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820,005 3 4
The next stage in our inquiry is to present an analysis, as far as it may be necessary, of the returns obtained by the commissioners of inquiry in 1824 of the state of education in their respective parishes, from the Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy*. To occupy as little space as possible, we shall give only the Protestant returns, as they do not greatly vary from the others, and as these alone are referred to in the report of the committee of 1828.
The total number of schools in Ireland appears to be 11,823; viz.
271,869 18 6
Total 2,944,140 3 4
240,356 1 6
The masters and mistresses appear to be 12,530:
Of the Established Church 3,098
The total number of children in attendance in all the schools, taken on an average of three months in the autumn of 1824, was 560,549. This total was distributed as follows:
Second Report, 1826.
The proportion which the children of different religious creeds were found to bear to each other, and their distribution, were as follows:
The return of sexes exhibited a total of
Sex not stated
57,023 2023 141,882
123,265 3565 158,740
168,209 1909 | 188,206 113 59,788 2599 10,096 560,549
Our readers will fall into an error if they imagine that this large amount of instruction-and large as it is, it is far short of the wants of the country-is supplied entirely, or in the greater part, by the assistance of government, by societies for education, or by the clergy, either of the Established Church, of the Presbyterian and other Dissenters, or of the Roman Catholics. It appears by the returns, that the total number of schools was 11,823, and of scholars 560,549. Of this number eight-elevenths are pay-schools, wholly unconnected with government, with societies, or with the clergy, and conducted by individuals entirely for their own profit. The returns show that there are 9352 pay-schools and 394,732 paying scholars. It is indeed fortunate, that in a country in which so little has been done by the ruling powers for the education of the people, they have attempted to do so much for themselves, in spite of their poverty and their prejudices. One witness stated to the committee on the Irish poor
in 1830, that the children were sent to school whenever they could be spared from labour, or when they had clothing*; and another, that the sacrifices made by the poor people to effect this object presented themselves to his mind in countless instances. Deducting, then, the pay-schools and scholars from the total returned, we find the number of schools in which education is wholly, or in part gratuitous, and of scholars receiving this benefit, to be as follows:
Of these 165,817 children receiving education wholly or partly gratuitous, only a portion are maintained in schools supported wholly, or in part, at the public expense. From the total number is to be deducted those educated by private charity, of whom 46,119 are so educated from funds provided entirely by Roman Catholics, and 46,514 in establishments supported by bequests and voluntary contributions‡. The remaining 73,184 scholars, supported at the public expense, are,—
Chartered Schools .
It remains to be observed that while, in the schools maintained by the public, the number of Protestants and Catholics was about equal, the number of Protestants in the payschools was 87,328, and of Catholics 307,402.
* Hickey, 1943.
+ Doyle, 4600.
This latter number includes the scholars of the London Hibernian and the Baptists' Societies, and this class has received assistance from the Lord-Lieutenant's fund.
It appears from a statement of Mr. Stanley in the House of Commons on the 9th September, 1831, that, in consequence doubtless of the liberal votes of parliament since the date of this return, the schools of the Kildare-Place Society amounted in 1830 to 1620, and the scholars to 132,573. Two-thirds of the schools and scholars were in the Protestant province of Ulster.
We of course do not include the public establishments for limited objects in this aggregate.
ON TEACHING THE NATURAL SCIENCES IN SCHOOLS*. THIS little essay is well deserving of attention for the zeal with which it maintains the importance of introducing the natural sciences into a school course, and for the soundness of the arguments with which it combats the defenders of the present system, and the opponents of all change. Not, however, to prejudice the cause with those who are doubtful about the propriety of extending our ordinary school instruction, we must premise, that it is not the teaching of these new branches in their full scientific development that is intended, (a thing manifestly impossible,) but such a kind of early instruction as will best prepare the youth for future and complete studies.
Our ancestors have bequeathed to us a system of education, which principally consists in studying two dead languages; and such is the force of long-continued custom, that it is very difficult to convince people that this system is not sufficiently adapted to the wants of the present age. To those who resolutely maintain the exclusive importance of classical studies, we would not venture to address any arguments at all, for on such people, if there are any now left, they would be entirely thrown away. Our remarks are rather intended for those, who, while they consider the study of Latin and Greek to be an essential part of a liberal education, still admit that other kinds of knowledge should be communicated also. They fear, however, that by attempting too much, we may fail altogether, and hence they argue, that it is better to teach a little well, than a great deal imperfectly. In this we fully agree; and we would add to it, that we think it desirable to have some one study, to which the principal efforts of a youth may be directed, because the labouring after a complete and full comprehension of a subject, is one of the very best kinds of discipline for forming both the moral and intellectual character. And we see many good reasons why Latin and Greek should be preferred to other studies, as the principal means of forming this character in those who have time enough to go through the discipline, when it does not interfere with other subjects which are indispensable in the condition of life which they are likely to fill. But by a study of Latin and Greek, we mean such a study of these languages as shall improve the scholar in his own tongue also, and teach him what is the nature of human speech, and its relationship to
* Ueber den Unterricht in der Naturkunde auf Schulen, von Karl von Raumer, Berlin.
the objects of sense, and those which can only be contemplated by the intellectual faculties. Besides this, we would omit no opportunity of making the subject-matter of a Greek or Latin author, as much a part of the study as the words themselves, for in fact the words are not intelligible unless the things intended by them are understood. But how is this to be done without a larger store of varied knowledge than classical teachers generally possess? It cannot be done at present in an adequate manner, and we must, therefore, be content to carry on these studies imperfectly, till our early education shall give us a better and more extensive knowledge of the phenomena of nature. No man ever prosecuted the study of antiquity with the zeal of a true admirer, without feeling how much better he could have seized its spirit, and comprehended its real character, had he been better grounded in the knowledge of nature. In this point of view then, for the purpose of improving the classical studies of the present day, and independent of other considerations of still higher moment, we venture to call attention to the subject of this little essay.
In a former number of this Journal, we noticed the Lessons on Objects,' as a new and useful branch of early education. Those who have ever been present at a well-conducted lesson of this kind, cannot fail to have been struck with the ardour which is exhibited by a class of young boys, when objects for examination are placed before them. Their eagerness to see, to feel, to test the qualities of the object by all their external senses, to find appropriate words to express their sensations, and to leave no experiment on it untried-all these are indications of a real love for knowledge, which needs little more than to be directed. At an early age, how readily do we seize, and how permanently do we retain, impressions as to the form, colour, composition, and all other sensible properties of natural objects!-and these impressions are the real foundation of future and more exact knowledge. We all know how difficult it is at a later period in life to acquire and retain these impressions of external objects, unless we have in youth been taught to use our senses, and to put them daily to the test. What erroneous and contradictory judgments do people form of the dimensions, figure, and colour of the objects, which they see constantly around them: judgments so inexact as to prove that neither the hand nor the eye have had an equal share of training with the tongue, to which unruly and most faithless member, nearly the whole of education is now confined! We propose then, that boys should, in their school instruction, have daily opportunities of becoming familiar with