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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Dr. Marshall's Views—the Public Blamed

Dr. Marshall's Views—the Public Blamed.

Dr P. Marshall, of the Otago School of Mines, who was a teacher at the Auckland Grammar School for five years, told a representative of this paper that he did not cars to enter seriously into the discussion On the general question he thought that the facts brought out in these articles were indisputable; there could be no double about "the curse of cram." Certainly there were too many examinations. So far as his own work at the slining School went, he was able to do away with intermediate examinations, and he held only a final. He did not believe in catting the work up into sections and examining the pupils on each part separately. That seemed to him too much like patch work education, and, besides, his own method was more efficient for the class of study in hand. Dr Marshall lays all the blame for the cram system on the shoulders of the public. They insist on results—scholarships, matriculation, and so on—and the teachers must play to the public, The best school in the eves of the people is the school that gets most pupils throngh examinations, and the school that does not win a lot of certificates is damned—that is, if it is a school under public control. Dr Marshall mentioned Wanganui College as an example of schools that do not join in the common struggle for results. It is able to go its own way because it is privately endowed, and "therefore more or less independent. This school has probably the lowest record of "results" in New Zealand, but can it be said that the boys it turns out have less mental development than others? Dr Marshall himself is a Wanganui graduate.

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The doctor smiled when he was asked if he could suggest a more rational scheme that might be free of some of these educational posers. "No," he said, "I can't offer you a solution, though I have pondered the thing often enough. But, as I said before, I blame the public. It is their ideal of education that is at the bottom of it."