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religion can be taught at all; or, if taught, whether it be worth learning?" It is freely admitted that, separated from true religion, morality is deprived of its most potent element. In the hour of strong temptation, the restraints of mere morality will be burst like Samson's green withs. Still, often they may have, to some extent, a beneficial effect.
Herbert Spencer has the following remarks on what may be expected from education:
"We are not among those who believe in Lord Palmerston's dogma, that all children are born good.' On the whole, the opposite dogma, untenable as it is, seems to us less wide of the truth. Nor do we agree with those who think that, by skilful discipline, children may be made altogether what they should be. Contrariwise, we are satisfied that though imperfections of nature may be diminished by wise management, they cannot be removed by it. The notion that an ideal humanity might be forthwith produced by a perfect system of education, is near akin to that shadowed forth in the poems of Shelley, that would mankind give up their old institutions, prejudices and errors, all the evils in the world would at once disappear: neither notion being acceptable to such as have dispassionately studied human affairs."t
The value of instruction in practical ethics depends upon its character and the teacher. If" the very existence of right is denied and its essence is analyzed into expediency and worldly prudence," such instruction is worthless. Cold scientific treatises made the vehicle of teaching a materialistic philosophy, do more harm than good. An inconsistent life on the part of the teacher of ethics, destroys the efficacy of his instruction. Still, it seems possible to do something, on the whole, to raise the tone of morality in India by a judicious course of instruction in practical ethics. Progress must indeed be slow. All men are more or less influenced by the community in which they live. Until education becomes more general, the level of morality can only be expected to rise very gradually. Home training far exceeds school instruction in its effects. Education will tell more upon the next generation of the educated; when the school will more frequently find an auxiliary in the family, instead of, as is often the case at present, a counteracting agency.
The three leading aims in Government education have thus been shown. Each of them is important in its place. Any Series of School Books which does not tend to promote them all, is so far defective.
* Fraser's Report on Schools in the United States, p. 158.
Essay on Moral Education.
GRADES OF SCHOOLS.
In considering the books required for Government Schools in India, the different classes of schools require to be taken into account. They are divided into three principal grades, "Lower," "Middle" and "Higher." Mr. Monteath says:
"The resolution of the Government by which the classification was directed, described the 'middle class' as composed of schools which do not educate up to the University standard, but which are above the schools designed for the education of the masses,' and the lower class' as composed of schools located in villages, towns, &c., and designed primarily for the education of the masses.""*
Mr. Monteath remarks that "different principles of classification have been adopted by the local authorities." Dr. G. Smith, in his Report on the Indian Educational Collection in 1871, suggested as one object of a conference of the Directors and others: :
(a.) "To adopt a scientific and a uniform system of classifying schools as far as possible in accordance with that which is recognized in England, without interfering with the local and vernacular requirements of each provincial department." p. 49.
It is certainly very desirable to carry out Dr. Smith's suggestion.
In the following remarks the chief object of the writer is to draw attention, if possible, to the improvement of books for "lower class" and "middle class" schools. The higher education is of great importance from the influence of its recipients; but it has already received a large share of attention. The education of the masses is the crying want at present. From the vast number to be benefited, primary schools assume immense consequence. Still, books for "higher class" schools are noticed to some extent.
Lower class schools may be divided into village and town schools. The former will chiefly include the agricultural population; the latter the children of shopkeepers, artizans, and others. The course of instruction in each may be the same at the commencement; but it should differ in the higher school classes. Advanced reading books in village schools, should treat more of agriculture; those in town schools, of manufactures.
Indian farmers, like those at home, sometimes complain that going to school unfits children for labour. To obviate this objection and to draw pupils from lower strata than are reached at present, some arrangement may be attempted like the "half time" system of England.
*Note on Education in India, 1865-66, p. 32.
CLASSES OF SCHOOL BOOKS.
Formerly no printed books were used in native schools. The teacher wrote out each boy's lesson on palm leaves, and for this trouble he got a present when the book was commenced. Hence at first there was generally strong opposition on the part of the teachers to the use of printed books. The people themselves also dreaded them. When Captain Stewart first used them in some schools in Bengal about 1816, the "natives apprehended it was some plan for ensnaring their children and destroying their caste." The introduction of a book containing the picture of a lion emptied a school. In the Sanskrit schools of Bengal, printed books are now admissible, but formerly they were forbidden as atheistical."+
Babu Bhudeb Mukerji, Inspector of Schools, Bengal, says of patshalas:-
"As to books, it is well known that the patshala system did almost without them; and it must be our care not to introduce their use in great numbers all at once."
With regard to English schools this difficulty is little felt. The people are apt to measure the progress of their children by the number of their school books. Dr. Duff gives the following account of the state of things in this respect when he commenced his Institution in Calcutta about forty years ago§:--
"From the thirst for a smattering of English, scores of empirics arose who professed to have recipes for some royal road towards the acquisition of the language. This consisted in making the deluded pupils secure a load of books. In a few days or weeks after entering the school, each pupil might be seen laden with a primer, a grammar, a dictionary, a book of geography, a collection, Gay's Fables, History of Greece, Pope's Iliad, and other works. A few sentences might be read in each; and the student made to believe that he was a ready made English scholar. The system had taken such deep hold of the general mind, that it was no easy matter to persuade even the most intelligent that they could ever become scholars without at once being put in possession of such a multitude of books-that it was not the amount of knowledge heaped up in the pile of school-books, which made them learned or wise, but the amount actually transferred to the mental repository."
Traces of this old feeling still remain, and some have expressed dissatisfaction at the proposal to withhold classical poetry from pupils to whom it is unintelligible.
*Rev. J. Long, Introduction to Report of Mr. Adam, p. 4.
The following are the principal books required in elementary education:
Reading Books of different grades, including Poetry,
Arithmetic and Accounts,
Hints on School Management, for the teacher. The different classes of books will now be noticed.
General Principles.-Of all books used in Government schools, the Reading Book is by far the most important. It is often the only book in the possession of a child, constituting his entire library. Mr. Pattison says in his Report on German schools
"Concentration of teaching is kept in view in the endeavour to make the reading book as much as possible the centre of the instruction given in the school. Neither in Prussia nor in any other state is one reading book prescribed for all the schools. Consequently there is a continual emulation among the different countries to produce the best reading book. An extraordinary amount of time and pains have been expended on the compilation of a reading book for the elementary school: and I am assured by those who have tried that the difficulties of the task are scarcely to be credited by those who have not made the attempt. The idea which now guides the various compilers is that such a reading book ought to be a volksbuch; a book that will be relished in the cottages as a sort of portable encyclopedia of useful information; but this information must not be conveyed in a dry technical way, but put in a practical concrete form."*
Laurie, in his "Primary Instruction," thus points out what is required in good Reading Books:
First, that the reading lessons of the child must, if the art of reading is to be properly acquired, be graduated in difficulty, considered as mere reading lessons; secondly, that they must be as various in their language and subjects as the pupils' own experiences, giving these shape and development, otherwise the phraseology of general literature will be for ever a sealed book; thirdly, that they must be abundant in respect of quantity, if the reading is afterwards to be easy; and, fourthly, that the subjects treated and the style of treating them, must be graduated in accordance with the growth of mind, if the reading is to be intelligent and intelligible. Graduation in words. and sentences, graduation in the thoughts and subjects of which these treat, variety, and quantity,-such, succinctly stated, must be the
*Education Commission, Vol. iv. pp. 233, 234.
qualities of the reading lessons to which the teacher should in the juvenile stage, introduce his pupils. In other and more general words, the reading lessons, if they are thoroughly to attain their merely tech, nical end, are, in respect of quantity and variety, to reflect faithfully, but in a more perfect form, the full range of the child's daily mental life, and in their graduation the order of growth of his capacities.
"It would seem, then, that effectually to teach a child to read it is necessary to adapt ourselves to the child's intellectual wants as well as his capabilities. The question of the method of teaching reading, accordingly, passes in the juvenile stage, into another and a higher and larger question, the method of training, informing, and disci plining the young intelligence itself. The kind of reading which accomplishes this, will most effectually secure the technical end; while the possession of the technical power so acquired will be a guarantee that the child has been thus far educated,
"Were the objects of our care possessed of physical desires and intellectual faculties only, the work of the teachers would be comparatively easy. Lessons, oral and read, on the visible things of his experience, on the forms, properties, and relations of these, and our bodily acts, would constitute the whole work of the school-work, hard and dry, but, in the hands of one who understood his craft, not therefore uninteresting, toilsome, or unattractive. But this direct discipline of the powers of observation, comparison, and inference, though essential to good reading, as well as to sound intellectual training, is only part of the work, and that the least difficult part. To teach reading effectually, and to educate in any sense worthy of the name, it is necessary to cover, with our lessons and instructions, the whole field of the child's experience, and to meet all his mental wants. We have accordingly to recognize, interpret, assist, explain, and extend the experience of the child, as a being of imagination, and of moral and religious sensibilities as well as of intellectual faculties. This is the most delicate part of our task, and requires delicate handling." pp. 65-67.
The foregoing remarks deserve careful study. It is not suffi cient to bring together a number of lessons, each perhaps interesting in itself, but not adapted to the stage of the reader's mind, and without arrangement. The books should have an "educative purpose and method running through them;"* they should be "duly adapted to the mind of the several classes of an elementary school from the very bottom to the top."+
Isaac Taylor has the following remarks on elementary books:"Elementary books, or, to speak more correctly, FIRST books, should consist entirely of dainty morsels and of well-gathered flowers; but nothing should be seen in them that is comprehensive: there should be no synopses, no bird's eye views, no generalization. There is nothing the human mind grasps with more delight than generalization
* Laurie's Primary Instruction, p. 39.
Report of Committee of Council on Education, 1870-71, p. 68.