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convenience in use made into sets after the plan of other papers, but the whole of the questions have been actually set in examinations in the standards they are arranged under.
Except in one or two instances I have endeavoured to steer clear of “unreasonable” questions. It is an injustice to both teacher and pupil to require, say, Standard III. to take down and work a long sum in addition of money going up to tens of millions and containing numerous catch ciphers ; but this not only has been, but is sometimes yet given. True, a child is no worse for being able to do this, but it should not be required for a “pass.” No child who can only do the minimum work of his standard is safe, and therefore every good teacher tries to work up all his children as far beyond the simple requirements as he can, but how far an inspector may think it necessary to go, in order to thoroughly test a year's work, is one of the chief defects of the present system of examination. Any inspection, however, requiring more than is asked for in the hardest of the papers here given may fairly be called unreasonable.
Secondly.—“I cannot understand how my children did so badly” is constantly heard after the inspector's report arrives ; and in many cases it is quite incomprehensible why good steady work should produce such poor results. But in sadly too many instances the teacher, working as he is at high pressure, has forgotten or neglected one of the chief means of producing good results. Far more children fail through not knowing how to place their work before the inspector than from not knowing how to do it all, simply because they have not been sufficiently practised in examinations similar to the one the inspector may be expected to give. The inspectors themselves frequently point out the necessity of constantly giving thorough examinations throughout the school in order to prepare for the examination. Mr. Jolly, in the Educational Blue-Book, 1874-5, says :Higher results would certainly be attained by many good teachers, were they to hold, during the year, regular and frequent examinations on the standard work. Very good men put themselves to great disadvantage, compared with even inferior men, by the neglect of this practice. It does not seem sufficiently realised that one great secret of thorough and
successful teaching lies in frequent and full recapitulation of the whole work done at every stage. The longer any man engages in the work of teaching, the more is he convinced of this necessity for revisal. From its neglect many good teachers are painfully disappointed with examination results. The easy and correct results and neat papers produced in schools thus regularly revising their work should induce all to adopt the practice. And this is the more necessary in outlying schools, where a stranger is seldom seen, and where examination work
would be sufficiently trying, even if regularly practised.” To enable a teacher to give "regular and frequent examinations on the standard work” is, what I believe will be, the chief use of this little book. With few exceptions the whole of the papers given have been worked in my own school during the last eighteen months. I know many teachers will at once say, “I cannot afford the time.” Then I say make time; leave something undone, if necessary, but decide upon a plan of periodical examination, and stick to it. Others will ask, “What plan must I adopt ?” Here is mine.
Thursday morning in every week, except the one before the holidays and the one after, I devote to examination, and have the assistants and pupil-teachers helping. For the first ten months of the year, thus : Standards IV., V., and VI. one week, next week Standard III. and II., and the week after Standard I., and so on, in the same order. Each standard is therefore examined in everything once every three weeks. The amount of work required for each examination is always known beforehand, and is strictly confined to the ground covered by the lessons in the Home Lesson Books,* for the past three weeks. All schoolwork, to be satisfactory, must be done according to plan. By the use of a carefully graduated series of Home Lessons, every teacher knows what his class has to do, during any particular week, or series of weeks, and works accordingly; nothing is forgotten or neglected. For the last two months before the examination is due
* John Heywood's Complete Series of Home Lesson Books for the Six Standards. By Alfonzo Gardiner.--See Advt.
all the standards are examined in the mechanical work of their stan. dard every week-Standard II. to VI on paper, Standard I. on slate. Reading, Grammar, and Geography are now taken on Fridays, but only so much of the school as can be well done; the remainder is taken at convenience afterwards. Each assistant or pupil-teacher marks the papers of his own class, after which they are brought to me to be looked over, and commented upon before the class. The marks given to each boy are entered, from the papers, by a monitor selected from Class I. in a special register, showing how many sums, and which ones, were right, how many mistakes in the dictation and composition, and the marks given for the writing, &c. Reading, and sometimes grammar, is also marked as the class is being examined. This register is most valuable. No boy at all “weak can escape being found out, and of course receives special attention from his teacher in those subjects he is most backward in.
All this takes a considerable time, especially in a large school; but I am firmly convinced that it is time well spent, and, what is more important still, that it "pays." But in examining a school it is equally as important that the examination be "independent” as that it be thorough. If you prepare your own examination papers entirely, the probable result will be that your children will do much better than if you use papers prepared by someone else. And this must necessarily be the case. Everyone, in course of time, gets into a certain groove with his regular daily work, and no one more so than a schoolmaster. The children get to know his kind of questions—the importance he attaches to this, or the special attention he pays to that. He sets his questions, and his pupils answer accordingly.
The papers I have selected and arranged here must necessarily be much more thorough and independent tests than any teacher can prepare for himself.
I have heard many teachers say, "I never ask about the questions the inspector has set. I do my work and let it take its chance." Lucky fellow, if the chance realises his expectations! No conscientious man wishes to have a copy of the questions his neighbour has had on the chance that he may have the same, and so be better prepared. He would honestly tell the inspector, if such a thing
13 V. and VI.
..11, 13, 15 Grammar
..11, 15 Composition..
16 SELECTION OF PROBLEMS AND “CATCH" QUESTIONS :Standard II. Arithmetic
24 COMPLETE EXAMINATION PAPERS (24 Sets) : Standard I. Arithmetic
26 II. and Grammar
Grammar, and Composition 70 VI.
.96, 97, 99, 101, 102 History
.104, 105 SPECIFIC SUBJECTS (Sets of Papers in each Stage) :1. English Literature
108 2. Mathematics
108 3. Latin
110 4. French
111 5. German
112 6. Mechanics
115 7. Animal Physiology
116 8. Physical Geography
117 9. Botany
120 10. Domestic Economy