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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30

Other Subjects

Other Subjects.

(a) Bible Instruction

The following are the regulations of the Board with reference to Bible instruction and religious observances:

(a) "In the schools provided by the Board the Bible shall be read, and there shall be given such explanations and such instruction there from in the principles of morality and religion as are suited to the capacities of children, in accordance with the terms of the resolution of the Board passed 8th March, 1871: provided always—

"(i.) That, in such explanations and instruction, the provisions of the Act in Sections VII. and XIV. be strictly observed, both in letter and spirit, and that no attempt be made in any such schools to attach children to any particular denomination.

"(ii.) That, in regard of any particular school, the Board shall consider and determine upon any application by managers, parents, or ratepayers of the district who may show special cause for exception of the school from the operation of this resolution, in whole or in part.

"Such explanations and instruction as are recognised by the foregoing regulation shall be given by the responsible teachers of the school. In this Article the term 'responsible teachers' does not include pupil teachers."

(b) "In all schools provision may be made for giving effect to the following resolutions of the Board, passed on July 26th, 1871:

"'(i) That, in accordance with the general practice of existing elementary schools, provision may be made for offering prayer and using hymns in schools provided by the Board at the "time or times" when, according to Section VII., Sub-Section 2, of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, "religious observances" may be "practised."

"'(ii.) That the arrangements for such "religious observances" be left to the discretion of the teachers and managers of each school, with the right of appeal to the Board by teacher, managers, parents, or ratepayers of the district.

"'Provided always—

"'That in the offering of any prayers, and in the use of any hymns, the provisions of the Act in Sections VII. and XIV. be strictly observed, both in letter and spirit, and that no attempt be made to attach children to any particular denomination.'

"During the time of religious teaching or religious observance, any children withdrawn from such teaching or observance shall receive separate instruction in secular subjects."

In the first instance the examination of schools in Bible knowledge was conducted by the examiners at the time of their annual visits to the schools.

In 1876, Mr. Francis Peek (who at that time was a member of the Board) informed the Board that he had made an agreement with the Religious Tract Society "for the purpose of providing a permanent fund to supply, yearly, prizes to the scholars under the control of the London School Board, who may show excellence in Biblical knowledge at a voluntary examination."

For the award of these prizes there has been an annual examination in two parts. The first or preliminary part is conducted, vivâ voce, by the teachers of the schools. A proportion of the children in Standards IV. and upwards are then selected, and, with the pupil teachers and pupil teacher probationers, compete in an examination on paper. Although this examina- page 9 tion is a purely voluntary one, it is found that very few children, pupil teachers, or pupil teacher probationers abstain from presenting themselves.

63.Scripture Syllabus now in use.
64.Report on the Examination in Bible Knowledge.
65.Bida's Scripture Prints. Selection of six.
66.National Society's New Scripture Prints. Set of four.

(b) Vocal Music

This subject, although not technically known as a "Class" subject, is taken throughout the schools.

On the 22nd March, 1871, the Board resolved, "That the art and practice of singing be taught, so far as may be possible, in the Board Schools as a branch of elementary education."

In the year 1872, it was decided that singing should be taught from note, and a singing instructor was appointed to direct and superintend the teaching of music. The Board further decided that either the staff notation or the tonic-sol-fa notation should be used, at the discretion of the teachers. The singing instructor not only visits the schools and examines the scholars, but he also superintends evening classes for the instruction of teachers.

The Education Department give a grant, calculated on the average attendance, for singing, amounting (i.) to Is. if the scholars are satisfactorily taught to sing by note (i.e., by the standard or any other recognised notation), or (ii.) to 6d. if they are satisfactorily taught to sing by ear.

During the year ended at Lady-day, 1888, 1,135 departments were examined. Of these, 1,128 departments earned the full grant of Is., six departments earned the 6d. grant, and one department failed to earn a grant.

68.Code Music Drill. Parts 1, 2, 3.
69.Educational Music Charts. Four Sets.

(d) Drawing and Modelling

On the 7th of October, 1874, the Board resolved "That systematised lessons in drawing be given in all Board Schools, so that all scholars may have an 'opportunity of learning drawing."

The Board also require that all their permanent teachers shall obtain the full (D) Drawing Certificate.

With a view of extending and improving the methods of imparting instruction, the Board on the 3rd of August, 1882, decided to appoint a drawing instructor, and they are now about to appoint another instructor.

Drawing is now a compulsory subject of instruction in all senior departments.

Special drawing classes for scholars have been established at the Saffron Hill School, Farringdon Road, and at the Monnow Road School, Bermondsey. Here selected boys and girls receive instruction in drawing, and also in modelling in clay.

Every year local exhibitions of drawings are held in Board Schools at certain centres. From these centres are selected drawings for exhibition at some central place where they may be conveniently viewed by the public.

70.Blackie's Drawing Books. Sixteen Books.
71.Blackie's Demonstration Sheets. Eight Nos.
72.Gill's Geometry Books. Six Parts.
73.Isbister's Drawing Books. Thirteen Books.
74.Minerva Series of Drawing Copies.

(e) Object Lessons

When the course of instruction in the schools of the Board was first Laid down in June, 1871, it included "systematised object lessons, embracing in the six school years a course of elementary instruction in physical science, and serving as an introduction to the science examinations which are conducted by the Science and Art Department."

In November, 1878, the Board adopted a scheme for object teaching, and the School Management Committee issued certain instructions to their teachers.

At this time object lessons were not recognised in any way by the Education Department. The words first appear in a note in the Code of 1880.

In June, 1881, the Board forwarded to the Educational Department a memorial, praying "that, in the contemplated modifications of the New Code, object lessons should be fully recognised, that they should be considered an essential part of the instruction in infant schools, and that their introduction into the upper schools should be facilitated." The Code of 1882 laid it down that, in assessing the merit grants in infants' departments, regard was to be page 10 had "to the provision made for * * simple lessons on objects and on the phenomena of nature and of common life." In the upper departments the Code moreover recognised as a Class. Subject Elementary Science, which was defined as "a progressive course of simple lessons * * adapted to cultivate habits of exact observation, statement and reasoning."

Upon the appearance of these regulations the School Management Committee revised their instructions to teachers, and a graduated scheme of object lessons up to Standard VII. was suggested. These suggestions are now set out in detail in Appendix V. of the Board Code of Regulations and Instructions for the guidance of Managers and Teachers. The Board also encourage this intuitive instruction by providing rarer objects, and by offering a museum cabinet to any school in which a good commencement of a collection has been made.

75.Sets of Apparatus, in box.
76.Course of Simple Object Lessons.
77.Object Lessons, and how to give them. Two Books.
78.Leutemann's Natural History Pictures. Selection of twelve.
79.Moffatt's Trees. Set of six.
79a.Specimens of Wool-Spinning.

(f) Kindergarten (Infants' Departments)

On the 26th November, 1873, the Board appointed Miss Bishop as an "Instructor in Kindergarten Exercises."

In the year 1878, the Board, finding that teachers too frequently regarded Kindergarten rather as a subject of instruction, like reading, writing, &c., than as a principle to be applied where possible in every lesson, abolished the title of "Instructor in Kindergarten Exercises," and substituted for it the title of "Superintendent of Method in Infants' Schools."

The Board also defined the duties of the superintendent, in addition to the duty of visiting schools, as follows:—"To secure, wherever practicable, the application of Kindergarten principles to the teaching of ordinary subjects. To give occasional model lessons to the children illustrative of the mode in which the above object may be secured. To report once a quarter, or oftener if necessary, the progress made in the extension of Kindergarten methods."

Since the Education Department Code of 1882, Her Majesty's inspectors, in reporting upon an infants' department, have been required to have regard to the provision made for (1) suitable instruction in the elementary subjects, (2) simple lessons on objects and on the phenomena of nature and of common life, and (3) appropriate and varied occupations.

On the 27th March, 1884, in consequence of the work of the superintendent being considerably greater than one superintendent could be reasonably expected to perform, the Board appointed an assistant superintendent.

Evening classes for the instruction of teachers are held at five centres.

80.Kindergarten Principle.
81.Bedding's Music and Drill.
82.Bourne's Boys' and Girls' Games. Two Volumes.
83.Kindergarten Gifts. Four gifts.
84.Papers for Paper Folding and Cutting.
85.Mats and Strips for Weaving.

(g) Mechanics

Among the Specific Subjects in the Code of the Education Department is mechanics. On the 18th December, 1884, the Board passed the following resolution:—"That the peripatetic plan of teaching 'mechanics' be tried in some district or districts of London."

The teaching of mechanics according to this plan was commenced on 1st June, 1885, in twenty schools in the Hackney and the Tower Hamlets Divisions. The science demonstrator gives a lesson fortnightly to the boys in the fifth and higher standards, the lesson being illustrated experimentally by specimens and apparatus carried from school to school. Between the visits of the demonstrator instruction is given to the same class by a teacher who was present at the demonstrator's lesson. In consequence of the success of this plan, the Board, in March, 1887, extended the plan to other parts of London, and three additional demonstrators were appointed, as an experiment, for three years.

86.Grieve's Mechanics. Stages 1, 2, 3.
87.Harrison's Mechanics. Stages 1, 2, 3.

(h) Manual Training

Use of Tools.—The Boaid, being desirous of making an experiment in some school in the instruction of boys in the use of tools, began the experiment in September, 1885, in the Beethoven Street School, Queen's Park Estate. The schoolkeeper of that school, having been a carpenter by trade, has given the practical instruction under the superintendence of the page 11 head master. The boys are selected from the Seventh Standard, and taught on two afternoons a week. The instruction is given in a shed that has been erected in a corner of the playground. An attempt is now being made "to develop some regular system of working, by which a boy can first draw and then, from his own drawing, make a series of joints of increasing difficulty."

In May, 1887, a letter was received from the City Guilds asking the Board to appoint a deputation to consult with a number of their members for the purpose of considering a scheme for the equipment and maintenance, for one year, of four schools of Elementary Technical Education, at a cost of about £1,000.

A Special Committee was accordingly appointed by the Board, which Committee met the Representatives of the Guilds Institute. After a consultation, the appointment of a Joint Committee was agreed upon, consisting of eighteen members, of whom nine were appointed by the School Board, and nine by the Institute.

The Joint Committee ultimately selected six centres, at each of which a class was to be held. The head masters of the surrounding public elementary schools—both Board and non-Board—were invited to hold a conference with the Committee as to the best methods of securing the attendance of boys from such schools, and also as to the number of the scholars in proportion to the several school rolls. The head masters very cordially entered into the project, and have since manifested considerable interest in the progress of the work.

Manual Training.—With regard to the general question of manual training, the Board, on July 19th, 1888, adopted the following resolution:—"That the methods of Kindergarten teaching in infants' schools be developed for senior scholars throughout the standards, so as to supply a graduated course of manual training in connection with science teaching and object lessons." This resolution, with others, was referred to the School Management Committee to cany out. The School Management Committee referred it to the Board inspectors, to prepare a scheme. This scheme was prepared by Mr. Ricks, the senior inspector, and published by him in two volumes, entitled "Hand and Eye Training."

An invitation to teachers, by circular, to try the scheme or some part of it was answered in the affirmative by some 250 head teachers; but, at the same time, a large number expressed a wish to have more light thrown on the subject. In compliance with this wish, Mr. Ricks is now engaged in the instruction of upwards of 1,400 head and assistant teachers.

When the teachers are qualified to teach, it is proposed to introduce the scheme of work into the schools, both boys' and girls'.

88.Hand and Eye Training. Two Parts.

(i) Instruction of the Blind

The Board, in 1871, decided to put into force their powers for compelling children to-attend school; and it was not long before the visitors, in the exercise of their duties, met with a number of blind children for whom there was no proper school provision. In April, 1875, the Board appointed an instructor, who, with an assistant, did what was possible for the blind children until the year 1879, when the Board decided to engage Miss Greene, who had long experience in teaching the blind both in the Perkins Institution, Boston, U.S.A., and in the Royal Normal College for the Blind, London.

The following paragraph, taken in substance from a report of the British and Foreign Blind Association, will explain the grounds upon which the Board have adopted the apparatus now in use:—

Embossed printing was first introduced in Paris by Valentin Haüy in 1784. The character adopted was naturally the Roman letter, as being that to which he was accustomed. Mr. Gall, of Edinburgh (1827), and Mr. Alston, of Glasgow (1837), subsequently printed books, using modifications of the Roman letter. Then two shorthand systems were introduced—one stenographic, by Mr. Lucas (1837), the other phonetic, by Mr. Frere (1837), both of whom used arbitrary characters. A modification of the Roman type, including the use of both capitals and small letters, was first embossed in 1838 by Mr. Dawson Littledale, and is adopted in printing for the blind at Worcester. Finally, Dr. Moon (1847) introduced the system which bears his name. He aimed at greater simplicity, and used but few abbreviations. He employed Roman letters whenever their form was sufficiently simple to be easily distinguished by touch, while in other cases he adopted the simple line characters by Mr. Frere. Books were printed in all these systems, but none of much importance except the Bible. The managers of each institution adopted the system of which they had heard most favourably, and proper school books scarcely existed, because it was not worth while to print books which could only be used in one or two schools. Moreover, to all these systems attached the serious defect that they could not be written.

The system introduced (1834) by Louis Braille, in Paris, is the only one (except the New York Point, used in some American schools) which enables a blind child to write as rapidly as page 12 sighted children in ordinary school exercise, and also to read and so to correct what he has written. It is, therefore, indispensable where blind children share the instruction of the sighted, and has accordingly been adopted by the London School Board in its classes for the blind. Moon's system is also used for reading, as, in many instances, enabling a blind child to read sooner than if confined to Braille, in which the letters of the alphabet are learned by Hie process of learning to write them.

Details of the scheme for the instruction of blind children may be found in Exhibit No. 89.

90, 91, 92,Reading Books in Moon's type, with illustrations in relief.—These books were produced by Dr. Moon at the request of the Board, in order that the blind children in Board schools might have books the exact counterpart, including illustrations, of those used by their rsighted companions. They are believed to have been the first illustrated school books for the blind ever published.
93.Royal Readers, Standards. Vol. I., in Braille Type.
94.History of England. Vol. I., in Braille Type.
95.Relief Maps, various.
96.Guides to Relief Maps, in Braille Type.
97.Braille "Writing (Embossing) Frame and Style, with sheet of paper showing writing.
98.Arithmetical Board, with several rows of the Arithmetical Type used as figures.
99.Portion of Nelson's Royal Reader, Standard V., embossed by children in London Board Schools.

(J) Instruction of Leaf Mutes.

It was stated in the last paragraph that the visitors, in the exercise of their duties, met with a number of blind children, for whom there was no proper school provision. Similarly there was found a number of deaf and dumb children for whom previously to the year 1874 no suitable instruction could be obtained, except in institutions supported by voluntary contributions. In September of that year, the Board determined to provide instruction for these children in the ordinary schools, and accordingly appointed an instructor (the Rev. W. Stainer), who had had thirty years' experience in teaching deaf mutes, to initiate a system of deaf mute instruction at the Wilmot Street, Bethnal Green, Board School. At first there were only five children in attendance; but this number soon increased. It was also found necessary to open at successive periods additional classes in different parts of the Metropolis. There are now 390 children under instruction, who are assembled for instruction at fifteen centres in different districts of London.

As to the system of instruction, the first efforts of the instructor were to teach the children to speak. They soon learned the sounds and some simple words; but in a few months the number of children increased threefold, and for a time no assistance could be obtained to carry on the "Oral" teaching—consequently as fresh cases flowed in the "Oral" teaching diminished and the "Manual" teaching, which is much easier, increased. However, as time went on, a supply of teachers on the "Oral" system became available, and that system was gradually adopted as the supply of teachers increased. In 1879, a class was placed in charge of a teacher, who had been trained at the College of the "Association for the Oral Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb," Fitzroy Square. The Board now appoints only those teachers who are qualified to instruct on the "Oral" system, which is now adopted exclusively in all the classes of the Board.

Further and full particulars of this section of the work of the Board will be found in Exhibit No. 100.

101. Hill's Pictures of Objects (bound and indexed for teacher's use).—Pictures of objects are found to be a necessity to the teacher who has to give simultaneous instruction to a class of deaf children. The above-named series is used extensively on the Continent. The twenty - four sheets contain 384 coloured illustrations. The author of these says:—" The pupil must not be allowed to dwell upon the picture alone, but his attention must be directed to similar objects and circumstances in his own surroundings; in other words, he is made to understand the living world in which he finds himself, and to a proper understanding of which the picture is only to be used as a help."

102. Reading Sheets in script type, compiled by Rev. W. Stainer, L.H.D., for use in the classes for the Deaf and Dumb (4 sheets mounted).