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us in the question, How near are we to the possession of an adequate system of means and appliances for the obtainment of a truly educated people ?
70. In attempting to supply some answer to this question, it was primarily asserted that all parties to its discussion were agreed, at least in this, namely, that the organization of such a system must proceed, not from the voluntary efforts of the individuals or classes themselves, whose present want of education is greatest and most urgent, but from efforts from without them; -and, that to this organization the State, by its official agents and representatives, must afford some aid.
71. Notice was taken, in limine, of the pretensions which have recently been advanced by a certain party in the established church, to an ecclesiastical control, of right, over all education, and to an ecclesiastical administration of all aids afforded to education by the State. These pretensions, when placed in apposition with the two concurrent facts,-a nation divided into many religious bodies, some admitting one kind of ecclesiastical authority, and some another, and some rejecting ecclesiastical authority altogether; and a government by representation,—were seen to be wholly untenable.
72. For, as was said, an improved means of popular education, being the want of the whole people, and not of a part only; and the necessity of State interposition to this end, being not only capable of demonstrative proof, but already virtually admitted by all parties, what the State does, it must do for all.
73. Such interposition, it was argued, must tend to encourage, not to supersede voluntary exertions, and whatever be its ultimate limits, must at least include the distribution of parliamentary grants ; efficient inspection of the schools aided by such grants ; a provision
of normal or teacher schools for the better preparation of schoolmasters; and the removal of all such obstacles to popular education as may be removeable by legislative means.
74. A glance at the recent measures of government in relation to this subject, made it apparent that each of these means either is already, or shortly will be, in active operation. It was perceived, indeed, that the most important of all—the establishment of good normal schools had been delayed by misapprehensions and misunderstandings with respect to the provision of ades quate religious instruction, without infringement of the rights of conscience, but that happily these misapprehensions are even now giving place to juster and larger views, and to a graver sense of the dignity and importance of the subject.
75. It was not thought necessary to enter into any lengthened statistical details of the present educational wants of the country, in respect either of quantity or of quality. But evidence enough was adduced to prove that, as respects the former, we have no ground to hope that it will ever be fully overtaken, save by the State itself assuming the initiative (in the poorer and more populous districts) in the actual establishment of schools; and that, as respects the latter, no approach to a sufficient education can be expected for certain large classes of the community, save by the establishment of industrial schools, or such as shall carry on education and develope practical industry, at one and the same time.
76. Such measures, it is evident, require for their superintendence a permanent educational department in the government. The existing Committee of the Privy Council on Education is but a temporary step to such a department. It is, however, a great improvement upon the practice of leaving the appropriation of educational grants to the treasury.
77. But it would seem, on reviewing the whole question, as it stands at present, that large as is the amount of information which has been brought to bear upon it, there is still need for further enquiry. And nothing, perhaps, would tend more surely, or more rapidly, to bring about the adoption of a sound and thoroughly efficient system, than the appointment of a commission to do for this question what the commissioners of enquiry into the Poor Laws did for Poor Law Reform. That subject, like the present, had been brought repeatedly before parliamentary committees, but made comparatively little progress, until it became the subject of a systematic and official enquiry.
78. Amongst the adjuncts and supplemental means of a truly national education, Schools of Design, Mechanics' Institutions, Lyceums, free Exhibitions, public Galleries and Museums,—the best means of promoting which have been already discussed,—will all hold their appropriate place. Amongst those which have not been noticed, as having less to do with the immediate subject of these pages, there is one which I cannot wholly pass over. I mean, the improved cultivation of the popular taste for music.
79. Vocal music, if adapted to songs or odes of a popular and inspiriting kind, is a most powerful adjunct to national education. The effect of Luther's hymns, and of some of Klopstock's odes (for example) on the German people has been remarkable ; and Herder, in speaking of it, has beautifully observed on the grandeur of the task of “filling a youthful mind with songs, which shall dwell with it life-long, inciting it to virtue, affording it consolation, and being to it as undying voices, alike while doing and while suffering, in life and
in death!"* The man who shall do this for England has yet to appear.
80. The Society for the encouragement of Vocal Music was established, about two years since, with a view to cultivate, among all classes, a taste for vocal harmony, and to extend the practice of choral singing, “as a means of softening the manners, refining the taste, and raising the character of the great body of the people. ...... It was intended to facilitate the introduction of vocal music into schools, as a branch of national education, and to aid in the formation of choral and madrigal societies.”+
81. “To render music national in this country," continues the Report, “it is necessary that it should be made a part of common every-day school instruction. In several of the German states, and in some of the cantons of Switzerland, no individual can obtain the appointment of schoolmaster in the humblest village school, who cannot teach singing and the notation of music. In those countries this is rightly viewed as an important qualification for a teacher; for without the early cultivation of the voice and ear, that elementary knowledge of time and tune cannot be attained which is necessary to sing with correctness. But, besides this reason, on moral grounds, singing ought to be made a part of the discipline and exercises of every school. Its influence in promoting kindly feelings, and in giving equanimity and cheerfulness to the mind, has long been proved in infant schools; and in schools for older children, where singing has been introduced, the experiment has been attended with the happiest results."*
* ...... “ Das kübnste Klopstocksche Lied, voll Sprünge und Inversionen, einem Kinde beigebracht, und von ihm einigemal lebendig gesungen, werde mehr für ihn seyn, und tiefer und ewiger in ihm bleiben, als der dogmatische Locus von Liede, wo ja kein Zwischenpartikel und Zwischengedanke ausgelassen ist.--Mein Gott! wie trocken und dürre stellen sich doch manche Leute die menschliche Seele, die Seele eines Kindes vor! Und was für ein grosses, treffliches Ideal wäre mir dieselbe, wenn ich mich je an Liedern dieser Art versuchte. Eine ganze jugendliche, kindliche Seele zu füllen, Gesänge in sie zulegen, die, meistens die einzigen, lebenslang in ihnen bleiben, und den Ton derselben anstimmen und ihnen ewige Stimme zu Tbaten und Ruhe, zu Tugenden und zum Troste seyn soll, wie Kriegshelden und Väterlieder in der Seele der alten, wilden Völker-welch ein Zweck ! welch ein Wort!”......Ueber Ossian und die Lieder der alten Völker-Herder's sämmtliche Werke. B. 24, p. 41. [Sammlung der vorzüglichsten Deutschen Classiker, Carlsruhe, 1821.]
of First Report, 1839, p. 2.
82. Whatever the difficulties which beset many of the questions involved in this rapid survey of what I have called the Administrative Economy of the Arts of Design, or in other words, their relations with the State, either as the subject-matter of legislation, or as means of promoting National Education, those difficulties are still outweighed by the circumstances of encouragement which connect themselves with the whole subject. For, notwithstanding some exceptions, the general tone of discussion when any of these matters are now alluded to in Parliament, is decidedly marked by an increasing liberality. And, indeed, if it be true, as has been represented, that these arts of design may be employed with such powerful effect in the great work of popular education, it were strange if the wonted neglect of them were altogether to continue, at a time when the preservation of social order itself is loudly threatened by the unhappy combination of ignorance with discontent.
83. And this increased liberality of sentiment is not seen only in the improved tone of parliamentary debates. The voluntary labours of so many societies pointing;
* First Report, 1839, p. 2.