Page images


The foregoing statement is published in this week's Journal, in accordance with Sec. 42 of the Society's Bye-laws, which provides that, at the Annual Meeting, the Council shall render to the Society a full account of their proceedings, and of the receipts, payments, and diture during the past year; and a copy of such statement shall be published in the Journal of the Society, on the Friday before such General Meeting.



Proceedings of the Society.


The Fourteenth Annual Conference of the

Representatives of the Institutions in Union,
and the Local Educational Boards, with the
Council of the Society, was held at the Society's
House on Wednesday, the 14th inst, at 12
o'clock, noon.
Chairman of the Council, presided.

At the conclusion of the Secretary's Report to the Council, read to the Conference, and published in the last number of this Journal (see p. 506), the Chairman laid before the Confertions for 1866, and called attention to the folence the proposed Programme of the ExaminaOffi-lowing subjects proposed for the consideration

The One Hundred and Eleventh Annual General Meeting, for the purpose of receiving the Council's Report and the Treasurers' Statement of Receipts, Payments, and Expenditure during the past year, and also for the Election of cers, will be held, in accordance with the ByeLaws, on Wednesday, the 28th of June, at 4


[blocks in formation]

17th June, 1865. DEAR SIR-Referring to your letter of the 10th of January last, soliciting the co-operation of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers, London, in offering prizes for Art-Workmanship, I have now the pleasure to inform you that the Plasterers' Company have resolved to offer through the Society of Arts one prize of £10 and a second of £5 for modelling.

I send on the other side the particulars of the subject selected, and also the conditions, subject to which the prizes are offered, and I should feel much obliged if you would kindly make the same known as extensively as possible. I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

P. Le Neve Foster, Esq., Secretary to the

Society of Arts, Adelphi.


The Worshipful Company of Plasterers, London, offer (subject to the general conditions of the Society of Arts) a prize of £10 for the best floriated bracket or truss in the Italian Renaissance style-dimensions, 14 inches on the beam, 12 inches on the wall, and 8 inches on the face -to be designed and modelled by the competitor, or the designer and modeller may co-operate in the production,

when £5 will be awarded to each.

Five pounds will be given for the next best model, or £2 108. each to designer and modeller.

Artizans' apprentices and students may compete for these prizes, but not master tradesmen, Masters in Schools of Art, or those training for Masters in the Central School of the Department of Art.

To be delivered at the Society of Arts by the 14th

December, 1865.

of the Conference :

[blocks in formation]

2. Is any modification of the present scheme of Elemen tary Examinations, by rendering it more adapted to the capacities of class pupils in Mechanics' Institutes, desirable. 3. The advantages of local prizes to successful candidates, at the Society of Arts Examinations, as a stimulus to local competition.

4. Whether any special inducements can be held out to lead soldiers to avail themselves of the Society's Examinations? [See the correspondence with H.R.H. the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Journal p. 493.]

5. The propriety of adding to the Society's Examina tions the subject of "Practical Gardening," in accordance with a proposal made to the Council by the Royal Horticultural Society, who have expressed their willingness to offer prizes in this subject.

6. How can Institutions promote the Physical Educa tion of their members?

7. How may Popular Readings and Entertainments be made to promote the efficiency of Institution Classes? 8. The advantage of Garden Allotments, as a feature of the Institute, with a view of healthful recreation for the members.

ticultural Shows, Building Societies, Penny Savings Banks, 9. Should Institutes promote the establishment of Herand similar movements towards the social amelioration of the people?

10. The advantages and disadvantages of subscriptions to Institutes being paid by weekly or other small amounts.

The CHAIRMAN said it was now his duty to ask the Conference to enter upon the consideration of the various subjects which had been referred to in the report, and also those which had been suggested for discussion. Before the proceedings went any further he could not help expressing his regret that on account of ill health they were deprived of the presence of Mr. Chester, who had for so many years taken a most active part, and had been of the greatest possible service, in the system of Examinations which was now carried out by the Society. regretted that he should be obliged to ask their indulgence in allowing him to leave the chair before the business was concluded. He then called on the Secretary to state the alterations it was proposed to make in

He also

FINAL, FOR 1866.

The SECRETARY stated that, looking at the small number of candidates that in each year had taken Nautical Astronomy, Astronomy, and Agriculture,

it was proposed to omit these subject from the next year's Examinations. As regarded the Elementary Examinations it was proposed, with reference to the Junior Grade, that only one of the special subjects should be compulsory, instead of two as hitherto; and as regards females, that needlework alone should be compulsory. As regards the Senior Grade, the English History would this year include general English History, with special attention to the reign of George III. The Scripture Examinations would be in the facts of St. Matthew's Gospel. Liberty was given for the Boards to hold the Examinations at any time after 3 o'clock, instead of 4 o'clock as hitherto.

The Conference then proceeded to discuss


Mr. H. COLE, C.B., said he should be happy to second the resolution, for the purpose of discussing the question. The first part of it seemed to imply that the Institutions would rely upon gratuitous help for the greater part of their teaching, but would look to an organising teacher once a fortnight or so for the remainder. The principle of the resolution seemed to be that half a loaf was better than no bread, but that a whole one was better still. He (Mr. Cole) objected to reliance on gratuitous services, and wished to make an announcement as to some additional assistance which the Department with which he had the honour to be connected was disposed to afford in reference to certain subjects, and of which he hoped Mechanics' Institutions would avail themselves. A Minute of Council had recently been passed which enabled any Mechanics' Institution, or any Evening Class connected with a National or other kind of school, to have a drawingMr. LAWTON (Lancashire and Cheshire Union) said ing anybody's leave; but if they liked to establish class-which of course they could have without askthe system referred to was the employment of two such a class, and employ a certificated teacher in gentlemen devoted entirely to the working of a district what was called the "second grade," which was & comprising about 12 Institutions. The district was schoolmaster's certificate, or, if they preferred it, a divided between them, and they each visited a separate teacher of the "third grade," they might then get paid school every night in the week, taking charge of the for the work which they accomplished. There were no classes, giving lessons, and taking the general super-conditions as to the number of nights which the class need vision of the school for the evening. In addition to this, meet during the year; it was only a question of examithe organising teachers in East Lancashire held science nation-similar to that conducted by the Society of Artscertificates, and it was understood that wherever they Visited for elementary work, science classes were always they would have to work papers, which would be examined once in a year. When a class required to be examined, conducted by them after the elementary classes were finished, so that the Institutions in the district had the in London; and for every paper worked in the second benefit of their assistance both for elementary and for grade, or in that grade of drawing, they might get ten shillings; so that if a clever artizan chose to learn a scientific teaching. The plan was a very expensive one to little geometry, and to do a little free-hand drawing, and work. It was certainly doing great service, but it pressed drawing from a model, and in perspective, his teacher heavily on the Institutions that adopted it, inasmuch as might demand from the department £2, or ten shillings for they had to pay £15 a year for the services of the organising each paper. Further than that, if the Institution thought fit teachers, in addition to the expense incurred in providing to employ a teacher having a third grade certificate, their ordinary teaching power. The system sketched out which was an art-teacher's qualification, and would unite for adoption in the course of next year in the Lancashire with any local school of art, the nearest, or any other and Cheshire Union was a modification of this scheme. which might be preferred, and through the School of Art Instead of engaging gentlemen to devote themselves would send up papers of a higher grade than those perexclusively to the Union both day and night, it was formed in the presence of an examiner, and which would proposed to distribute the Institutions into groups. be judged of without reference to time, and solely with There would perhaps be a group of five; one gentleman would take charge of special subjects at the central reference to quality, then they might obtain fifteen shillings Institution on behalf of the district; the members of for such work as was satisfactory, with the chance of comthe different Institutions would attend the central In-peting for gold, silver, and bronze medals. stitution on the same terms as the members of the Central Institution itself; the elementary work would be conducted by the teachers belonging to the several Institutions without a visit of a special teacher; and consequently, with a much less burden pressing upon them, the Institutions would be able to have elementary teaching, and a special teaching power at the central Institution at a much less cost than they would have to pay for the services of a visiting agent for one night.

Mr. BARNETT BLAKE (Yorkshire Union) said that very great expense was certainly involved by the Institutions, because only a very small number could be served by one teacher. The matter had been brought under discussion when Sir James Kay Shuttleworth was present, and it was then considered most advisable, instead of attempting to do so little at so great a cost, to employ one agent for the whole district comprised within the Union, inasmuch as, though each Institution might not be so much benefited as by the system pursued in East Lancashire, yet the advantage really obtained would be spread over a much larger area. The resolution which he wished to propose on the subject was as follows:

"That when ten or twelve Institutions sufficiently near will join in the employment of a competent teacher, to visit each Institution one evening in a fortnight, the instruction in evening classes may be well carried on with gratuitous aid and that in districts where the Union of a larger number of Institutions is necessary to supply funds to obtain the assistance of an organising master, much advantage may be gained."

This matter

was one which touched both the teaching of night classes and the resolution under discussion. The minute had been laid before Parliament, and there was every reason to believe that it would come into operation during the coming year.

Mr. BLAKE said the object of the resolution which he had proposed was to encourage Local Unions to do more in practical teaching than they had hitherto done. Because they could not employ paid teachers it was thought great deal might be done by gratuitous teachers prothere was no good to be done, whereas the fact was, that Mr. Lawton perly directed by an occasional visitor. would be able to testify that, in Lancashire, a great deal of good was done by the services of an occasional visitor.


Mr. LAWTON did not consider it a healthy sign that they were asked to encourage a system of gratuitous


Mr. BLAKE said what he meant was that when they

could only get gratuitous teachers they would do well to have a competent man to look after them-a system which was often adopted.

Mr. LAWTON was quite willing to acknowledge the great benefit derived from voluntary teachers under paid teachers, but it was very necessary to remember that they ought in all their institutions to have paid teachers. He would give one instance from his own neighbourhood, as an illustration of a system which he thought would be found to work well. They had five institutions within a diameter of about two and a-half miles; he would suggest that those institutions should engage their own teachers

of elementary work, and they would be able to do that for thirty weeks in the year at a cost of £10, for which sum they could secure the services of a first-class man. He would then propose that they should have a special certificated teacher for special subjects at the central institution, at a cost of £12. Each institution would, under this scheme, have three class-nights under certificated teaching power, and one class-night under special teaching power.

Mr. C. WOMERSLEY (Hastings Mechanics' Institution) said the resolution merely served to affirm a principle about which no time need be wasted.

Mr. COLE said that if the resolution was supposed to mean that they recommended gratuitous teaching as a principle of action, he should have some objection to it. It was very well to get all they could for nothing, but everybody knew it was not likely to continue, and was not much prized after all. It was very important to make people who were being taught understand that what they were receiving was really something worth paying for, however moderate the charge might be. He did not like the use of the word "gratuitous," as it might be misunderstood, and he thought Mr. Blake could easily draw up a wider resolution which would embrace everything. Mr. SALES (Metropolitan Association) thought it was a misnomer to call those mentioned in the resolution 66 'organising teachers," because they not only had to set the machinery in operation, but they had to take part in working themselves. He should vote against any resolution which gave the authority of the Conference to the employment of gratuitous teachers. It was most desirable that the people attending the Institutions should feel bound to pay for the benefit they received from them, and not to trust to charity. He did not like to propose an amendment, but he hoped the resolution would not pass as it stood.

Mr. BLAKE said the amendment was only his resolution put in another form, and he would at once withdraw his proposition.

Dr. PANKHURST said it was quite obvious that the number of special teachers they could command was very small compared with those who could be got to teach general subjects. The Lancashire and Cheshire had the advantage that while a special teacher was purveying instruction to one Union one night a week, and was so satisfying the wants of the Union, he might also be operating with the same efficiency for other Unions during the rest of the week, so that he might be purveying special instruction, of the best order and according to the most approved methods to five Unions in the same week, while at the same time a regular attention was paid to preliminary subjects, about which one might say that the higher they proposed to carry the point of special efficiency the broader still they ought to lay the basis of general subjects.

The Rev. R. WHITTINGTON (City of London College) seconded the amendment, and said that in the Institution he represented there was a fundamental rule that no teacher should be unpaid. He fully recognised the importance and the efficiency of paid teaching power, but on the other hand he knew there were many Institutions which were obliged to depend to a very great extent, especially in general subjects, on gratuitous teaching. He believed the system of organising teachers was one step in advance towards employing paid teaching exclusively, and he believed it was a system which would be productive of good results.

Mr. B. RULE (Aldershot and Farnham Board of Education) said he very much questioned whether it would be expedient on the part of the Conference to encourage the principle of gratuitous teaching.

The Rev. G. B. MACILWAIN (St. George's and St. Dr. PANKHURST (Lancashire and Cheshire Union) James's, Westminster, Local Board) was fully sensible of said he thought they ought to embody in the re- the very great superiority of paid teachers over gratuitous solution to be passed some substantive proposal, upon teachers, but looking at the matter practically he thought which they could fix the attention of the Conference. they would all admit that for the present, at all events, The substance of the resolution proposed by Mr. Blake they would be obliged to make very extensive use of was to assert that any system was better than none; but gratuitous teaching. He found in his own Institution that what they wanted to do was to show which out of the they received very efficient aid from gratuitous teachers several systems submitted they believed to be the best. under the superintendence of paid teachers. He directed Mr. Lawton had very judiciously and effectually stated a great many classes, and in each room there was a paid the points of difference between the plan which had re- teacher who was well skilled in the subjects being taught, ceived the sanct on and approval of Sir James Kay Shut- and who had under him or her, as the case might be, tleworth and the plan which was in partial operation in the ladies and gentlemen who were solely directed by the Lancashire and Cheshire Union. The Lancashire system superintendence of the paid teacher, and to whom hinte might be said to be the best for many obvious reasons. were given as to the way in which the teaching should It was the simplest, the most economical, and the most be carried out. The system had been in operation for productive of benefit, and these formed three very sub-three or four years, and had worked well, the greatest stantial reasons why it should be preferred. There were harmony always existing between the parties engaged two subjects proposed to be taught, one of which might be termed general and the other special. The East Lancashire system gave to the same man both classes of work to do, while the Lancashire and Cheshire system gave to one set of men one subject, and reserved exclusively to the other set another subject. Mr. Lawton had stated the fact as to the money payments required by each Institution, and the same amount of work would be much better under the Lancashire than under the East Lancashire system; and for this reason, the object being that the special subjects should be taught in the best possible way, it seemed quite clear that each Institution should be pressed to supply its own staff of teachers for general subjects, and that the members of each Institute should be collected together under the management of a man who was devoted to one special class of teaching. He begged to move the follow ing amendment to the resolution, as collecting together the principles of difference between the two systems:

"That this Conference approves the system of organising teaching power through the Union by distributing Institutions into groups and a centre, at which special subjects may be taught, and suggests that each Institution should be pressed to establish a staff of teachers for general subjects."

in it.

Westminster, Local Board) having had great experience The Rev. W. S. BRUCE (St. Margaret's and St. John's, in connection with night schools and evening classes. wished to confirm what the last speaker had said. He fully admitted the usefulness of voluntary teachers, but he did not approve of schools where there were no paid teachers, because some one ought to be responsible for the general discipline and the tone of the education imparted. Still there were many cases in which it was absolutely necessary to employ voluntary teachers, and this was ofted the means of interesting parties in the school who would aid both pecuniarily and otherwise.

The CHAIRMAN said he did not think that by passing the resolution the Conference wished to discourage voluntary teaching, but only to declare that paid teaching was best. Whatever the Conference might say, however, it was a question which the various institutions would have to decide according to their individual circumstances. Dr. Pankhurst's resolution was carried unanimously. Sir F. R. SANDFORD then took the chair, and said the

next subject was—


Mr. BARNETT BLAKE said he supposed it would only be necessary for the Conference to affirm by a resolution the statement in the report on this subject. As many would be aware, the great difficulty hitherto had been that while in many Institutions there were a great number of candi dates who were sufficiently advanced in reading, writing, and arithmetic to show that they had got so far the basis of instruction, the present system required that they should have passed in other subjects, namely, Gospel History, English History, and Geography. It had been found in the practical working of this that while there were many who stood in a very respectable position with regard to the former they had a difficulty as to the latter, and it had been thought that it would really be an encouraging step if the condition was so far lowered as to make one subject alone necessary for the junior candidates. He did not think it was at all necessary to interfere with the senior candidates, because if they professed to be seniors they ought to have more knowledge than the juniors. He would merely propose to do this by saying that it was desirable to reduce the standard required for certificates for the junior candidates, and for that purpose he would propose the following resolution:

prepared for a certain examination, to find that more would be required of them than they had expected or were prepared for. In many cases the examiners rubbed up their own education to prepare the questions, which was unfair indeed to the candidates, who had not had equal advantage with the examiners. If the English language were taught on a better principle than that at present adopted it would be different, but on the system on which it was taught at present it was impossible that the candidate could be expected to pass a satisfactory examination in it. mistake as to the decision come to yesterday by the Mr. SALES said it appeared that he had made a great Educational Committee, for he had quite understood, when voting for the resolution, that the reduction to one subject applied to both grades, or else he should certainly have opposed any resolution which did not apply to the higher grade. experience of a metropolitan district, where he found He spoke from his that the number of classes increased very considerably, and that those classes were well attended by the very persons whom they wished to get at. A man looked through the programme of the Society of Arts, and found that if he obtained a certificate from a District Union he need not pass another examination before undergoing the Final Examination of the Society; but when he looked to the requirement for the certificates he found that he was expected to have a smattering of English History and Geography, and he then asked why he should be expected to get himself up in those subjects when he only wished to undergo an examination by the Society in a subject in which he was engaged in his daily occupation, and with which English History and Geography had no connection whatever? This condition of requiring English History and Geography had greatly affected the elementary examination of the past year, and would do so still more in the future, and therefore, as a step in the right direction, he had voted yesterday that it should be made compulsory next year to take only one subject, and he hoped the time would come when it would not be thought necessary to make either English History or Geography compulsory on the candidate for examination. He hoped the system would be made something like the examination in houours, by allowing the candidate to take those subjects if he pleased. He was certain that if the Society of Arts continued to require English History and Geography in the Elementary Examinations, the District Unions would find that such a system was detrimental to the candi ates themselves. He begged, therefore, to move, as an ameud

That it is desirable to grant certificates to such junior candidates as, having satisfactorily passed in reading and arithmetic. ball also obtain a certain number of marks in one only of the subjects-Gospel History, English History, and Geography. Mr. RULE much regretted that he was not at the Committee meeting yesterday at which this subject had been discussed, but he wished to suggest the introduction of another subject into the scheme of elementary education. He would suggest the very great advisability of introducing, both ino the junior and the senior classes, English Grammar and Dictation. Many of the candidates were very well up in English History and Geography, but the general tyle of composition shown in the papers was very defec tive; and in many instances a large number of marks were lost by incorrect spelling. He believed that if English Grammar and Dictation were introduced it would materially improve the efficiency of the examinations; and in addition to that he would suggest that Composition should be introduced into the higher grade. He doubted very much whether any of the candidates who passed last year would be able to pass a satisfactory examination in Englishment:-Composition, and he therefore wished the subject to be embraced, as well as Grammar and Spelling, in the examination.

The CHAIRMAN asked whether he would make it puslory or voluntary.

"That it is important that the Elementary Examinations should be more adapted to the capacities of class pupils in Mechanics Institutions, by not rendering it compulsory in either

com-grade to take up more than one of the three following subjects, viz :-Geography, History, and Gospel History, in addition to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic."

Mr. RULE replied that he should prefer it to be compulsory.

Mr. LAWTON had understood the decision come to by the Committee applied both to the higher and lower grade of candidates. He understood that what was then said applied to both grades.

The CHAIRMAN said he had understood that the decision of the Committee applied only to the junior grade. Mr. LAWTON said it should not be forgotten that many of the senior candidates were really the worst of the two. In fact, the seniors were those who had been neglected in years gone by, and the juniors were really the cleverest, they having but recently left school. With reference to females he had understood the scheme sketched out by the Committee to be that they would be required to take either Gospel History, English History, or Gography, but that they must be examined in reading, writing, arithmetic,

and needlework.

Mr. PEARSALL (London Mechanics' Institution) expressed a hope that all the candidates might be given clearly to understand what they were to be examined in, because it would be exceedingly annoying to them, when they had

The CHAIRMAN said he had certainly understood yes. terday that the resolution withdrawing one of the subjects for examination referred only to the junior grade, but he did not know whether Mr. Blake would have any objec tion to making his resolution applicable to both grades. He would, therefore, ask him whether he objected to leaving the word "junior" out of his resolution.

Mr. BLAKE thought no one could have misunderstood the decision of the Committee. He objected to the proposal that the alteration should apply to both grades. He disagreed with the reasons on which the proposal was made. It was one of the great crying sins of the day that in all the public questions which were being continually brought up people knew so little about history and geography, and why should they have certificates granted to them when all they knew might be a little reading or arithmetic? When the question was raised some time back as to the female candidates and the necessity for their passing an examination in plain needlework, the objection taken by some members was that they had

« PreviousContinue »