« PreviousContinue »
of public opinion in this contest for civic rights will be seen by comparing the original draft of the bill with its final form, both of which are given in Chapter III.
The retrospective Tables I to X (pp. 169-175) show the progress of elementary education in England since the passage of the law of 1870. The school accommodation, which at that date was adequate for 8.8 per cent of the population, is now sufficient for 204 per cent. The enrollment has increased from 1,693,059 pupils, or 7.6 per cent of the population, to 5,881,278, or 18 per cent of the population. The average attendance, which in 1870 was 68 per cent of the enrollment, reached in 1902 the ratio of 81.4. Only denominational (or voluntary) schools existed in 1870; by 1872 the board (or public) schools created by the law of 1870 had made appreciable advance, enrolling 8,726 children, or 0.7 per cent of the total enrollment. The steady increase of the public schools will be seen by reference to Table I (p. 247). They comprised in 1902 nearly half the total enrollment (18 per cent). The steadily increasing expenditure for elementary education (Table III, p. 170) is an impressing feature of the history. Local taxes (rates), which supplied $355,920 (£71,184) in 1871, afforded in 1902 a total of $31,218,460 (£6,243,692). The State expenditure, which in 1871 amounted to $4,637,620 (£927,524), had risen in 1902 to $49,947,020 (£9,989,404). These particulars indicate the magnitude of the school work which has developed in England during three decades, and which by its upward pressure has forced new legislation to meet the popular aspirations and industrial demands which are the natural outcome of the increased intelligence of the masses.
The comparative statistics of education in Scotland (Table 1, p. 175) show also great development in that division of the Kingdom since 1872, the year of the passage of the Scotch education law. School accommodation and the average attendance upon schools have both tripled in the three decades that have since elapsed, while the population has only increased by about one-third. The progress in Scotland as in England has brought about a demand for the reorganization and extension of public education, and a measure to this effect is pending. In both divisions of the Kingdom the most urgent need appears to be that of increased provision for secondary and technical education for the industrial classes. In Ireland, where the same problem is pressing, a corps of special inspectors has been recently employed to investigate the existing secondary schools. The conclusions of this body as summed up in the chapter reviewed (pp. 187–188) indicate very clearly the present conditions of the problem in that island.
The brief survey of higher education given in Chapter III (pp. 180– 184) shows that the university problem in Ireland is still a subject of serious disturbance. During the year reviewed, the senate of Trinity College, Dublin, voted in favor of the admission of women, and the
proposition having received the sanction of the King announcement was made March 31, 1903, that the scheme for their admission had come into force. All lectures, examinations, and degrees in arts and in the medical school are thrown open, and all prizes except fellowship and scholarship, the women students paying the same fees as men students.
Interesting particulars respecting the university colleges recently established in several English cities are also presented in the review of higher education by citations from the latest official report of the Government inspectors. Attention is further called to a movement under the auspices of Lord Rosebery to establish in London a technological institute of high character. A pledge of $2,500,000 with the promise of additional funds has been made for this institution, conditional upon an annual appropriation of $100,000 from the London County Council for the maintenance of the work. The council has given assurance that this appropriation will be made when lands, buildings, and equip: ments of the value promised shall have been actually provided.
Chapter III closes with a brief summary of legislation respecting the employment of children in Great Britain and Ireland.
The work of the school board for London.—Chapter IV (pp. 273–292) presents a survey of the work of the school board for London, which is virtually brought to a close by the new law considered in the previous chapter. The particulars emphasized in the survey are the magnitude of the work; the elevated character of the first school board, elected in 1870; the systematic and comprehensive scheme of work which was developed; the enduring influence of the standard set up by the first board, and the vigor and liberal spirit in which the work has ever since been continued.
Interesting details with respect to the election and constitution of the original board are quoted in Chapter IV from a report by Lord Reay, the chairman of the present board. In particular, he notes that in 1870 London, with all its concentrated wealth, was less advanced with respect to school provision than any other part of England. According to the investigations at once undertaken by the school board, accommodation was required for at least 200,000 children within the metropolitan area for whom no school places could be found. The first board not only had to make up this deficiency, but to keep pace with the rapidly increasing population.
Doctor Macnamara, M. P., long a member of the London board, thus sums up the early policies of this great educational body:
The first two boards laid down the main line of policy on broad and progressive educational lines. The religious difficulty was solved by a happy compromise, to which churchman and nonconformist, like Prebendary Thorold and Doctor Angus, and Tory and Liberal, like Mr. W. H. Smith and Mr. Samuel Morley, gave complete and satisfied adherence.
Scales of salaries were laid down that
secured for London the best the training colleges for teachers could furnish, and schemes of staffing and of instruction were put on the stocks in a way that would not have done discredit to the most enlightened educationalism of thirty years later.
Doctor Macnamara notes also that from first to last the London school board has exercised a decisive influence throughout the country. “Go where you will,” he says, "up and down the country and out of it, you will find some of its syllabuses and regulations in force.”
The magnitude of the work as it has developed is thus graphically indicated by Lord Reay in the report already referred to. 6. The total population of the city” (6,705,731), he says, “is double that of Denmark or of Greece and is larger than that of Scotland." The child population to be cared for by the board “is larger than the total population of any European city except Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Venice.
The sum expended in London upon elementary education alone is equal to the total national expenditure of Denmark, Norway, or Switzerland.”
The board comprises 55 members, organized in 7 standing committees and 26 subcommittees. They have the services of school visitors, about 324 in number, employed to look after the school attendance of the children in their respective districts, and of about 3,000 school managers, who have a general oversight of individual schools. The board employs also 8 inspectors, 11 superintendents, 3 medical inspectors, and a large office force for clerical work. This mere enumeration of responsible agents is sufficient to indicate the enormous work which has been thrown upon the London county council by the new law.
From the tabulated statistics, which give a comparative summary of the operation of the board by decades from 1872-1902 (pp. 278 et seq.), it appears that in the last-named year the elementary school accommodation required for the metropolis was 787,678 places; the actual accommodation furnished was sufficient for 783,701 children; the average enrollment was 761,729 children, of whom 546,370 were in board schools and 215,359 in nonboard schools (chiefly parochial). In the former schools the average attendance maintained was 84.7 per cent of the enrollment, and in the latter 81.7 per cent.
The teaching staff employed by the board consisted of 11,235 per: sons, of whom 484 were head masters and 942 head mistresses. The classification of the remaining teachers, as given on page 279, shows that the pupil teachers had been reduced to a very small proportion of the whole number. Of the adult staff 82.2 per cent had been professionally trained.
The London board has been characterized by its efforts to prolong the period of school attendance and to extend the programme beyond the mere elementary branches. The original board made compulsory by-laws, and the upper limit of the period of obligatory school attendance has been gradually raised from 11 to 14 years of age. The scope of the school work is set forth in Chapter IV under the head of subjects of instruction (pp. 280-282). Many subjects that were formerly treated as optional - English, geography, elementary science, history, and needlework-have been made compulsory in all schools. Moreover, the proportion of pupils taking subjects that have been retained as optional has been steadily increasing, and reached in 1902 a total of 160,382, or more than one-fourth the entire number enrolled in the board schools. French and algebra were the optional branches
pursued by the greater proportion of the pupils.
The policy adopted by the board with respect to the employment of special teachers for modern languages and science is briefly outlined in Chapter IV (p. 281).
The board schools are all free, and school books, apparatus, and stationery are supplied without cost to the pupils. The income of the school board is derived chiefly from the government grant and local taxes. For the year ending March 25, 1902, the total expenditure reached the sum of £3,250,486 ($16,252,430).
In addition to the annual expenditure for the maintenance of the schools the board has borrowed £13,548,756 ($67,743,780) on the security of the rates for the purchase of sites and the erection of school buildings. Of this amount £3,117,888 ($15,589,940) have been repaid. Against this indebtedness the people have above 500 valuable sites and buildings.
The total current expenditure in 1902 was equivalent to £4 12s. 8d. ($23.16) per capita of average enrollment. Of the total named, the Government grant supplied 24 per cent and local taxes 75 per cent, leaving a small balance derived from other local sources. The everincreasing expenditure, though severely criticised, bears witness to the faithfulness with which the school board has maintained its trust. The rate of local tax which it has entailed is equivalent to 14.66d. on every pound of assessed valuation.
In addition to the provision and maintenance of day schools, the London board has carried on a vast amount of extra work, educational and sociological, essential to the efficient discharge of its responsibilities. This auxiliary work comprises evening schools, with an annual attendance in recent years of above 140,000 pupils; special schools for the physically and mentally defective; and industrial and reform schools for neglected and vicious children. London led the country in provision for mentally defective children, and its work in this respect has become a model copied by other nations. Extended accounts of this work, which, from its beginning in 1891, has been under the general charge of Mrs. Burgwin, are given in Chapter IV, pages 289-291. The endeavors of the London board to meet the necessities of the poorest and most unfortunate children have entailed a vast amount of charitable work, including the supply of food and clothing for destitute children, which has been secured through the cooperation of philanthropic societies. The condition of the poorer children early drew attention to the importance of medical inspection for schools, and an efficient service of this kind has been organized by the board. The medical staff in 1902 comprised the chief officer, 3 assistants, 6 oculists, 3 nurses, 4 clerks, and a messenger. A brief report of the service is included in Chapter 1V. The London board has also maintained a very efficient truant service, particulars of which are given on pages 287-290. is noticeable that the solicitude of the committee charged with the oversight of the truant schools does not cease when a child's term of detention is over. Interesting particulars are given of the efforts to secure some satisfactory arrangement for the subsequent life of the pupil.
In view of this long and impressive record of service it is easy to understand the excitement caused by the proposition to abolish the board and the reluctance manifested by the London county council to assume the onerous task. It was urged by many eminent advocates of the general law of 1902 that London should be made an exception to the rest of the country by leaving its school administration to a body constituted especially for that work. As we have seen, other views prevailed and the metropolis is entering upon a new policy of school administration,
American universities.-In Chapter V (pp. 293–317) President Charles F. Thwing, of Western Reserve University, has given an account of the development of American universities, their organization, conduct, and relations to the moral and material life of the nation. In the nine colleges planted during the colonial period English conditions prevailed. The motives for founding them, as in the case of the English universities, were largely ecclesiastical, the principal one in the colonies being to educate young men for the ministry. Of the 76 graduates of Harvard between 1642 and 1656, at least 59 became ministers. The course of study also followed the English precedent. Besides the Bible and the three ancient languages (Latin, Greek, and Hebrew), philosophical and rhetorical studies were chiefly pursued, with very little variation. Indeed, there was probably less change in the curriculum of the colonial colleges from their first establishment down to the close of the Revolution than there is now made in the same colleges in a single decade. The first classes of Harvard were admitted without a knowledge of mathematics, and the subject was not taken up until the senior year.
Some few French influences and points of contact during the first half century following the Revolution are noted. The chief embodiment of French methods and ideas was realized in the University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson in 1825. The influence of German scholarship and thought, which began to be felt in the first half of the