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that their schools would be quite full in a few days on that footing.* This might be expected by attention to the most obvious human motives. The parent must be depraved indeed, or insane, who should prefer being annoyed with wretchedly cared for children at home, or seeing them playing in the kennels of the streets, in filth and wickedness, to placing them in the safety, comfort, and, to them, luxury, of an infant school. If they could be tempted only to bring them there, the children themselves would most certainly come back again; if so, would the parents-could they, hinder them? Let us once get hold of the children, and we are sure of them; they will make no demand on their parents on Monday morning for the non-existing two-pence, which has gone for whisky on Saturday night or Sunday; the poor child is probably sent or driven out of doors at any rate; he will infallibly find his way to the infant school; and when once there, he may in most cases be counted upon, not only for the whole period of that first school, but for transference to the more advanced school, of our fifth chapter, also opened to him gratis; and there also he will make out the total term."
As a commencement to the great measure of national education, the author suggests that its merits should be discussed fully and freely in both Houses of Parliament, and resolutions voted in its favour.+ Petitions, he thinks, will not be wanting, when the subject is " agitated" by the legislature and the press, both combining to enlighten the public, and render it popular. "When the legislature," he proceeds, "have recognised by resolutions, the principles, first, That the education of the people, from two years of age to fourteen, ought to be furnished at the national expense; and, secondly, That the national system should be directed by the Government, the way will be paved for the first act of Parliament which will empower his Majesty to name Commissioners, under the superintendence of his Secretary of State for the Home Department,‡ to constitute a Board
"Both these teachers declare that their school-fees are irregularly paid. In the Lancasterian scarcely one-half are paid when due, and a great proportion is never recovered. In the Infant school it is better, though there likewise irregular. Mr Dun knows when a pupil will cease to come back; it is after running some weeks in arrear. He has often made the experiment of seeing the parents, whom he generally found drunk, and on wiping off the score the pupil was sure to come back again. Mr Dun and Mr Milne state, that the opinion in favour of gratis teaching is from experience general among the teachers themselves. The boys in the Lancasterian School are about 300,-they used to be 500. If the doors were opened gratis, a larger number than 500 would attend with alacrity. There are about 300 girls."
A Parliamentary Committee on education has been appointed since the publication of Mr Simpson's book.
"Prussia and France have each a Minister of Public Instruction, and the magnitude of the national object would warrant a similar appointment in this country. In this proposition I am anticipated by the Edinburgh Review,
of Public Education, whose duty, under the responsibility of a minute report to Parliament, it shall be, First, after the most extensive inquiries into existing improvements, not merely in this country, where there is yet but little to boast of, but in countries which have made and are making popular education a grand national object, such as Prussia and France, and guided by sound philosophical principle, to prepare a system of primary education-a Code or directory for the teacher's guidance, adapted to all classes of the community, and with a special eye to the education of the manual labour class, physical, moral, and intellectual. The vital importance of such a book needs no illustration. On the table of every school in the country, it would be the teacher's rule, guide, warrant, and limit, and secure to the pupil education on an enlightened plan, and that uniform from one end of the empire to the other. This is of immense moment. There is a vague talk on the subject of popular education, even among its zealous friends, which appears never to get beyond the machinery, the multiplication of schools, and the methods of teaching; but few seem to think it at all necessary to settle the point, WHAT is to be taught. In this, we of this country have the course clear for us to shoot a-head immeasurably of both Prussia and France. It would occupy too much space to detail here the WHAT of education in those countries on their new popular system. Those who have read their reports must have been struck with the preponderating, the almost exclusive importance allotted to the machinery,-to the minister of public instruction, the boards, the normal schools, the primary schools, the control and visitation, the uniformity, borrowed from the very war-office and the barracks. This is all very right, so far as it goes; but the education conveyed by all these appliances appears to rise very little above the old routine; and this evidently because it is not suspected in Prussia and France that there exists any thing better. We miss, in the very front of the system, a provision for infant education, for the chief object of all education, to which every thing else ought to be subservient, early practical moral training. We find no provision made for imparting to the pupil a knowledge of himself, and of creation as related to him. Languages, geography, mathematics, history, music, drawing, penmanship, are all excellent branches, but they are too apt to be thought the whole of school objects. The desiderated British Code of the substance
No. 117, p. 30, In England, where almost every thing is to do, and a great deal to be undone, we doubt whether any thing can be effected of permanent utility, without a Minister of Public Instruction. The duties of the Home Office are already too heavy. The only way to secure unity, promptitude, energy, and, we may add, impartiality, in any organized system of national education, is to lodge the undivided responsibility in the hands of a public officer, and to limit his duties to that great object.'
of education may be made to exceed any thing yet known; and, borrowed, as it would be, by the very countries from which we have copied the machinery, will overpay the boon."
Mr Simpson offers some judicious and valuable suggestions as to the other duties of the proposed Board; but for these we must refer the reader to his pages. The great importance of training teachers in what are termed normal schools is justly and strongly insisted on; and the necessity that schools should be under proper superintendence is also pointed out. "The Board," says Mr Simpson, "will exercise the most rigid surveillance over the schools for teachers, aud subsequent parish schools. The teacher ought to be liberally paid, quite as liberally as the parish minister, while his attainments will secure to him an elevation in society, far beyond what the schoolmaster' has yet enjoyed. But to keep up zeal, and prevent the sedative effect of endowment, all the national school teachers should be appointed triennially; when reappointment will depend upon previous conduct. The Board ought to have the sole appointment of the teachers, and the power of dismissal for sufficient reason. Returns at stated periods should be made to the Board, by the teachers, of the condition and progress of their schools; and these should be countersigned by the Justices of the Peace and Clergy in the parish, who should have power, and be enjoined, to visit the school at all times, and examine it once or twice Occasional inspections by members of the Board, or by qualified persons appointed by them, going in circuit, so that the whole schools may be inspected in the course of a certain number of years, and their state published, would furnish a motive to teachers, justices, and ministers, alike to do their duty."
In the eighth and concluding chapter, Mr Simpson adverts to the difficulties and obstacles to be overcome in educating the people, and the encouragements which the friends of education have before them. We have room to notice only one of the "obstacles,"-sectarian zeal. This, says Mr Simpson, "has hitherto been, and will yet be, the most formidable obstacle with which a NATIONAL system of popular education will have to contend. There exist between seventy and eighty sects of Christians. The zealots of every sect most conscientiously entertain the opinion that the only chance for the youth of the country obtaining what IT calls a religious education, is to place the sole direction of education, secular and religious, in ITs peculiar hands. Most sects, so empowered, would then proceed to instil into the young, nay, even the infant mind, theology almost exclusively. This is the only idea the sects, if zealous, attach to education on a religious basis. It must begin with the creed and catechism of the sect, and never for a moment be permitted to lose sight of either. The consequence is, that both
become objects of tedium and disgust, and neither religious nor secular knowledge is attained. No one can have read this treatise without observing that religious education, or, what is the same thing, education on a religious basis, is strenuously advocated in it; only a different mode, and a different order of inculcation are recommended, because of the signal failure of the prevailing method. While, in the order proposed, secular education precedes the inculcation of Revelation, it cannot be said by the most scrupulous that it excludes it. By secular education the pupil is introduced to the God of Nature. He desiderates a Creator as the author of the wonders unfolded to him in creation, and, as it were, discovers him in his works. Thus prepared, he proceeds to find that the God of Nature is the God of Revelation. Is it wise to reverse this order? Is it not impious to exclude one-half of it ?".
At page 254, Mr Simpson does injustice to Dr Bell, as the inventor of the monitorial system of education, or method of mutual instruction. He represents Joseph Lancaster as the original discoverer of that system; and states that the English churchmen, alarmed by the progress which the dissenters were making with it in educating the people, hastily brought home Dr Bell from India, identified him with the new method, established national schools in accordance with it, and refused to acknowledge Lancaster as its inventor. Now, the fact is, that Dr Bell invented the system towards the end of last century, in India, where he practised it for years with the most gratifying success. He returned to Europe in 1797, and published in that year a full account of his method, in a pamphlet entitled, "An Experiment in Education, made at the Male Asylum of Madras; suggesting a system by which a school or family may teach itself under the superintendence of the master or parent." In 1798, the system was successfully introduced into various seminaries in England, particularly the charity school of St Botolph, Aldgate, and the Kendal schools of industry. It was not till 1803 that Joseph Lancaster first appeared before the public. In the pamphlet which he then published, called, " Improvements in Education," &c. he states that his school was begun in the year 1798, that "during several years" he failed in every attempt to introduce a better system of tuition" than the common one, and that afterwards "the internal organization of the school was gradually and materially altered for the better." In his third edition, he admits that when he opened school in 1798, he knew of no modes of tuition but those usually in practice." His first edition contains a fair acknowledgment of the priority of Dr Bell's discovery, in the following words :-"I ought not to close my account without acknowledging the obligation I lie under to Dr Bell, of the Male Asylum at Madras,
who so nobly gave up his time and liberal salary, that he might perfect that institution, which flourished greatly under his fostering care. He published a tract in 1798, [the true date is 1797, entitled, An Experiment in Education,' &c. From this publication I have adopted several useful hints. I beg leave to recommend it to the attentive perusal of the friends of education and youth." In the second edition of Lancaster's book, this farther acknowledgment was added:-"Dr Bell was fully sensible of the waste of time in schools, and his method to remedy the evil was crowned with complete success. I have been endeavouring to walk in his footsteps in the method about to be detailed;" p. 78. It was only when his school attracted a high degree of public attention, that Lancaster claimed the merit of having invented the system of mutual instruction; and at length, he went so far as to write, in the Morning Post of 4th September 1811, "I stand forward before the public, at the bar of mankind, to the present and for future ages, avowing myself the inventor of the British or Royal Lancasterian system." Dr Bell, then, was undoubtedly the sole inventor of the monitorial system; but Lancaster, who "walked in his footsteps,' had certainly the great merit of introducing it generally into practice. Dr Bell, however, had been residing in England for years, when he was called on by the churchmen to assist them in establishing schools to compete with those of Lancaster.
Mr Simpson has appended to his work "Hints on the necessity of a change of principle in our Legislation for the efficient protection of Society from Crime ;"-"Observations on the degree of Knowledge yet applied to the investigation of Insanity in Trials for Crime, chiefly Violence and Homicide;"-" Extract from Report of the Edinburgh Infant School Society;""Summary of the Proceedings of the Edinburgh Association for procuring Instruction in useful and entertaining Science;" and several other documents, -all containing much interesting and instructive matter. Our limits, however, are now exhausted, so that the appendix, like much of what is contained in the body of the treatise, must be passed over in silence. We anticipate the best effects to the cause of education from Mr Simpson's work. Independently of other merits, the animated and popular style in which it is written, will go far to ensure a wide circulation. The extracts given above will so fully enable the reader to judge of its merits that they render quite unnecessary any farther expression of our own opinion.