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butes which go to build up character, and whose possession has enabled Britons the world over to unite in making the sacrifices necessary for the successful conclusion of the struggle. Entering, therefore, into the teaching of Geography, History, Civics and Morals, the war with its intense and thrilling incidents has occupied a very prominent place in the minds of pupils and teachers.

Nature Study is still, perhaps, the worst taught subject in school. The entries in the Work Book reflect the indifferent way in which it is taught. It is not uncommon to find

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Butterfly" or "Ant" as the only entry for the month, with "Repeat the above" as the succeeding month's programme. The spirit of the Nature Study lesson demands that a new subject should be treated on each occasion, or, at most, that the same lesson be not given more than twice. Gardening," too, is often another way of saying that nothing is being done. If Nature Study is to be based on the garden work, the method of procedure is detailed in the "Notes to the Syllabus." It is not sufficient to grow a number of plants, neglecting to note observations and to make records. The systematic observation and record of changes in the growth, with contributing causes, are important features.

In very rare instances was Science properly taught in Fifth and Sixth Classes. Too frequently the teacher has no special liking for the subject, and does not trouble to make the necessary effort to gain a knowledge of it. In such cases, pupils pass out of school, not only without an acquaintance with a branch of science, but also without the incentive to gain a knowledge of it.

CIVICS AND MORALS.-History being an optional subject in one-teacher schools, is often omitted from the curriculum. Its teaching has been simplified by the introduction of Blackie's books. The teacher has there planned a series of suitable lessons, sufficient for the requirements of the upper classes, and he can, by taking them in regular order, fulfil the requirements of the Syllabus. The "scrappiness" which has hitherto characterised the teaching of History should now disappear. Already an improvement is noticeable. The dates of leading events should be committed to memory, and kept fresh in the mind by revision. A few minutes at the beginning of each lesson is sufficient for the purpose. Where the lapse of time is not marked in this way confusion results and the issues obscured. A knowledge of the great occurrences of distant ages is necessary to an understanding of later day occurrences. The teacher, for instance, about to give a lesson on the Civil War of Charles I. to an intelligent upper class, would do well to pass in rapid review several occurrences which have a direct or indirect bearing on the subject. The Norman Conquest established the Feudal system and the Baronage. The Barons forced John to sign Magna Charta. The Wars of the Roses by almost exterminating the Baronage removed the check on royal power and rendered possible the Tudor despotism. The middle classes gradually rose and eventually opposed Charles, who refused to abide by the conditions of the Great Charter.

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It is desirable to teach the main outlines of Australian discovery and settlement, but too much time should not be spent on the doings of any one discoverer or explorer.

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DRAWING.-The quality of freehand drawing varies according to the teacher's ability and liking for the subject. It is popular with pupils and is seldom omitted from the course of work. Bad lining-in, and neglect to finish the drawing, were common defects. Brushwork is seldom attempted, but in the few schools where it is taught the work is creditable. The mechanical portion of geometrical drawing is very fair, but the teaching loses in effectiveness when reasons are not given. Some of the best drawing is done in the small schools in charge of female teachers.

NEEDLEWORK.-This is a favourite subject, and is satisfactory on the whole. In many schools the making of articles for the Red Cross took up most of the time. In some bush schools, boys, as well as girls, are taught, with very gratifying results.

DRILL.-Drill and Physical Training have not progressed to any appreciable extent. Where the teacher in charge has not received instruction at a training class, the drill was usually a failure. The effects of the 1913 Class are beginning to fade, and a new impetus is needed. For the excellence of its physical training and drill, the Innisfail school is unrivalled. Drill was noted. as very good at Cairns (Boys), Mareeba, Croydon, Cooktown (Boys), Coen, Nigger Creek, Gordonvale, and Mundoo.

MUSIC. Music is an optional subject in oneteacher schools, and in others it is occasionally omitted, either wholly or in part, because the teachers are not competent to take it. Next to Nature Study jt is the worst taught subject in school. Its power as an educational factor is undoubted, and it forms a pleasant relaxation from other studies. A good action song brightens the infant room, but it more frequently happens that the infants are grouped with higher classes and taught unsuitable songs. Sight-singing is seldom attempted, and a simple test usually results in failure.

RECORDS. Excepting the Work Book, records are satisfactory. The failure to post Lefts" and "Promotions" at the proper time is the most frequent source of trouble.

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SCHOLARSHIPS.-As a result of the examinations in December last, 17 scholarships were awarded to schools in this district. They were distributed as follows: Chillagoe 3, Croydon 3, Kingsborough 2, Cairns (Girls) 2, and Cairns (Boys), Victoria Plantation, Gurrumba, Cooktown (Boys), Cooktown (Girls), Lake Eacham, and Innisfail, 1 each.

SCHOOL LIBRARIES.-There are now few schools unprovided with a library. The books are appreciated in the small country schools. more than in the larger centres of population. A half hour spent on an occasional Friday afternoon in reading a passage selected from an interesting book will not fail to reawaken interest when it has begun to languish. I have found some of the large schools making little or no use of the library-a circumstance which shows stagnation and serious neglect on the teacher's part. On the other hand, instances occur where all the books have been read, and the desire expressed for a fresh supply. Where good use is made of the library, it is found that composition and general knowledge are much above the ordinary standard.

COMMITTEES.-The Government's action in abolishing quarter-money, and in supplying free of cost the school requisites hitherto bought with quarter-money, has left little work for committees in the larger centres of population. The Works Inspector keeps a close watch on the condition of the buildings, and the Department is disposed to be generous in the matter of material requirements. With the out-back committeeman it is different. When a teacher is appointed-and very frequently she is a young woman leaving home for the first time-there must be some responsible person to help her to her destination, to see that she is comfortably lodged, and later on to protect her from the frivolous and vexatious complaints" that now and then disturb the harmony of school routine. It is not to be expected that she can control the

socials" which are held two or three times a year to raise money for prizes or some improvement to the grounds. The rustic committeeman, too, is often a handy man, and unostentatiously repairs windows, locks, tanks, &c., thus saving the delay and heavy expense that would be entailed if a tradesman had to travel from the nearest town. In some instances, teachers complain of their inability to get the committee to meet, while on one or two occasions the chairman has asked for advice in regard to the spending of money, seeing that his committee could not be assembled to sanction expenditure. The great majority, however, meet regularly, take a live interest in the school, and make it the centre of the social life of their little world. In only

two instances was there found to be friction between teacher and committee.

MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS.-A special examination of the senior pupils of the Cairns schools was held in October for the purpose of ascertaining whether sufficient pupils were avail able for a High School. The result was disappointing, only 18 pupils securing over 50 cent. of the marks allotted.

The prolonged drought made it very diffi cult in some places for teachers and committees to obtain a supply of good drinking water for pupils. An unusual amount of sickness prevailed in the district.

A tribute should be paid to those teachers, especially the females, who patiently and loyally discharge their duties in isolated localities where the ordinary amenities of civilised life do not exist. Their remuneration is small, their respon sibility is great. The out-back child, nurtured in the midst of hardships, has special need for the light of education. The response of the men of the "Never-Never" to the nation's call to arms has demonstrated that no petty economy should be an excuse for the neglect of those who in this pioneering work are scattered to conquer a continent."

I have, &c.,

BERNARD MCKENNA, District Inspector. The Under Secretary,

Department of Public Instruction, Brisbane.

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MR. DENNISS'S REPORT.

Eagle Junction, March, 1916.

SIR, I have the honour to submit my General Report for the year 1915.

DISTRICT.

The district to which I was appointed in September last is known as the Townsville District, the schools to be inspected being those of that district not already inspected by Mr. Johnston. These included schools in Townsville, Charters Towers, and Ravenswood, a number of smaller schools in the neighbourhood of these The towns, and several in the Ayr district. total number of schools on my list was 25-18 State, 3 Provisional, and 4 Denominational schools. These were all inspected, with the exception of the Provisional school at Molongle Creek, which it was impossible to reach in the time at my disposal; the school, moreover, was closed on the last day of the school year. The new State school at Inkerman was opened in November, and this was inspected.

APPORTIONMENT OF TIME.

I took up my duties on 1st October, spending the first two days in preparing a plan of the work allotted to me, and in becoming to some extent acquainted with my duties. One day was taken in travelling from Mackay to Townsville, and I commenced the work of inspection at the latter place on 4th October. From that date till the end of the school year my time was fully taken up with the work of inspection and reporting. During the week ending 18th December I was occupied in supervising the annual examinations at Townsville. The remainder of the year, with the exception of the time taken in travelling from Townsville to Brisbane, was spent in reading and valuing examination papers. Most of the necessary travelling was done by railway, although a few schools had to be reached by buggy, sulky, or motor-car. No formal inquiries were held.

MATERIAL ORGANISATION.

As a general rule, the accommodation at the schools in this district is ample for present requirements, and good care is taken of the school property. The buildings and furniture at the Charters Towers Girls' and Infants' School are very old, and there is need for somewhat extensive repairs and improvements. At Millchester, the drainage and fencing required attention. As the estimated cost of the improvements in these cases was rather high, it was recommended that the matter be referred to the Works Department. The asphalted flooring under the school buildings at Queenton was found to be in an unsatisfactory condition, and a source of discomfort to teachers and pupils. The school building at Jarvisfield, an open-air structure, was much overcrowded at the time of inspection; but the new building will probably be ready for occupation early in the present year. Goats are a constant source of trouble in some places. This is particularly the case at Ross Island, Millchester, and Ravenswood; and a weak spot in the school fence is soon discovered. At these schools, and also at Charters

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Towers (Boys), repairs to fences were recominended. Numerous minor repairs to buildings, fences, and tanks have been carried out during the year; all reasonable requests in these matters are treated sympathetically by the Department.

SCHOOL GROUNDS.-With one or two exceptions, these are well kept, and a systematic effort is made to improve or beautify the school surroundings. In a number of places there are fine shade trees and ornamental-or usefulgardens, while some schools have collections of pot plants. The schools most worthy of mention in this respect are Charters Towers Boys' and Girls' schools, Millchester, Ross Island, Queenton, and Kirk River. Where the best conditions prevail, it is found that committees, teachers, and pupils combine in their efforts to carry out improvements.

About one-half of the schools visited reported the celebration of Arbor Day during the year. The severe drought was given as the reason for the non-observance in most of the other cases; but it is easily seen that the interest taken in Arbor Day work varies considerably.

GYMNASTIC APPLIANCES are not much in evidence-nor much used-at the present time. Probably the elaboration of the new system of Physical Training is mainly responsible for this; and under the new order, not only is the training more general, but it seems to be on safer, saner lines.

INTERNAL ORGANISATION.

Most schools are well supplied with books, maps, and other materials required for teaching; and some possess good collections of mineral specimens, and the like, for illustrative purposes. In the great majority of schools, some attempt is made to improve the appearance of the inside walls by neatly framed pictures or attractive diagrams; the internal appearane of a schoolroom reflects, to some extent, the personal character and tastes of the teacher. Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance to children of working in pleasant and bright surroundings.

STAFFS. Of the head teachers in the 21 departmental schools visited, 3 are in Class I., 4 in Class II., 5 in Class III., and 9 are unclassified. Of the assistant teachers, 2 are in Class II., 38 in Class III., and 1 is unclassified. There are 35 pupil-teachers. The numerical strength of the staffs is usually sufficient; but owing to the war there is a gradually diminishing number of male assistants.

HEAD TEACHERS.-Those in charge of the larger schools are teachers who possess the advantages of professional training and experience. They carry out their duties skilfully and earnestly, and with a due regard to their responsibilities. The 9 unclassified head teachers lack training and experience, yet they do commendable work, and, as a rule, their shortcomings are not the result of a lack of industry or interest. In only one case was it necessary to refer to a want of enthusiasm.

ASSISTANT TRICHERS as a body are induswis and palaeading, and though possessed of 1ng degrees of professional skill, are generSenated to their work and loyal to their a noticeable feature that so many to remain in Class III.; but there 4 1 2 165H... movement in this respect, and 6 **mule de amistants at present in Class III. took wine siper in the examination for admission 1 Clas II.

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PUTEACHERS. Of these, some give expromise, while others are of average All of those in the schools visited seemed

some aptitude for teaching, and by and application they should become sucmembers of their profession. It is pleasAy to note that some of the most promising The younger pupil-teachers are past pupils State High Schools.

GO52%NMENT. In the majority of schools the government was reported as satisfactory, wering ready obedience, cheerful industry, and mutual confidence between teachers and pupils. In one or two instances the discipline was not sufficiently exacting, and consequently the pupils were not braced to their best efforts. Occasionally an assistant is found whose powers of control are weak, and his class is a source of vexation to his neighbour and of anxiety to the head teacher. Such a teacher should spare no pains to improve his powers as a disciplinarian. It is in this aspect of school life that the personality the character of the teacher is such a potent factor. The teacher bears a great responsibility, and by precept and example is exerting an influence that will live through the lives of those under his charge. The teacher has not lived and worked in vain if his pupils grow up to be self-respecting, honourable, industrious citizens.

INSTRUCTION.

METHODS. The methods adopted, and the character of the instruction given, of course vary with the natural aptitude of the teachers, with their training and experience, and with the amount of zeal they display in the discharge of their duties. When it is considered that nine of the twenty-one departmental schools visited are in charge of unclassified teachers, there is cause for satisfaction that so much good work is done. In most of the smaller schools, and in some of the larger ones, the methods are reported as somewhat mechanical. Too little is done in the way of training children to think, to reason, and to conclude; too little use is made of the mental and physical activities of the pupils; not sufficient intelligence is displayed in an endeavour to render some subjects interesting or practical. In many of the larger schools the methods are intelligent and progressive, and in these the work is carefully planned, thoroughly prepared, and skilfully applied.

WORK BOOKS.-In a number of cases the entries in the Work Book are not sufficiently definite or given in reasonable detail. As a rule, this is owing to the absence of a general programme of work showing a division of the "Course of Instruction for each Class" into half-yearly periods. In prescribing the month's work, teachers should show clearly what is to be done in each branch of each subject.

ENGLISH-Not all the branches of English receive the time and attention they deserve; and training in English is not thorough, neither is progress satisfactory, while this condition prevails.

Reading is usually reported as fluent and accurate; but mechanical reading, however accurate, is never pleasing. Intelligent reading is not by any means general; and this seems to be the result of giving too little time to the study of the meanings of the words and the This remark language of the passages read.

applies with equal force to Recitation. In some schools, where Comprehension and Expression receive proper attention, it was a pleasure to listen to the reading and recitation of the upper classes.

Written Composition is usually fair, occasionally quite good. In the upper classes the subjects set for composition could be varied with advantage: they are frequently limited to the subject-matter of a reading lesson or the substance of a nature-study lesson. If one class period is taken in writing an essay, another could be well spent in discussing the faults or the good points of the written essays, after these had been corrected by the teacher. As a rule, punctuation does not receive sufficient attention. Oral Composition does not seem to be practised systematically, and as an aid to Written Composition its value is often overlooked. When conducted by unimaginative, apathetic teacher, the "Morning Talk," arranged partly for the training it affords in Oral Composition, is valueless to the pupils and somewhat painful to the listener.

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Writing, as a class exercise, gives satisfaetory results, but not all teachers teach the subject. On the other hand, some go to the other extreme, and spend too much time in teaching, and leave too little for practice. Writing is mainly a mechanical art, and perfection is acquired by practice. Consequently, no amount of talking will make a boy a good writer if he is allowed only time to write one line in a halfhour's lesson. Two defects in the writing of some schools stand out: viz., (i.) The "style" taught in the copy-books is not carried out in the other written exercises; (ii.) Not sufficient care is taken over the ordinary written work of the pupils.

Grammar. The results in Grammar vary from moderate to fair. The grammar lesson frequently takes the form of a written exercise in parsing or analysis, and too little oral work is done. If teachers would plan their work in this subject more carefully, so that children master each step in turn, better results would follow.

Derivation does not receive satisfactory attention; it is best in those schools in which it is co-ordinated with the reading lesson. In the hands of a capable teacher-one, moreover, gifted with imagination-the study of the "life history" of many words can be made one of the most interesting branches of English. Learning long lists of roots, however "common," is not studying derivation.

Spelling of words selected from the reading lesson is usually satisfactory, and is invariably good where pupils are systematically taught to pronounce words in syllables before spelling. In composition and other written work there is much bad spelling. As an indirect means of teaching spelling, and as a valuable class exercise, Dictation is in many cases neglected. Classes above the Third should have dictation books, and the work in them should be as carefully done and as carefully supervised as that in copy-books. The teacher who gives only lists of words for dictation, and allows the work to be written in lead pencil on untidy scraps of paper, is missing a fine opportunity. It may be mentioned, in passing, that prominence is given to this subject in many public examinations.

MATHEMATICS.-Briefly put, the mechanical work is fair, and the intellectual work rather poor. Tables do not seem to be so well known as formerly; and it is not uncommon to find a class unable to repeat the multiplication table or the pence table, as the case may be, or to apply it after it is learnt. To keep the tables "fresh" in the upper classes, practical questions in all the tables should have a place in the ordinary mental arithmetic lesson.

Mental Arithmetic is not satisfactory in the majority of schools, and does not seem to be well taught. "Home-made" questions, which permit of local application, are the best. In too many cases the exercises given in a text-book are regarded as specific rather than suggestive, and the consequence is that the teacher's questions are neither well chosen nor sufficiently varied.

Written Arithmetic, especially in mechanical exercises, is usually better; but even in mechanical work there is much inaccuracy. Too little attention is given to the setting out of the work, particularly in the middle and upper classes. Concrete quantities should be more generally used, and mental and written arithmetic should go hand in hand.

In Mensuration, more use should be made of the tape measure and the foot rule. The schoolroom, the furniture, the tanks, the playground, afford ample material for practical examples.

NATURE KNOWLEDGE.-The branches under this head that are most successfully treated are Geography and Mapping. In the former there is sometimes a want of definiteness in the information given, and there is frequently little known of "local" geography. Written answers to questions show much incorrect spelling. In

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some schools 'excellent copied" maps were shown, but very few fix the position of a "memory" map by drawing one or two lines of latitude and longitude. In the other branches. of Nature Knowledge the best results seem to be obtained in those schools in which elementary science is taught, as it is easier to arrange a "series" or course " of lessons in this than in Nature Study proper. The lessons on animal or plant life, and the "observation" lessons in the lower classes, - frequently fail in their purpose of arousing the interest and exercising the imagination of the pupils.

HISTORY gives fairly satisfactory results, and appears to be as well taught in some of the smaller schools as in the larger. The teaching in this subject should now be more definite, as certain text-books are prescribed.

DRAWING from copy or object is usually satisfactory, although the so-called "Object Drawing" in many cases is not object drawing at all. The teacher selects an object-natural or otherwise-and draws his view of that on the blackboard, the pupils copying his drawing. This method is useful up to a certain point, but there is a further stage at which the pupil should be trained to draw from the object direct. This stage, however, is seldom reached. In those schools which teach Scale or Geometrical Drawing, it is the exception to find the exercises accurate or neat. Now, these branches must be regarded as the introduction to any form of Mechanical Drawing; and unless the exercises are both accurate and neat, the training is of little or no value.

NEEDLEWORK and SINGING are, as a rule, popular with the pupils, and the results in these subjects are invariably satisfactory.

DRILL. This is undoubtedly the day of good drill; and in all the larger schools, squad drill, physical exercises, and organised games are carried on regularly and successfully. In the majority of smaller schools the teaching of Drill is not very satisfactory. Some attempt the old physical exercises and the elements of squad drill; but the teaching is not very efficient, and the movements are not characterised by smartness or precision. It is the exception, in these schools, to find boys of Junior Cadet age who able to satisfy the requirements for "efficiency."

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CLASSIFICATION.

The following table shows the number of pupils in each class in the departmental schools. at the time of inspection:

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