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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

A Single Victim an Undue Proportion

A Single Victim an Undue Proportion.

A single victim to school overpressure is an "undue proportion." In a colony of a million inhabitants it is a discredit to everyone concerned that a tingle boy or girl should be allowed to over-study and neglect the laws of health in the way I described. Mr Wilson disclaims all responsibility for what may go on out of school, but that, as I have already shown, is not the attitude assumed by the [unclear: an] thorities presiding over enlightened modern teaching institutions. So lone as the central educational authorities encourage children to undertake overwhelming tasks, and offer every incentive to overwork, and so long as the schoolmaster countenances such practices, both must be held directly responsible for whatever evil may follow. Mr Wilson's amazing [unclear: in-] difference and sense of irresponsibility show forth in such a passage as [unclear: this.] Speaking of overwork for competitive [unclear: ex-] animations, he says :—

Of course, the brake there must be put on by the parents; little can [unclear: be] done by the schoolmaster or professor, because they have to take all the grain that comes to their mill, and do with [unclear: it] what they can. And if a boy or [unclear: girl] is trying for some object difficult to [unclear: at-] tain, the teacher or professor in [unclear: the] first place may not know the facts of the case, and if he did he probably would be quite unable to interfere. It is the parents who must step in there; they see what it costs the pupil to do the work better than any teacher or professor can ever do.

If this, taken in conjunction with the whole trend of Mr Wilson communications to your paper, does not imply a conviction upon the part of the rector that a teacher's duty virtually ends when he has crammed his boy or girl with all that can be got in irrespective of proper capacity and condition; if it does not express a virtual re-podiation of all responsibility in respect to the pupil a part from the loading up of fugitive memory for examination purposes; if it does not show that he ignores the intellect as a whole for the sake of displaying what can be stuffed into and brought out of one corner of it; if it does not suggest a very feeble appreciation of the timehonored ideal "mens sana in corpore sane"if all these things are not implied. I shall be very glad to learn from the rector precisely what he does wish to convey.