Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

glad to see some extra encouragement given to them.

As I have said before, the State is giving certainly a large amount of help towards instruction in commercial subjects, as taught in evening classes, but I should like to see more help given on the lines indicated above.

We may next consider the support direct and indirect that the State has given to any instruction in commercial subjects in any secondary schools. The resolution I have quoted asks that besides a good secondary instruction the pupils should have special instruction in commercial subjects. It is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that can be done without shortening to some extent the pupils' general education.

Some very few years ago the London County Council took means, through its Technical Education Board, to ascertain the opinion of a number of typical employers of labour in London as to the value of commercial education. I cannot do better then quote from a paper written by our Secretary for the Venice Congress as to the conclusion at which the Committee arrived :

“It is somewhat remarkable, considering the recent demand for commercial education on the part of employers, to find that the witnesses before the committee were practically unanimous in the opinion that for the lower grades of commercial employés special school training was undesirable. They all expressed their preference for a boy fresh from school, with the best elementary education, over the boy who would come a year or two later into the office after having passed the additional time in acquiring a probably imperfect knowledge of so-called commercial matters which probably would have no application in their special house of business. An intelligent boy, they said, coming into the office at 14, would at 16 be far more valuable to them from the special knowledge he had acquired, than a similar boy coming to the business at 16 with an imperfect equipment of so-called commercial education. It was urged that a few years later the boy who bad bad the more advanced instruction would then be the more useful of the two. This was admitted as possible, but, as a rule, the commercial experts seemed disinclined to allow even this much. They were, however, prepared to admit that boys, as a rule, left school much too early, and that it would be a great advantage of the school age could be extended for another year or two. But they were unanimously against early specialisation, and they one and all held to the point that, though it would undoubtedly be an advantage for boys to have another year

two's schooling, those years must be devoted to general education, not to instruction in commercial matters, or even to any attempt to acquire a knowledge of general business routine. It goes without saying that the education

ought to be a modern one, and if classical languages were to be admitted, they were to have but a small part in it. Modern languages were important; bookkeeping and shorthand should be included ; and elementary mathematics were essentia). All these subjects, too, should be taught with a view to their practical application-languages from a commercial, not a literary standpoint.

“ On the question of higher commercial education, opinion was very much divided. The system of carrying on sham commercial transactions at school, which is strongly advocated by many Continental authorities and by some educational experts in England, met with scant support. It was considered that this was merely playing at business, and that the training so acquired would be of little use in practice. Some witnesses preferred for their higher posts, when these were not recruited from the lower ranks, University men ; others considered that the last year or two of educational life could best be spent in a foreign country acquiring a knowledge of its language and its business methods. On the whole, opinion was favourable to such institutions as the London School of Economics previously mentioned, in which special teaching could be given to those who had made up their minds what line of business they were about to adopt, or were even already engaged in it.

“ Eventually the Committee decided to recommend (1) the establishment and encouragement of continuation schools for those who entered business offices at about the age of 14, that is to say boys trained in the elementary schools; (2) that departments should be established in many of the secondary London day schools for the preparation for commercial life of boys leaving school at 16, the education to be given being of a general character-modern languages, arithmetic, and commercial geography; (3) that there should be formed in at least one secondary London day school of the first grade, a department for the preparation for business life of boys leaving school at 18 or 19, the teaching of which should qualify its pupils either to enter the higher ranks of commercial life, or to pursue an advanced course of study in some institution of higher commercial education ; (4) that in the reorganisation of the London University, which is now under consideration, provision should be made for the establishment of a separate faculty of economic and commercial science, to which pupils of Class 3 could go."

It appears that the Chambers of Commerce take one view, and the individual employers consulted by the London County Council take a somewhat different one, and it is hard to reconcile one view with the other. It seems to me almost axiomatic that before any specialisation ought to take place a good general education must be given to all boys who enter a secondary school. Parents themselves are not always wise, and they usually think that unless the education given at a school has a

or

very direct bearing on the boy's future life, it is first grade school where the leaving age is time wasted. They forget that the aim of edu- 19, and we hear that if they proceed to the cation is to train and exercise the mind, as it universities they are preferred. is the aim of physical exercise to train the The State in recent years has aided secondbody.

ary education in perhaps what may be As regards physical exercise the boys them- considered an indirect way, but it has done selves are wiser than their parents, for they so very effectively. It is very largely due to its usually take the matter into their own hands, action that the non-leisured classes have had and the utilitarianism of football does not enter the possibility of being educated on modern into their heads, but they are satisfied that lines, lines which are at least equally as effecthey are all the better for it. The mental tive in training the mind as were the old and gymnastics that are performed in a good solid more time-honoured mediæval methods. The secondary education may not be directly utili- benefit of the modern education, besides giving tarian, but they train the faculties and render mental training, is that it is a direct preparathem capable of being turned in profitable tion and foundation for subsequent specialisadirections at a later time of life.

tion. To be taught English well-history and The presence of a well-educated man or boy, geography being collated together as a part of who has passed through the usual curriculum the same subject--and in a scientific manner, of a good secondary school, makes itself felt, is an excellent foundation for all commercial not only by his employers, but by his colleagues. work. The recently developed methods of There is about him a something which is teaching practical mathematics and modern not to be found in one who has not had languages are also excellent preparations for that advantage. He has been at school with what must come after in business education ; those who have not taken his own career, and and, again, the training of the observational he has had his character trained ; and it is and reasoning faculties by studying natural not too much to say that whether he is con- knowledge (science) must also give a stability ducting inside the office or outside it, he will to the intellect which must prove a very have a greater weight and be able to negotiate valuable asset to the commercial man.

more equal terms than others who may In aiding such a secondary education the be said to have risen from the ranks. He is, State has been of infinite benefit to commercial in nine cases out of ten, more to be trusted education, but when it comes to specialisation and more diplomatic if he has had the training it has so far considered that its aid should that a gentleman should have. For this cease when specialisation commences. It reason, if for no other, the attempt to shorten equally refuses to aid other forms of technical the secondary school education proper, by instruction in day schools. The instruction introducing in it specialisation which will take which it aids is that suitable for youths up to the pupil away from his ordinary classes is to 16 or 17, ages below which it is, as already deprecated. One other reason may be given, said, inadvisable to encourage specialisation. and that I have already implied, the boy will There are two classes of secondary schools be more ripe for specialisation than if it is which it aids—one in which there is a preforced on him earlier.

dominance of science teaching, if mathematics It is the few, compared with the many who are included, and the other in which the go to elementary schools, who can be sent to minimum of science which can be considered secondary schools, and it is the few who can satisfactory according to modern views is hope to obtain the moderately high posts in taught. The grants to these schools are nomibusiness houses. The inferior posts are held nally made for the science instruction, but it enby those who as a rule have to be contented forces a preliminary qualification. It has to be with elementary education up to the age of 14. shown that the non-science instruction is well Boys at secondary schools remain in them up carried out. Further it insists that at least one to 16 and to 19, according to the grade of the modern language must be taught. I look school, and it may be taken as an unfortunate upon

this condition as a most important one. fact that the largest bulk of those who pass It is quite possible to get up such subjects as from the secondary school to business have book-keeping and mercantile law in a short been in schools where the leaving age is be- time, but it is impossible for youths, as a rule, tween 16 and 17. It is only those who are to become really proficient in a language certain of employment in the highest posts in unless they have some elementary scientific a business house who can afford to stay in a training in it in their early school career.

on

If a

If a business man wishes for adequate repre- studied chemistry, so that science in some sentation for his trade abroad, it is not to be degree ought to be carried on to the end of supposed that the language acquired for home the school career. Side by side with these consumption will suffice, but it must be such as schools of science there are often the other will be understood in the country to which class of schools which are aided by the State. the representative is sent. The employment of These spread out the elementary course of foreigners in English business houses is a science over four years. When the two classes standing slur on the instruction in foreign of schools are within easy reach of each other, languages that used to be given in the ordinary or in the same town, there is not the same school. A glance at the Table will show how necessity for giving an option as to modifying few under 16 are successful in languages, the in the higher course of the school of science. examinations being based on modern methods The pupil who intends to go into business can of teaching. The foundation only but not more go to that one where the opportunities and can be laid before that age. Time has to be facilities for specialising in commercial subgiven to the study of the language from an jects are greater. This, however, is a matter analytical point of view, and not merely to its of detail, into which it is unnecessary to enter. cheap and uncultured utilitarian aspect.

It must also not be lost sight of that in the modern language be taught with the same atten- “whiskey money" the new education authortion and analytical skill as Latin, and added to ities (as had the County Councils under the this there is taught the power of expression with Technical Instruction Act) have a large sum a good accent, the days of the foreign invaders of public money at their disposal for aiding into mercantile houses are surely numbered. technical, agricultural, and commercial instrucIn the encouragement of teaching languages tion. This money has been mortgaged up to the State, it may be said, is almost directly the hilt, it may be said, in most cases, in aiding, during school-days, what will be of furthering all these spheres of instruction, but it future use to the pupil. In regard to what has to be confessed that the technical has are called “ schools of science," there perhaps had the best of it. There is, however, is nothing taught in the elementary course a proviso in the Education Bill of 1901 that the (which lasts two years, and in which the ages local authorities have power to raise a rate for of pupils vary from about 13 to 16) which the purposes of secondary education, and every boy ought not to be acquainted with. certainly commercial subjects should come The English subjects, the language, and under the benests of the rate.

I am not the notions of elementary science (taught certain what is intended at the present moment, practically) are equally as necessary for the but up till last year it was a rule that scholarbusiness man as they are for those who are ships to schools might be given for varied going into industrial pursuits or the professions. purposes, the cost of such scholarships being If a bcy has profited by his elementary course met by practically equal contributions from the of study, including his science, he is well locality and the State. The rate raised by the prepared for carrying on his studies further. locality was recognised as meeting the local The rub is the further. There is some excuse contribution. If the same rule exists now, as for allowing specialisation of study after such did such a short time ago, it is a form of a course, and it appears to me that a com- State aid which might be wisely used in keepmencement of the study of subjects that are ing promising pupils at school till they had applicable to commerce might be entered upon, specialised in those subjects which would but only taken with the subjects which are ultimately be of use in their after careers. necessary for continuing the general edu- So far I have dealt with the action of the cation. At this stage it would be useful if State in regard to commercial education withthe State allowed a differentiation of study out

than a brief reference to the to be made, and that the pupils might be kept examinations by the Society. I must say a at school to learn a little of those subjects few words regarding them. In the first place which have a bearing on their career, rather I will refer to a paper by Sir H. T. Wood read than being obliged to take a strictly science in 1897 at the International Congress of course to the end. I need scarcely remind Technical Education which was held in these the Society that a knowledge of science is of rooms, and which has since been republished extreme use in commereial enterprise. It is with the necessary additions in August of this impossible to pick up intelligently a knowledge year. It appears that each decade has shown of materials, for instance, without having a large increase in the popularity of these

more

examinations. In 1883 there were 808 candidates and 35 centres of examination; in 1893 3,702 candidates and 109 centres; in 1903, 10,616 candidates and 322 centres of examination.

If a freehand curve in which these numbers and years and the intermediate numbers and years are shown as ordinates and abscissæ respectively it will closely resemble logarithmic curve (y = ax where a is .0648 and x is zero in the year 1869), and though it is unwise to rely too much on extrapolation, yet it is right to use it to see to what numbers of examinees might be expected in future years. The following Table is deduced from the curve and the extrapolation of it :

a

[blocks in formation]

crease.

800 1,000 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,400 1,700 2,200 2,500 3,400 3,700

1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1609 1910 1911 1912 1913

4,100 4,800

correct approximately, this means that in five years time the numbers examined will be rather more than doubled. As mentioned in the beginning of the address, this house is barely sufficient for our actual wants at the present time, and throwing on the Society double the number of papers to be looked through by the examiners, and tabulated and collated by the staff, means that much additional space will be required, and more staff, in order to cope with the increased work. It is a matter for rejoicing that the popularity of the examinations is increasing. But the popularity must ever be a severe tax on the Society-not, however, a money tax, for the examinations so far pay their own cost, and the cost of examination per individual diminishes somewhat as the numbers of examinees in

But it will tax the Society to find space in which to conduct the work, and will give additional responsibility to our secretary, to whom very much of the success attained already is due. It may soon, however, be a question whether the State itselfought not to take over this work. It cannot be dropped. It must continue, but when the dimensions become unwieldy it is evident that relief from the burden will have to be found in some direction. I believe the country and the members have every reason to be satisfied with this part of the work of the Society. It was originally a small part only, but it is gradually increasing into being a very large part of the Society's work. It must in no case interfere with those other useful functions for which the Society exists.

The question of improving or slightly enlarging the scope of the examinations is under the consideration of the Council, and if it is found that there is a desire for a raising of the standard of qualification in order to pass in the highest grade, or perhaps to add an additional grade, I believe that the Council will undertake to carry out the improvement, and will organise the further examination.

I have not touched upon the other functions of the Society, as I have felt that the subject of our examinations alone is a theme on which a sufficiently long address can be made. I fear I have taxed your patience in regard to details.

800

938 1,100 1,260 1,450 1,630 2,000 2,310 2,700 3,090 3,600 4,170 4,800 5,600 6,500 7,600 8,806 10,200 11,800 13,300 16,000 18,400 21,400 25,200 29,000 34,000 39,100 45,400 52,800 61,300 71,200

6,100 6,900 7,600 8,800 8,900 13,300 13,400 16,200

This represents an increase of a very little over 15 per cent. each year, a percentage which was familiar for a long time in the old Scence and Art Department, whose examinations increased in like proportion for some years. We perhaps need not consider what is to happen in ten years, but it behoves us to look at least five years ahead. If the curve be

After delivering the Address the Chairman presented the Society's medals which were awarded for papers read during last Session.

not

at

For papers at the Ordinary Meetings :

Sir John WOLFE BARRY, K.C.B., said it was a To DR. GUSTAVE GOEgg, for his paper on “Le

matter of profound satisfaction that the destinies of the Tunnel du Simplon, et la nouvelle ligne de Chemin

Society would be directed by so distinguished a man

as Sir William Abney, who was a past president of de fer directe Anglo-Italienne pour l'Orient.”

the Astronomical Society, of the Physical Society, TO ARCHIBALD P. HEAD, Mem. Inst.C.E., for his

of the Photographic Society, and Section A (Physics) paper on “ The South Russian Iron Industry.”

and Section L (Education) of the British AssociaTo PROF. W. SMART, LL.D., for his paper on

tion. * Industrial Trusts."

As a photographer, the Chairman was, To DR. BENEDICT W. GINSBURG, for his paper

he supposed, more distinguished than any other

gentleman who had directed his attention to the on “ The Port of London."

subject, either in this or in any other country. But, To ALFRED C. EBORALL, M.I.E.E., for his paper

apart from such matters, Sir William had taken a on “Application of Polyphase Motors to the Electrical Driving of Workshops and Factories."

long and absorbing interest in the great subject of

education. He was for some considerable time head To GABRIEL J. MORRISON, for his paper on “ The

of the scientific branch of the Board of Education at Construction of Maps and Charts.” To E. North BUXTON, for his paper on “ Preser

South Kensington, having only recently retired from vation of Big Game in Africa.”

that position. Therefore he spoke as one who was To EGERTON CASTLE, for his paper on “Swords

more thoroughly acquainted with the subject of

education, both scientific and commercial, than manship considered Historically and as a Sport.”

anybody whom one could meet in the Kingdom ;

and as such he had dealt with the details of a In the Indian Section :

subject, the importance of which could To Miss ELLA C. SYKES, for her paper on possibly be exaggerated. Sir William had done ** Domestic Lise in Persia.”

a real service to the Society in bringing the To Sir CHARLES JAMES LYALL, K.C.S.I., M.A., subject forward in his opening address, in so LL.D., for his paper on “ The Province of Assam.” thorough a manner. He also thought that every

body who gave careful consideration to the In the Colonial Section :

subject of education, would be one with To The COUNTESS OF ABERDEEN, for her paper

the Chairman on the general condition he laid on" Women in Canada."

down--that a student should first of all lay a thorough To HERBERT SAMUEL, M.P., for his paper on

grounding of general education before attempting to * The Uganda of To.day.”

specialise in the various subjects to which he intended

to devote his lise. It was easy to think that one could In the Applied Art Section :

take a short cut to full scientific or commercial educa

tion ; but the experience of everybody acquainted To G. F. BODLEY, R.A., for his paper on “ Some

with the subject was that that was impossible, and that Principles that may be Guides for the Applied’Arts." unless a youth was thoroughly grounded first, it was

To Miss HANNAH FALCKE, for her paper on hopeless to arrive at a good result by early specialisa“ Artistic Fans."

tion. He thought the members ought to be grateful

to Sir William for laying down that canon with all the The Chairman then presented the following authority which belonged to him, from his careful study medals which were awarded for exhibits at the and great experience on the subject. It was a great International Fire Prevention Exhibition, at source of gratification to him, as a past chairman Earl's-court:

of the Council of the Society, to be able to hear from For 80 feet Long Ladders :

Sir William's lips that the progress of the Society

in the matter of education was at least as great, if Gold medal to Mr. C. D. Magirus, of Ulm.

not greater, than it was when he himself occupied Bronze medal to Messrs. J. C. Braun, of Nurem- the chair of the Council, and that the great progress berg.

which had been achieved in the past would be conFor Chemical Engines for Town Use :

tinued in the future. He felt certain that, under the Silver medal to Mr. W. Busch, of Bautzen. (Heavy.)

careful guidance of the Chairman and Sir Henry Silver medal to Messrs. Merryweather Ltd., of

Trueman Wood, the progress would continue, and London. (Light.)

that the utility of the Society would grow greater Bronze medal to Messrs. J. C. Braun, of Nurem

and greater as time went on. He assured Sir William, berg. (Heavy.)

on behalf of those who were able to be of any assistance Bronze medal to Messrs. Sinclair and Co., of

to him, that they would be proud and anxious to London. (Light.)

devote the best of their ability to the support of the

Chair of the Council. He concluded by proposing a For Compressed Air Engine for Town Use :

hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman. Silver medal to the Kühlstein Wagenbau Gesell. schaft of Berlin.

Sir OWEN TUDOR BURNE, G.C.I.E., in seconding

« AnkstesnisTęsti »