer quoted want of it. People would be trying above, that one who has passed to cheat him, and he would at last through the course with some sucfind that instead of gaining anything cess exhibits a total absence of real he was constantly losing. If that man had known anything about culture, and of the sense of what arithmetic, he would have known culture really means—not unfrehow to lay out his money so as to quently accompanied by most comgain something by it, and not to lose. plete confidence (on his own part) If we were without arthmetic nowa- that he has obtained it. Such

scholars are taught under condi- way; he will explain the subjects tions very similar to those under of which they are reading ; he will which the specific subjects are dive into the pupils' minds for taught. They are taught in small illustrations derived from their classes, or even singly, and in own experience, and enable them isolated schools; they are taught to go through for themselves the by a master who, however capable, invigorating and interesting procannot give them the time which cess of passing from the known to is required for their mental train- the unknown, and illustrating what ing, and who, by hook or by crook, is strange by what is familiar. can only hope to put into them Such work can be tested by no the minimum amount of know- examination. Its effects are slowly ledge which is essential for the developed year by year. But it is examination. And so long as the in this systematic and gradual work has to be done under the quickening of the intelligence, carsame conditions as at present, it ried on hand in hand with the is not to be expected that the work enlarging of the stores of knowdone in the way of specific sub- ledge on which the intelligence is jects can ever become much better. helped to play, that true Secondary The

grammatical know- Education consists. How imperledge which is required for the fectly this all-important work is language subjects is no doubt es- often done; how frequently the sential, and the drudgery of get- teaching of the English subjects ting up the grammar must be gone fails to attain the objects it should through; but when a teacher, as chiefly aim at; and how the teachin a secondary school, feels himself ing of English and other languages responsible for the whole training (whether classical or modern) of the pupil's mind from the be- should be carried on hand in hand ginning, he is not satisfied with and combined into a single plan the teaching of mere grammatical of education, I shall attempt to forms. He will ever be teaching show in another article. his pupils some fresh thing by the

G. G. RAMSAY.

mere

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