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tian gentleman. Taking this word in its highest and best meaning, it certainly represents the aim of the highest education. Now of course it is quite certain that more than half of all education in any given instance, comes vot from the studies but from the teacher. If teachers at school and parents at home are gentlemen, they will do more to make the boys the same than any study can do. But this perhaps would remain the same whatever study we make the chief; meanwhile so far as the study selected can influence the result, -and it would be absurd to deny that its influence must be great—that study wil do so most wbich most familiarizes a boy's mind with noble thoughts, with beautiful images, with the deeds and the words which great men have done and said, and all others have admired and loved. So again all studies up to a certain point help each other. I have no doubt at all that a boy of eight, who has been well instructed in arithmetic, will find it easier to learn Latin than one who has not. And so physical science will prepare the way in some degree for mathematics Every study has a considerable power of helping every other study. But among all the possible studies this power appears to me preëminently to belong to those which I have classed under the general name of literature. I believe the kind of education given in a public school is preëminently that which fits a youth to take up any study whatever. When I had to deal with a very different class of minds, the students of Kneller Hall, I found that studies of the sort included under the name of literature did more to fit them for all other studies than any thing else that I could teach them. My experience here is still the same. I once asked a tradesman who had himself been at Rugby School, and was intending to send his son, whether he had learnt any thing here that was of use to him afterwards. He answered: "I was at school several years, and I have never regretted it. I learnt there what I don't think I could have learnt as well any where else, how to learn any thing I wanted.” The Principal of Wellington College, who has peculiar facilities for deciding this question, has come, I believe, to the same conclusion. The studies pursued at a public school, and the method of study, do not always give a boy the precise thing that he wants for immediate use in after life, but they give a training which enables him to study almost any thing afterwards with ease. I must repeat what I said above, that I am not now considering whether other systems of education may not be needed in this country; but whether it would be wise to change the system in use in our public schools. If the staple of education is to be found in the different branches of literature, the classics in a perfect system must be the substratum. In the first place, modern literature is not fully intelligible, except to those who have studied the classics. A student of mathematics does not find it any help to bim to study the early writers on the science. No one is aided in learning the differential calculus by going back to Auxions. Nor will the study of physical science gain much by beginning with the writings of earlier discoverers. But literature can only be studied thoroughly by going to its source. Modern theology, modern philosophy, modern law, modern history, modern poetry, are never quite understood, unless we begin with their ancient counterparts.
In the next place, the perfect and peculiar beauty of the classical literature will always put it at the head of all other. Thirdly, the classic life contains, as Mr. J. S. Mill has remarked, “precisely the true corrective for the chief defects of modern life. The classic writers exhibit precisely that order of virtues in
which we are apt to be deficient. They altogether show human nature on a R ander scale, with less benevolence, but more patriotism, —less sentiment, but orre self-control; if a lower average of virtue, more striking individual examples of it; fewer small goodnesses, but more greatness, and appreciation of greatness; more which tends to exalt the imagination and inspire high conceptions of the capabilities of human nature." If, as every one must see, the want of affinity of these studies to the modern mind is gradually lowering them in popular estimation, this is but a confirmation of the need of them, and renders it more incumbent on those who have the power, to do their utmost to aid in preventing their decline. Lastly—and this is a practical consideration of the greatest weight—the classical system of education has been in possession of our great schools for two centuries; and in consequence, the best method of using classical learning for purposes of education is so far understood, that it is comparatively easy to find thoroughly efficient masters. How far from easy it is to find thoroughly efficient masters of the modern languages, every one knows. Men who can teach French or German can be found; but it is exceedingly difficult to find any man who can so teach French and German as at the same time to form the minds and characters of the learners.
One obvious reply may be made to all this: that many boys need something more than the cultivation of their faculties. The necessities of their life require them to be furnished, over and above this, with knowledge which can be immediately applied to the business of life. Even if they have learned how to learn, others, who bave already got the peculiar learning required, will have the start of them, which, in this age of competition, can never be made up. This is to some extent true, and I think it clear that in this country there is room for other systems of education besides the classical. I should be glad to see great schools established in which Greek was left optional, or nearly so, and Latin, French and German made the staple of instruction, while a little more time was allowed to mathematics and physical science. The education would not be so good, but would be more ready for use; and though not equal to the classical, need not fall short of it. Such a school, or very nearly such a school, is Wellington College; and the modern departments of Cheltenham and Marlborough Colleges approach the same idea. But I think it would be most unwise, because such schools are eded, to attempt to convert the public schools to the purpose; nor should I consider it wise to follow the Cheltenham and Marlborough example, by attaching modern departments to the public schools. The classical work would lose; the other work would not gain.
ROBERT LOWE. ROBERT Lowe was born in Bingham in 1811, and educated at Winchester, and at University College, Oxford, where he graduated in high honors in 1833; was elected Fellow of the Magdalen in 1835, and became tutor at Oxford. After being called to the Bar, by the Society of Lincoln's Inn in 1842, he practiced law in Australia, where he sat in the council of that colony from 1843 till 1850, when he returned to England. In 1852 he became joint Secretary of the Board of Control from 1852 to 1855; Vice-President of the Board of Trade and Paymaster General in 1855, and Vice-President of the Education Board from 1859 to 1864. He was elected member from Kidderminster in 1852 and for Calme in 1859. He was made Chancellor of the Exchequer under Gladstone in 1868. He was the author, or at least the main advocate, of the policy of paying out the appropriations for primary education according to results in teaching the elementary branches, ascertained by the examination of the schools by authorized inspectors. In Parliament, and with his pen, he ranks with the advocates of a modern curriculum.
CLASSICAL EDUCATION. It seems to me, if one can form an abstract idea of what ought to be taughty that it is to teach a person every thing important to know, and, at the same time, to discipline his mind. But as the period during which education can be communicated is very short, we must qualify that view, I think, by saying that the business of education is to teach persons as much of that which it is important they should know as can be taught within a limited time, and with reference to the ordinary faculties of mankind, and that also in so doing care should be taken to discipline the mind of the pupil as far as possible. That is what I conceive to be the object of education. Well, that being so, you see a question arises of very great difficulty-What is it most important that persons should know ?--and till we can answer that question, we can not satisfactorily solve the question which I am now proposing to consider—What is the education that ought to be given to the middle and upper classes of this country? We must invent for ourselves a sort of new science—a science of weights and measures; of ponderation, if I may coin a word—in which we shall put into the scales all the different objects of human knowledge, and decide upon their relative importance. All knowledge is valuable, and there is nothing that it is not worth while to know; but it is a question of relative importance-not of decrying this branch of knowledge, and praising and pufing that—but of taking as far as possible the whole scale of human knowledge, and deciding what should have priority, which should be taught first, and to which our attention should be most urgently directed. That is a problem, you will allow, of most enormous difficulty. I can only suggest one or two considerations
* Primary and Classical Education: An Address at Edinburgh, November 1, 1867. By Rt. Hon. Robert Lowe, M. P.
which may assist us in solving it. I think it will be admitted by all who hear me that as we live in a universe of things, and not of words, the knowledge of things is more important to us than the knowledge of words. The first few montiis and the first few years of a child's existence are employed in learning both, but a great deal more in making itself acquainted with the world than with the knowledge of language. What is the order of Nature ? Nature begins with the knowledge of things—then with their names. It is more important to know what a thing is, than what it is called. To take an easy illustration, it is more important to know where the liver is situated, and what are the principles which affect its healthy action, than to know that it is called jecur in Latin or imaz in Greek. I go a little farther. Where there is a question between true and false, it is more important to know what is true than what is false. It is more iinportant to know the history of England than the mythologies of Greece and Rome. I think it more important that we should know those transactions out of which the present state of our political and sociai relations have arisen, than that we should know all the lives and loves of all the gods and goddesses that are contained in Lempriere's dictionary. And yet, according to my experience-I hope things are better managed now-wo used to learn a great deal more about the Pagan than the Christian religion in the schools. The one was put by to Sunday, and dismissed in a very short time; the other was every day's work, and the manner in which it was followed out was by no means agreeable. The slightest slip in the name or history of any of the innumerable children of the genealogy of Jupiter or Mars was fol. lowed by a form and degree of punishment which I never remember being bestowed upon any one for any slip in divinity. Then, gentlemen, I venture to think, as we can not teach people every thing, it is more important that we should teach them practical things than speculative things. There must be speculation, and there must be practice, but I think if we can not do both, we should rather lean to the practical side. For instance, I think it more important that a man should be able to work out a sum in arithmetic, than that he should be acquainted with all the abstract principles of Aristotle's logic, and that the moods of a syllogism are not so important as the rule of three, practice, and keeping accounts. If we must choose in the matter, we should lean to the practical side. One more rule I will venture to submit—they are four in all-if we must choose in these matters, the present is more important to us than the past. Institutions, communities, kingdoms, countries, with which we are daily brought into contact, are more important than institutions, kingdoms, and countries that have ceased to exist for upwards of 2,000 years. I will pursue this topic no farther.
Having made these general observations as my little contribution towards the new science of ponderation or measurement which I am anxious to found, to enable us to compare one branch of knowledge with another, I will proceed, with your permission, to inquire how far the education of the middle and upper classes corresponds with this idea. Without going into detail, I may say the principal subjects of education—I don't say in Scotch Universities, for you are more liberal than we are in England, though even in your universities not quite sufficiently so—in Oxford and Cambridge are analytical mathematics, and what are called the learned languages—viz, Latin and Greek.
Now I admit that mathematics are a most admirable study, and are calcu. lated to train the mind to strict habits of reasoning, and habits of close and sustained attention. But these are the synthetical, not the analytical mathematics. Consider to what this form of study trains a man. It educates him to approach a subject analytically. He takes his conclusion for granted, and then investigates the conditions upon which it rests. Well, that is not a good way of reasoning. The best way of reasoning is to fix upon principles and facts and see what conclusion they give you, and not to begin with a conclusion and see what principles or facts you may be able to pick up in order to support it. Then any one who has gone through this training, knows that you go by steps. One understands step by step, but the whole very ofton eludes our grasp, and we find ourselves landed in a conclusion without knowing how. We see each step we have taken, but we see not how we arrived at the conclusion. This is a system in one sense too easy, because each step is easy; and in the other it is too difficult, because it is an immense strain on the mind to grasp the whole effect of what is done. Then you are aware this also, that perhaps the most useful lesson a man can learn is the estimation of probabilities and sisting of evidence. But this is wholly excluded from mathematics, which deal purely with necessary truth. Therefore, it has often been observed, and by uo one more forcibly than your own Sir William Hamilton, that a mind formed upon this kind of study is apt to oscillate between the extreme of credulity and scepticism, and is little trained to take those sensible and practical views of the probabilities and the possibilities affecting our daily life, upon which, far more than upon abstract reasoning, the happiness of mankind depends. I may here mention in illustration what was said by a great judge of men and ability-Na-' poleon Buonaparte. He took for one of his ministers La Place one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest of mathematicians, and he said of him—" He was a geometer of the first rank; but whose only idea of transacting the business of his department was with reference to the differential and integral calculus."
Now, I pass on to the other study that is the principal occupation of our youth, and that is the study of the Latin and Greek languages, and the history, science, geography, and mythology connected with them—the principal study being language, and the rest only accessories to it. Now, it strikes one, in the first instance, it is rather a narrow view of education that it should be devoted mainly-I had almost said exclusively—to the acquisition of any language whatever. Language is the vehicle of thought, and when thought and knowledge are present, it is desirable as the means of conveying it. It is not a thing to be substituted for it—it is not its equivalent. It pre-supposes knowledge of things, and is only useful where that knowledge is attained for the purpose, namely, of communicating it. I will venture to read a few lines from Pope in illustration of what I say; I should only weaken the thought if I attempted to state the effect of them. They are 140 or 150 years old, and that only shows you how abuses and mistakes may be pointed out in the most vigorous language, and with the most conclusive reasoning, and yet they may remain utterly uncared for:
Since man from beasts by words is known,