Изображения страниц

to the cultivation of backyard gardens, of which there are many in St. Pancras. The Association has further obtained, at a nominal rent, the use of plots of waste ground, some in the very heart of the worst slums. These have been converted by the London School Children's Recreation Fund into gardens for school children. Each child has its own garden plot; in one place sixty, in another forty, such plots have been formed. Under a garden teacher, after school hours, wonderful vegetable crops are produced, to the great pride and joy of the children. The interest of the Association in these matters has led to the garden of a local square being put as its disposal for the use of school children. Here daily in fine weather classes are to be seen dancing, singing, drawing and reading in the open air. The sunburnt faces of the children in the school that is so fortunate as to have the use of the garden give it the appearance of a school in the heart of the country. As an example of efforts of a different nature a band of carol singers went round the streets of the poorest district last winter on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and met with much appreciation. Not the least valuable of the Association's efforts is the opportunity for intercourse given to the local workers at the monthly meetings, who thus come to work in friendship and co-operation and avoid all rivalry and overlapping. It is greatly to be hoped that before long a public welfare association will be formed in every metropolitan borough, representing the voluntary work as the borough council represents the municipal activity. The value of the voluntary element in social work is being appreciated as perhaps never before by the public bodies, who, with their ever-increasing responsibilities towards the individual family, realize that the co-operation of each citizen is necessary if full advantage is to be taken of the greater opportunities offered, and who realize further that it is the local religious or social visitor who, by means of personal sympathy and understanding, obtains this co-operation.

Further particulars may be obtained from Miss Edith Veville, the Hon. Secretary of the St. Pancras Public Welfare Association, 80, Charrington Street, N.W.1.

THE EDUCATION OF ADOLESCENT EMPLOYEES. The great Education Bill now before Parliament has aroused widespread interest in the question of providing adequate instruction for working boys and girls above school age and adolescents now serving as junior employees. A number of well-known firms have for some time been experimenting in regard to this matter. The great firm of Lever Brothers, Ltd., at Port Sunlight, in Cheshire, have organized a Staff Training College for their clerks and apprentices of from 14 to 18 years of age. The College is a specialized continuation school, and its object may be summarized in words similar to those used by the great Corporation Schools of America : (1) To develop and broaden whatever talents and training the pupil brings with him in order to increase the efficiency of the plant as well as the employer himself. (2) To study the talents and characteristics of junior workers in order to draw conclusions as to their availability for particular kinds of work and their suitability for advancement. (3) Το create such favourable mutual relations between employer and employee as will tend to minimize the antagonism between capital and labour and creating a spirit of co-operation. The scheme at present applies to about 300 employees. Between the ages of 14 and 18 it is compulsory for all employees who are clerks or trade apprentices to attend the College classes allocated to them by the principal. The classes are held on two mornings and two afternoons a week, and all students attend at least one morning a week and one afternoon. When they attend in the afternoon they get tea provided by the firm 3.45, and attend classes till 7.15 p.m. Owing to limitations caused by the War the total school hours at pre

are only four and three-quarters, and of these more than half is in the firm's time, and only on one afternoon a week do the students remain till 7 p.m. The time at school classes is treated as working time in the calculation of wages. The responsibility for the curriculum is in the hands of the 'principal, Mr. J. Knox, M.A., who is helped by a College Board, divided into two sections, one representing the technical side and the



other the commercial. The members of the Board are all expert in their own departments, and they are responsible for seeing that specialized instruction is always kept parallel with office and factory requirements. The staff of nineteen teachers is at present drawn from the firm's employees. For teaching purposes the students are divided into two sections, the junior, for those 14 to 16 years of age, and the senior, for those 16 to 18. Students in the junior section are given a general education, the subjects including English, arithmetic, commercial geography, and physiography. The students in the senior section specialize, but all continue to study English. It is hoped that speedily regular instruction will be provided in hygiene and means found for physical training. The College is only in its experimental stage, but the experiment is one which should prove of great value to other firms and to the State.

authoritative inquiry into preventive work among young people in the principal towns of England and Wales. The official review, The Shield, is published quarterly, pricę od. each issue. Membership of the Society is obtained by a minimum subscription of 25. 6d. annually, together with an expression of approval of the objects and principles of the Association. The present officers are: Sir C. J. Tarring, M.A., Chairman of Committee; The Rt. Hon. T. R. Ferens, M.P., Treasurer; Miss Alison Seilans, Secretary. The offices are at 19, Tothill Street, Westminster, S.W.1 (Tel. : Victoria 3451).




AND SOCIAL HYGIENE. This Association was originally founded by Mrs. Josephine Butler, under the title of the “International Abolitionist Federation,” in 1875. As the principal work for which Mrs. Butler founded the British Branch of the Federation, namely, the abolition of the State Regulation of vice, was achieved in 1886, it has since that time devoted its work more particularly to the study of law and administration in regard to sexual offences, and the investigation of prostitution. The objects of the Association are thus defined: “ To raise the standard of character and conduct in sexual relations, to secure the recognition of an equal standard of morality for men and women, and to eradicate prostitution and kindred evils. The Association will oppose and seek to overthrow all forms of official regulation and commercial exploitation of vice, and will endeavour to study and promote such legislative, administrative, social, educational and hygienic reforms as will tend to encourage the highest public and private morality.” The Association, under the Hon. Secretaryship of Dr. Helen Wilson, has published much useful matter relating to the causes of prostitution among minors, and has also recently made an

The Children's Country Holiday Fund is making an inquiry with a view to offering facilities to parents who are anxious to get their children out of London during the period that is likely to be dangerous on account of air raids.

The Duty and Discipline Movement, which aims at rendering easier the work of teachers and parents by combating in: discipline and slackness in the school and in the home, is starting a new campaign among teachers.

The Movement has its headquarters at 117, Victoria

Street, London, S.II. In connection with the Movement the Earl of Sandwich is delivering a lecture on “ The Little Commonwealth,” at 83, Lancaster Gate, W., on Wednesday, December. 51917, 2.30 p.m.

The Annual Conference of Educational Associations will be held at University College, Gower Street, W.C., from January 2 to 12, 1918.

The National Food Reform Association, 14, Great Smith Street, llestminster, S.W., has just issued two leaflets : “Is Sugar a Necessity ?” and “ The Importance of Fat in Diet." Copies may be obtained on sending three penny stamps to the Central Office of the Association.

The Central Association for the Care of the Mentally Defective, Queen Anne's Chambers, Tothill Street, Westminster, S.W.1, has arranged for a course of lectures on “ Mental Deficiency and the Care of Defectives," for public health visitors, social workers and others, on Tuesdays, from January 8 to March 26, 1918.


Roviows and Noticos of Books and Journals dealing with all subjects relating to Child Life appear

under this heading.

" The Loom of Youth." By Alec Waugh. With a Preface by Thomas Seccombe. Pp. 335.

London : Grant Richards, Ltd., St. Martin Street. 1917. Price 5s. net.



This is a terrifying book : it raises issues far beyond anything which its boy author had in mind as he lived it or as a few months after leaving his public school he wrote down what he had lived. In substance it is just a school story, relying for much of its incident upon the faring of the hero and his “house” in house matches and the like. In intention the book is a savage attack upon the assistant masters of the school with the implication that other public schools are no better off. In fact it is a convincing exposure of the rottenness of the moral atmosphere in which many public school boy's live and move and have their being. Regarded as literature, the book is in style and construction curiously free from the usual faults of immaturity; regarded as an argument, it is full of contradictions and of non-sequitur; regarded as documentary evidence, it possesses to an astonishing degree the power of convincing the reader that however little the author may understand grown-ups" or assign effects to their true causes, the boys amongst whom he has lived, speak, act and are as he has described them. It is necessary to state that in its evidence as to the moral condition of boys of the public school class in these days this book does not stand alone. Sot from Sandhurst only, but from every place where boy's fresh from school are collected together come the most appalling testimonies as to the foulness of the language which commonly prevails—a foulness in comparison with which common swearing is to be considered a venial mannerism. And there is at least equal ground for disquiet in the reports of many Army Chaplains from the Front. It is never of much avail to compare the morals of one period with those of

another; nor are any of us in danger of forgetting that other side of the shieldthe splendid qualities of manhood shown by the boys of England, whether hailing from public school and university or from elementary school and factory or mine, farm or shop. It is enough without exaggeration on the one hand, or foolish blindness to the evidence on the other, to face things as they are. To return to the book. The fallacies may be disposed of very shortly. The root of the evil, says the author (between his graphic accounts of endless house matches), is athleticism, and for this the assistantstaff is blamed. Yet the one master (barring a whirlwind arriving towards the end of the story) who escapes utter contempt is the “Bull” who glorifies games to the point of absurdity. Perhaps we are to understand that it is the lack of inspiration in the teaching that drives boy's to concentrate all their interest in the games. But of this little or no proof is given or attempted. There is the inevitable picture of the master who is “ragged "; but he, as we all know, is the exception and not the rule. It may be stated confidently and baldly that the contempt showered on the masters is grossly unjust. The public school master is for the most part an able and high-minded Englishman, performing his task of teaching conscientiously, loyally serving the system, which he is engaged to serve, and undertaking a multiplicity of other efforts which are not “in the bond.” It is all to the good that amongst the young men who come as recruits to the ranks there should be many anxious to try new

Even the charge of over-athleticism is not proven. Cricket is of no account. Fernhurst “is a footer school, pure and simple," and except in the Bull's house there is little real interest in the football season beyond the passing excitement of house matches. The worship of “ bloods” lies nearer to the root of the evil, but this has no essential connection with the over-organization of games.

methods both in and out of teaching hours, and it is to be hoped that their older colleagues will look at least with a kindly tolerance upon the experimenters. On the other hand, these young enthusiasts must not suppose that in every new plan for handling a class, unfolded at a summer conference, lies the germ of a renascence, still less must they bring discredit upon the new enthusiasm by publishing—as Mr. S. P. B. Mais is most lamentably doing-wild and whirling accusations against their colleagues. The simple truth is that the author of the * Loom of Youth” has indeed a formidable indictment to bring but brings it to the wrong address. For the evils depicted the assistant master is not and cannot be held responsible. If any one of the characters who figure in these pages is responsible for the moral condition of " Fernhurst" it can only be the head master. A house master may indeed let his own house fall below the general standard, but this is no matter of a single house, it is an indictment against the morals of the whole school, and by an implication, which Mr. Thomas Seccombe in his introduction expressly endorses, against the morals of public schools in general. Are we suffering then from an epidemic of incompetent head masters ? No one who knows the facts would for a moment allow it. Even Mr. Alec Waugh has nothing but admiration for the head master of “Fernhurst," and I have no doubt that it is deserved. If the assistant masters of to-day are, as a class, good and capable men, head masters are something more. If then, in spite of excellent head masters and capable staffs, public schools are in the terrifying condition portrayed in the “ Loom of Youth,” what are we to conclude ? The answer is simple. We must insist upon whatever changes are necessary to make so costly a waste of England's best material impossible. We cannot supply every school with Arnold, or a staff of super-men (however young we appoint them); we must therefore find out under what conditions such

head masters and such staffs, as are to be had, can secure a healthy moral tone, atmosphere and tradition in our schools. I venture to assert that these conditions are known and proved already. Where there is no prejudice to overcome they are seen to be almost axiomatic. Let us enumerate them : (1) The number in the school must not exceed the number which the head master can know, influence, and deal with as individuals. Experience would suggest a limit of 200, (2) There must be no change of school (least of all at the very critical phase which begins, round about the fourteenth birthday.) (3) From the ages 9 to 19 in one boarding school is the least range of ages compatible with moral security. Children who cannot live at home (e.g., with parents in India) should go at once to their final school, where the presence of these small folk is of the utmost value to the community. In cases where the child has been previously taught at home or in a day school the age of entry may be postponed. (4) I quote Mr. Seccombe (preface, p. 16): “ Education must be irradiated. It is seen how women (backward though they still are) by finding ideals have made education more interesting than men—or rather, perhaps, than men have succeeded in making it. Here surely the future of England lies, and our public schools with their noble heritage and glorious material must discover their share." Doubtless it is improbable that the governing body of

with its 1,000 boys will transform it hastily into a school of 200 boys and girls with a range of ages from 5 to 19. Nor will sensible people desire it. Even as the assistant must loyally serve the head and the head his governing body, so the governing bodies of our public schools have great and glorious Trusts to serve and conserve. We will not quarrel with them for being something slow to tamper with such historic and majestic foundations-unless and until parents compel them. Let us then bring home at last to the right address the indictment to be found in these pages.

Tuesille vir, parens. The parent who chooses a school for any or every

moral security is the sinner. The parent pays (how hardly !) the penalty. In the parent's hands lies (how surely!) the remedy.





1 Even so the head master is responsible, just as he is responsible for appointing or retaining on the staff an incompetent teacher ; and if he cannot dismiss a house master incapable of look. ing properly after his house he should resign.

“German and English Education: A Comparative Study." By Fr de Hovre, Ph.D., “Maitre de Conférences on the Philosophy of Education at the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain University. Pp. 108. London: Constable and Co., Ltd., 10, Orange Street, W.C. 1917. Price 2s. 6d. net.

against the danger of the spirit of commercialism. War is eliminating much of the danger of mere intellectualism. “ The first condition of successful reform is that English education should be true to itself, true to its human ideal, and true to its ethical tradition. · Replet in bonis desiderium tuum, renovabitur ut aquitæ juventus tua.' ”


This is a book which all educationists should read. With vision, keen understanding, and a graceful presentation of essential facts and governing principles the German and English systems of education are explained, characterized, and contrasted. It provides just the calm philosophical exposition of which politicians, preachers, and publicists seem to stand so much in need. It is a fine setting forth of the true aims of education, and furnishes a pentrating analysis of the forces directing the soul of modern Germany. The author holds that the strength of English education lies in its fundamental principles and its weakness in its superstructure, whereas the opposite is the case with Germany. He contends that “the English educational organism being sound in its vital organs, pure in its blood, is capable of adapting itself to the new circumstances and of assimilating the new elements which the need of the future will bring in.” And, best of all, the soundness of English education * has stood the test of life." But we have much to learn and to do : “England has neglected the educational interests of the nation and of the State. Culture may be of little value to individuals as such, and consequently they may neglect their education, but the future of a nation and of a State that is composed of such individuals is doomed. The education of an individual may be unimpeachable as far as he is a man; but as far as he is a member of nation, a citizen of a State, he has an educational task to perform which cannot be neglected without grave prejudice to his country and rendering his education most inadequate and deserving of the highest censure.” Dr. de Hovre urges that English education must be deepened in its intellectual culture and extended in its organization, and warns us to beware of false conceptions of nationalism and a shallow politicism. We must let “bread-and-butter” motives dominate, and we have to guard

“ The Principles of Rational Education." By Charles A. Mercier, M.D., F R.Ç.P., F.R.C.S., late Examiner in Psychology in the University of London. Pp. xi + 87. London: The Mental Culture Enterprise, B29 High Holborn, W.C. 1. 1917. Price 2s. 9d.

Dr. Mercier is not only a long experienced alienist and instructor in morbid psychology, but he has ever been a keen investigator and brilliant controvertialist : now he is devoting his harvest days to the gathering and presentation of experiences and opinions in a series of remarkable voluines. Dr. Mercier, in his study of educational principles, approaches his subject from the standpoint of the philosopher rather than that of the pedagogue. His introduction marks our present methods as inept and wasteful. Education should be preparation for life. Its purpose is to prepare the immature human being for the life he is to live when he becomes mature. It is to fit the child for the life he is to live when he shall be no longer a child. That is, to my mind, the purpose of education. That is the end to be kept in view. That is the result at which we should aim." Dr. Mercier opens his thesis with a careful explanation of the Nature and Nurture of the Child, and then proceeds to an explanation of the aims of education. Then follow suggestive and practical chapters on the Cultivation of Faculty and the Imparting of Knowledge. There is much penetrating criticism of prevailing conceptions and sharp condemnation for much in existing methods. Now that ideas of reconstruction and desires for readjustments are apparently being invited, Dr. Mercier's able study should receive unprejudicial consideration. It is brilliantly written, and the views set forth are the mature opinions of a critical, long-experienced, highly trained,


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »