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The twofold object of this small book is set forth on the title-page.
The descriptive portion at any rate, especially the schemes of work, will, I trust, be interesting and useful to fellow schoolmasters.
As an explanation of, rather than as an excuse for, the somewhat disconnected style and occasional repetitions, I mention the fact that it has been written during the short intervals of leisure of a rather busy term.
In connection with the work, I wish to tender my thanks to Rector Elschläger and Professors Assfahl and Somnier of Stuttgart, and to my colleague Dr. Julius Grözinger, for much kind assistance.
C. B. Rochester, July, 1884.
THE president of the Chemical Society in his anniversary address this year laments the falling off of chemical research, and contrasts the incessant flow of work from the German universities with the driblets which at intervals emanate from our own. He goes on to say, “ If we turn to the other laboratories connected with our colleges, hospitals, etc., with how few exceptions do we find any appreciable amount of work being carried on for the extension of the boundaries of our Science; in fact, speaking in a general way, the work of our laboratories consists mainly in the students carrying out the ordinary course of qualitative and quantitative analysis, and attending one or two courses of lectures." And so on in a similar strain for five or six pages. At the schools they do nothing; at the colleges, hospitals, and universities they do what should have been done at school, and so they never reach higher work at all.
THE educational position in England at present may be briefly stated as follows:- The State assumes the responsibility of providing schools for elementary education. Where necessary it compels their erection, and then inspects and subsidizes them, and they also, under certain conditions, obtain assistance from the rates. These schools are especially adapted to the needs of the labouring population, whose children leave to earn their living at the age of twelve or thirteen; but they are also assumed to be fit to serve as preparatory schools for those
whose education is to be continued to a later
period, and if there happens by chance to be a higher school anywhere near, they are occasionally linked to it by means of scholarships.
Beyond these elementary schools the State disclaims all but the very slightest responsibility. It neither founds, inspects, nor subsidizes, but only “re-organizes." Whether any given locality shall have a higher school or not, depends, as a rule, either on the course events happened to take in that particular neighbourhood at the time of the Reformation or on local philanthropy. Our higher schools are for this reason planted over the country with about as much regard to national wants as if they had been dropped from a pepper-box. Some towns have two, some one, but the greater number, especially our large modern towns, have none, while many are in small country villages, where they are cither doing the work of elementary schools or are converted into boarding schools. Somc have incomes large enough to give every pupil in attendance a hundred a year, and some, often those in our largest towns, have very little. They are almost invariably for boys only. To supply deficiencies, companies have begun to provide “high schools,” “girls' public day schools," “middle-class schools," "Church of England schools,” each according to its own notion of what is right and proper.
But our higher schools of all kinds bear a very small ratio to the national requirements if we are to place ourselves abreast of continental countries in this matter.
In those towns which are so fortunate as to be provided with two higher schools, people are in the habit of considering that the educational difficulty is completely overcome.
There are the elementary schools for the working classes, a secondary school with moderately high fees, and another with fees higher still, adapted respectively, not so much to the requirements,