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example how that common dress could be worn with frugality and neatness.
In like manner, in the normal school a peculiar dress is undesirable. The candidate-teacher should continue, during three hours daily, to partake the rudest toils of the field and garden. Out-door labour should alternate with mental cultivation, both to enable the student to conduct a school of industry with success, and also to build all his intellectual acquirements on the experience of the life of those supported by manual industry. No alteration in the dress of the student should appear to suggest, that with his entrance into the normal school commences the separation between the candidate and his own class in society. Few things could be more injurious than to do anything which might tend to sever such sympathies, or to take the example of an educated peasant out of his own sphere in life.
The apprentice should not exchange the fare of the peasant's cottage and the simple dinner of the day-school for a better diet in the normal school. His meals should be such only as he might certainly hope to procure by his vocation as schoolmaster. In like manner, while, in his bed-room, provision was made for privacy, every arrangement should be marked by a severe simplicity. More abundant comfort, approaching to luxury, would make it difficult to the candidate in after life to encounter the inevitable privations of his profession as teacher of the poor.
The household life of the normal school should be marked by reverential attention to religious exercises and duties.
At an early period in the morning the school should be assembled for prayers. After prayers, the principal would speak to the students on subjects connected with the moral discipline of the school. He would endeavour to lead them to feel under what influences their life could enable them to fulfil the highest aims of their calling. Whatever had happened incompatible with such a view of their duties, and which was not rather a subject for private personal admonition, might become, after prayers, a source of instruction, in which should mingle no element of rebuke. In like manner the pursuits of the day should close.
No part of the discipline of the establishment should contradict such instruction. In everything an appeal should be made to the reason and the conscience. Vigilance, to be wisely exerted, should wear no appearance of distrust or suspicion, but it should also be incessant.
The intercourse between the principal and the candidateteachers should be frank and confiding:
Whenever concealment and evasion commence, even in
slight matters, the authority and influence of the principal are in danger. It would become him then to reflect on the grounds of his regulations; to explain them fully to his students, and to endeavour to establish in their minds a conviction of their value. On some occasions it may be wise to make some relaxations in his rules, in a matter not essential to principle, and which is found to be galling in practice. In this way, and not by any system of “espionage,” the whole life of the students should constantly pass in review before him. The advice of the principal should be open to his scholars as that of a friend.
Their time should be as fully occupied as possible. Relaxation should be found in change of employment and exercise in the duties of the field and garden. If the sense of life in a family were maintained, and a filial subordination characterized the discipline, the most wholesome results would ensue.
With these brief indications, I am directed to solicit your attention to those portions of the Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education which relate to the establishment and support of normal schools, and to the reports presented by Her Majesty's Inspectors on the condition of the normal and model schools now existing in Great Britain, in which will be found further details of the principles on which these institutions are conducted.
I have the honour to be,
J. P. KAY SHUTTLEWORTH.
Downing-street, 26th January, 1847. During the short period which has elapsed since my accession to office, I have repeatedly had occasion to communicate to the Governors of West Indian Colonies my sentiments on the subject of the education of the labouring classes, and it would not be easy for me to express to you the anxiety which I feel to omit nothing which Her Majesty's Government can contribute towards that object—no opportunity of rendering experience obtained at home available in the West Indies—and, above all, no means of inspiring the influential classes, and through them the entire communities, with the feelings with which such subjects are regarded in this country by all those who take an interest in its well-being. It is impossible to look at the state of things in the West Indies, arising as it does out of unexampled changes, and tending, no doubt, to momentous issues of one kind or another, without perceiving that the education of the negro race is the great means by which emancipation may be inade to result, not merely in exemption from physical sufferings and brutalizing oppressions, but in a moral and spiritual freedom, resting on a stronger foundation than that of human laws, and comprehending an advancement in Christian virtues and happiness to which human laws can but very imperfectly contribute, except through the channel of education and religious instruction.
This work will be carried forward in the West Indies, as elsewhere, by the influence of the higher motives of human nature, and by the devotedness of those who know in what the true welfare of a country consists, and who will labour for its moral and spiritual enlightenment. But if it be necessary to appeal to lower motives also, it would be perhaps impossible to adduce an instance of any country of which the agricultural and commercial prospects were so absolutely dependent on the instruction of the lower orders as those of the West Indies are at this time. Instruction not only makes labour intelligent and orderly, but creates new wants and desires, new activities, a love of employment, and an increased alacrity both of the body and the mind; and there is probably no example of a well-instructed population which is not also active and eager for work. Instruction, therefore, where provision shall be made for imparting it speedily and effectually, may be rendered the most certain of all methods for equalizing the supply of labour with the demand; and, on the other hand, the prosperity which a sufficient supply of labour would create, may well be expected, by promoting scientific and mechanical improvements, and retaining amongst the negroes a cultivated and intelligent race of proprietors, to assist civil order and the advancement of all classes.
The circumstances of the West Indian Colonies have led my predecessors in this office, and also some persons of activity and influence in the colonies, to perceive how essential it is that the system of education adopted there should be of an industrial character ; and whilst this cannot but be esteemed by all promoters of popular education to be an important element, it is, moreover, one which would probably obtain for the system the support and assistance of some parties who would not be equally quick to discern the more general bearings of education upon industry. For more reasons than one, therefore-on account of the prospects of education in general, as well as in regard to the specific deficiency– I have been sorry to observe the little progress which has been made in imparting an industrial character to the schools in the West Indies ; and in considering what means Her Majesty's Government possess of giving some additional impulse to West Indian education, I have thought that possibly some good might be effected by
disseminating in the West Indies such knowledge of industrial systems as the experience of this country could afford, in so far as it might appear to be applicable to the state of society in the Colonies ; and, at my request, a communication on the subject has been addressed to this department by direction of the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council on Education.
I transmit to you herewith a copy of this communication. You will find it to contain a full statement of the points which it is considered most material to keep in view in the establishment of industrial day-schools and normal schools, and of the methods by which the former at lcast may be made, to a great degree, if not altogether, self-supporting.
In countries where food is so cheap as it is in the West Indies, and labour so dear, there must be peculiar facilities for enabling industrial schools to pay a proportion of their expenses, unless the children be taken away from them at a very early age; and if, as the industrial system contemplates, the principal part of the children's food be provided at school from the produce of their own labour, their parents will no longer have the same motives which they now have for withdrawing them from school prematurely, to cultivate provision-grounds or otherwise carn their livelihood. It is true, no doubt, that in some cases their labour may not accrue to the plantations at so early a period, owing to their longer continuance at school; but the loss will be amply recompensed, so soon as their labour does accrue, by the steadier industry and the skill and knowledge which it will be the object of the schools to produce.
If practicable, it would of course be exceedingly desirable, that, besides the gardens or provision-grounds proposed in the letter from the Committee of Privy Council to be attached to the schools, there should be some ground cultivated in canes, or other staples of exportable produce, so that the children may be exercised in that species of cultivation in which it will be, generally speaking, most expedient that they should be after wards employed; and if the project of establishing central sugar-mills should be successfully carried out (as I trust it may), the instruction thus afforded will fit them for all the work which, under such a system of manufacturing sugar, would have to be performed on the plantations. If that project should not be accomplished, I conceive that the canes would still be saleable at the sugar-mills of neighbouring plantations.
But to whatever extent the schools might succeed or fail in bearing their own expenses, I cannot but indulge the hope that the legislatures of the colonies will acknowledge the paramount importance of causing such schools to be established, and will make such provision as may be required for the purpose. And if it were necessary to raise money by a new impost, I should not object, on the part of the Crown, to a tax falling directly
upon the people at large, provided the proceeds were made exclusively applicable to the education of their children; nor should I indeed be averse to any well-considered law which should constrain the parents of children not exceeding a specified age to send such children to school (under a penalty for neglecting to do so, unless for cause shown), and to pay a specified sum for their schooling. The choice of the school should be left, of course, to the parents, provided only it were certified by some public functionary, to be appointed for the purpose, or by some minister of the Gospel, to be a school competently conducted.
I annex printed copies of the communication from the Committee of Privy Council on Education, in sufficient numbers to enable you to transmit copies to the Bishop of the Diocese, and to all Members of the Legislature, Ministers of the Gospel, Stipendiary Magistrates, and other parties to whom you may see fit to send them.
I have, &c.