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least of the short comings and defects of our schools recorded in the tabulated reports are owing to that most unfortunate affair. The principal ways in which the schools were directly and injuriously affected by the “ lock-out” were, in some cases, by making the parents unable to pay the school fees; in other cases, by flooding the schools with the young people thrown out of employ, for they were received into some schools gratuitously, in order to keep them out of harm's way, as well as to give them some amount of instruction.
And here I beg leave to refer to one or two points connected with this “lock-out,” which seem to illustrate the work of education. It was remarked by everybody, that no disturbance or violence of any kind to person or property was committed or attempted during this unprecedentedly long quarrel. In 1837, the military had to shed blood in Preston streets ; in 1854, not a shot was fired, nor a blow struck. On the contrary, the chairman of the associated masters remarked recently at a public dinner, that he thought he was treated with more than usual respect during that exciting and irritating period. Another very noticeable feature was, that no political agitation or feeling got itself mixed up with this dispute, a circumstance which also, I believe, never occurred before. Anıl, generally speaking, there was are markable diminution of crime in the district throughout the lock-out.
It is impossible not to connect these facts, with the progress and improvement of education; and the following remarks put forth last January (1854), by Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth,* on the subject are, I believe, perfectly just. He says:
“In a manufacturing district the ignorance of the operatives of their interest in the protection of capital and the application of science to the improvement of machinery, imperils everything. I have myself seen crowds of machine breakers dispersed, not without bloodshed. . . . The advantages of the instruction of the masses in a knowledge of their true interests, in this part of the relations of capital and labour, is proved by the fact that machine breaking is at an end. A mob of machine breakers would be treated like banditti, by the operatives of the first mill which they attacked. So great a change has occurred in this respect in the popular conviction that I believe the time is not distant, if it has not arrived, when we might rely on our mill hands for the defence of factories and mill sheds.” The fact that we are indebted to increased education for this happy result, with respect to the “mill hands," is almost demonstrated by the circumstance, that the contemporaneous strikes of the colliers in this county were attended by extreme outrages and fatal violence. Now, the “mill hands” are all educated, at least up to a certain point-thanks to the Factory Acts; but most of the colliers, for whom no education is secured by Act
“ Education essential to the Success of Trade and Commerce," by Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, Bart.
of Parliament, are particularly uneducated, and especially those about Wigan, where the rioting took place, for that neighbourhood is, I think, at present, the most uneducated part of my district. Still greater light is thrown on the connexion between education and good order by the fact, that there was
no disturbance or discontent manifested among the Earl of Ellesmere's colliers. And why? Undoubtedly, because that noble Lord has taken a special interest, and special pains, in educating his mining operatives.
At the same time it must be admitted that if education has extinguished, or greatly mitigated the old evils concomitant upon strikes, it has not abolished strikes themselves, but would even seem to have produced a greater tendency to them, more systematic schemes and organization of them, and more prolonged struggles. This may perhaps merely result from the fact of the operatives not being sufficiently educated, especially in the principles of political economy; but it must be admitted that the tendency to well organised combinations of workmen against masters is far from being diminished in Lancashire, and it would be unwise to claim for education more than it has accomplished. It has long been admitted by all sensible persons in Lancashire, that one of the most effectual and certain methods of restraining operatives from combinations against their masters, is for the employer to feel and manifest a personal interest in the welfare of his workmen, and that one of the very best modes of manifesting this interest, is in providing them with reading-rooms and books, and sometimes joining kindly and familiarly in their evening discussions. I believe that no strike has ever occurred where this genuine feeling of anxiety for the workmen's welfare has been thus displayed. Apart from its value in abolishing strikes, it is of great value as an educational work. I visited with great satisfaction two reading-rooms, built in connexion with his mill, by a most intelligent millowner at Bolton, Mr. Peter Martin. The chief object of the second room was to allow those work men who were addicted to their pipe in an evening io indulge in that luxury, without interrupting or annoying the mere readers. It is to the credit of Bolton also that it established a free library and museum, directly the Act of Parliameno gave facility for it. The strikes and lock-outs of the past year, so prevalent in the neighbouring towns of Preston, Bury, Barnley, &c., never extended to Bolton.
The free libraries, to which I have just referred, promise to sreat help be a very great help in the work of educating the people.
* During the past year, Lord Ellesmere has provided night schools for all the young people who work in his mines; and he has enforced their attendance by stopping out of their wages the weekly school fee of 2d., whether they attend or not.
Free Libraries Act a
They are already established in several towns in the district, viz., in Manchester and Liverpool, and Bolton, and subscriptions are entered into for one in Preston. Other towns in Lancashire are likely to follow these examples. I regard them as a part, a necessary part of national education. I have always contended that the work of the elementary school should be much more directed towards developing and strengthening the powers of the intellect, than towards imparting information and a knowledge of facts. The end and aim of the elementary school is not so much to infuse knowledge, as to cultivate within a child the power to acquire knowledge. Considering the very early age at which a child leaves such a school, we cannot educate him, but we may, I think, so train him, as to make him a self-educator. And here it is that these admirable free libraries step in to supply the exact want of the artisan. By means of the lending libraries now happily being attached to elementary schools, and still more by means of these free libraries and museums, which are to contain works of reference as well as works for home perusal, the youth who has been early compelled to leave school, and to help at least to maintain himself, will be enabled to carry on the work of self-education in his leisure moments; if only the elementary school has done its duty by him, and infused into him the taste and the power for private study.
A point which has been very much pressed upon my notice Status of during the last year is the status of the schoolmasters. I have masters. long perceived that there was some feeling of dissatisfaction with their position and prospects, but never so strongly as during the past twelve months. And, indeed, considering the excellent and high education which they are now receiving, one might have foreseen that they would not remain content with the condition their class has hitherto occupied. Their qualifications have been universally raised, but their status has not been raised proportionably. The certificate does something for them, but they seem to doubt whether their salaries really gain much by it; they value the certificate more for the honour than for the emolument, because they fancy, at least, that occasion is taken to lessen their local stipends in consideration of the certificate. The dissatisfaction to which I refer, is, I think, two-fold ; partly at the low rate of remuneration, and partly at the want of social status and influence.
Out of several communications which I have received, I may select the following extract from a letter of one of the better certificated schoolmasters in my district, as illustrating the feeling to which I refer. He says
"The very precarious position of a master, liable to be cast on the world, has impressed me with the conviction that I had better seek employment in a sphere where my tenure of office will be more secure. I therefore intend seeking a mercantile situation.”
Now this letter is from a trained and successful master, and one with whom I have ever felt satisfied ; and it is not a solitary case. It
be worth while to consider whether more cannot be done to better the condition of teachers. Until your Lordships came forward to aid in building and maintaining training schools, next to nothing was being done to provide a competent race of teachers. Numbers of persons used to understand the value of a purely local school, and to feel the want of a good master when the day arrived for obtaining one. But what they did not duly understand and feel was the necessity of preparing for that day by providing a regular succession of well-educated masters, to meet the local demands as they occur. All this your Lordships have provided for. By the stimulus and the aid of the Committee of Council on Education all that is necessary is being done, in order to form the master before he teaches. What I venture to believe is not yet done, nor in the course of being adequately done, is the providing due honours and rewards for him while he is teaching; nor yet, I might perhaps add, sufficiently good support for him when he is compelled to cease from his laborious vocation. I cannot but consider that these points are deserving of your Lordships' serious and early attention.*
While on the topic of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, I am glad to be able again to express the great satisfaction which they give, as a body, in every respect, both to Mr. Birley and myself. I must again accord to Mr. Wrigley, the master of the Parish Church School at Rochdale, the pre-eminence, as, on the whole, the most successful schoolmaster in the district; a pre-eminence which he has maintained during the six years I have inspected Lancashire schools. This school is certainly a remarkable and interesting instance of the way in which a population learns to appreciate a good school. So great was the eagerness among the Rochdale people to get admittance into this school for their children, that during the past year the managers found it expedient to double the size of the room, so as to enable it to hold, with tolerable convenience, more than
Rochdale Church school.
* When the educational profession is held in the honor it deserves, it is probable that even elementary schools will assume a rank as separate and independent institutions, and cease to be regarded as merc appendages to a church with its congregation. It is little more than three hundred years siuce the legal profession had no separate and independent existence, but was regarded as within the province of ecclesiastics. I incline to think that as great a severance between the clerical and educational professions is insensibly taking place as has taken place between the clerical and legal professions.
500 children at once, and that number is, I believe, now in
add that all these advantages exist in
While speaking of good and wholesome school-rooms, I Schoolcannot help putting in a word in favour of erecting handsome should be and attractive, as well as commodious and well-ventilated attractive. school buildings. I am of opinion, that elegance of outside is an element of usefulness in bringing children to school, and in helping them to become attached to their school. Moreover, I cannot understand persons having any real and adequate belief in the importance of education, and a consequent love and veneration for it, without desiring to consecrate and manifest that love and reverence by shrining it in buildings, whose beauty indicates the measure of value and attachment felt by the founders. I do not think the founders of new schools would ever have cause to regret some little extra effort and expense which might be employed in rendering the buildings worthy in all respects of the great work of education.
On the head of school-buildings, I am anxious to state to School-
Another point of detail relates to having room in every