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agitation)-I am not informed. If not, it might be well that they who are responsible should seek and act upon some other and more competent suggestions how their institution shall be best forwarded into a condition of efficiency the most satisfactory that may be attainable against the time of expired apprenticeships, when they will perhaps claim the reception of Queen's scholars, with their concomitant advantages. But if, as I heartily hope, the sympathy and help of the Diocesan Community has been at all co-ordinate with the honest purpose, the vigorous endeavour, and the pastoral anxiety of the honourable Secretary, then I am sure that the Warrington training-school is on the way to fulfil those cordial wishes for its prosperity, and the comfort and usefulness of its inmates, which it is impossible to visit it without entertaining.
I have to repeat my best thanks for much kindness received in this place; my best wishes for everybody whom I saw there; and my unaffected sorrow if a misconception of my duty has betrayed me into a word that can give pain to any one.
I have the honour to be, &c.,
W. H. BROOKFIELD
To the Right Honorable the Lords of the
Special Report* on the Normal Training School, at Edinburgh, in connexion with the Free Church of Scotland; by Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, JOHN GIBSON, Esq.
SIR, Edinburgh, March 1849, My Report on this large and important Institution naturally arranges itself into four distinct, but, of course, closely-connected, sections.
I. The general character, as respects preliminary attainments and previous preparation, of those by whom it is attended, and for whose mental culture and professional training the institution exists.
II. The subjects of instruction to which their attention is directed; the staff of officers by whom these studies are superintended and conducted; the order in which they are prosecuted as well as the duration of the period allotted to the study of each branch.
III. The manner in which the students are classified, when they have entered upon their course of training, together with the circumstances and principles regulating this classifi
IV. The annals of the institution, as respects the number of students that have enjoyed its advantages, from year to year, the extent of the course of instruction prosecuted by them, and the average duration of the period of their attendance.
The history of this institution is one of no ordinary interest, both as regards its bearing upon the improvement of the methods of teaching as well as upon the extension of the course of instruction imparted to the pupils of elementary schools, and, generally, as regards its influence in extending the views, directing the aims, dignifying the character, and elevating the social position of the teacher, in Scotland. In all these respects it merits a careful and detailed history. Year by year, it would be seen, did the views of those expand in whom was vested its superintendence. With singularly urgent calls upon their attention, and very loud demands upon their most earnest and most strenuous efforts, the claims of this institution were never overlooked, and the objects which it was intended to serve were
This Special Report on the Edinburgh Free Church Normal School was prepared not with the view of stating the results of the labours of its several Officers, but for the purpose of enabling the Committee of Council on Education to determine whether the accommodation and other arrangements of the Institution were such as to bring it within the scope of their Lordships' Minutes of August and December 1846, and entitle the Directors to aid, out of the Parliamentary Grant, towards meeting the expenses of its erection.
never forgotten, and never undervalued by them. The object and nature of this report, however, forbid me attempting this now. Its object is simply practical; its nature must be chiefly statistical. I hope to have another opportunity of presenting an elaborate and carefully-prepared account of the institution, when it will be necessary to give, in detail, its simple, but, in my view, singularly important annals.
I. The first feature of the Institution claiming attention is the Entrance Examination.
This examination takes place once a year, at which period alone are students admitted. Young men of all religious denominations are received, but the subjects of examination, and the course of study afterwards entered upon, are determined and regulated mainly with a view to the benefit of those who intend to devote themselves to teaching in connexion with the Free Church. Every young man presenting himself as a candidate for admission must undergo this Entrance Examination.*
It is conducted by means of printed papers, and generally occupies a week. These examination-papers have always been drawn by distinguished practical teachers, intimately acquainted with the subjects intrusted to them; and the written answers of the candidates for admission, after being carefully reviewed by the same gentlemen, are handed for revision to the Rector and Tutors of the Institution, who again make known the results to the Education Committee, with whom rests the final decision as to those who are qualified to enter, with advantage, upon the prescribed course of study and training.
A somewhat definite idea of the attainments of those, who, after passing this examination, enter upon the employments and studies of the institution, may be obtained from a careful examination of the table † in which are specified, first, the subjects of examination; second, the value attached to proper answers to all the questions contained in each examination-paper; third, the actual value of the answers as given by each candidate, on each subject; and fourth, the total value of all the answers given by each candidate. This last item, viewed in its relation to the total value of perfect answers to all the questions, fixes the relation of each candidate to the standard of attainment.
In connexion with this Entrance Examination, it is proper to describe the means that the Directors of the Institution have taken to induce a sufficient number of young men of suitable qualifications to present themselves as candidates, and to enable
* For the subjects of this examination, see Appendix No. I.
them thereafter to prosecute their studies. Circumstances have presented formidable obstacles to the complete organization and development of Normal Schools, or Colleges for Schoolmasters. The social position of the teacher of an elementary school is still so low, his remuneration so inadequate, the importance of his functions and the difficulty of discharging them aright so imperfectly apprehended, that, except to a few minds, instinctively attached to teaching, and having a strong natural aptitude for the work, the profession presents no fascinations. To be enrolled among its members kindles no ambition, elicits no anxiety, prompts no effort, begets no zeal. The influence of these circumstances has been evident throughout the history of this institution. And, with a view to overcome these obstacles, and to realize, more and more fully, their ideal of what such an institution as this should ultimately become, as well as to stimulate and encourage to higher efforts many young men whose zeal and natural aptitude had been, from time to time, brought under their notice, the Directors set apart a considerable sum as bursaries, or exhibitions, to be competed for from year to year, and to be awarded to those only, who, having successfully passed the Entrance Examination, were willing to devote themselves to teaching, and to declare, at the same time, that, but for this assistance, they could not afford the means requisite to prepare them, fully and satisfactorily, for their important work.*
* The conditions of the competition are stated in the following circular :
I. Candidates must not be less than seventeen years of age, and shall be required to declare, before entering on the competition, that it is their wish and intention to devote themselves to the profession of teaching.
II. Each candidate must produce a certificate of his moral and religious character from the minister of the congregation to which he belongs. Such certificate shall also set forth his attainments in scholarship, the degree of aptitude for practical teaching which he may seem to possess, and any circumstances in his history with which the committee ought to be acquainted.
III. Each candidate must be in attendance at the seminary on the morning of Saturday, 26th September, for the purpose of being enrolled as a candidate.
IV. The competition will be chiefly conducted by written questions, and the examinators will be guided in awarding the bursaries by the comparative results of the examination, the certificates of the ministers, and the report of the Rector of the Normal School in regard to aptitude for practical teaching.
V. The committee will not defray the travelling expenses of unsuccessful candidates, but they would strongly urge, that, when necessary, these expenses should be defrayed by local parties acquainted with and interested in the young men recommended.
VI. The bursaries shall consist of three classes, for which sums of 10l., 15., and 201., shall be set apart respectively.
VII. The bursars shall give regular attendance in the Normal School from the beginning of October until the end of July, and shall during that period be in all respects subject to the discipline and arrangements of that institution. The bursaries shall be payable in monthly instalments, and the committee reserve to themselves full power at any time to withhold further payments on considering the
The results have been most satisfactory. A considerable number of young men have appeared for examination, from year to year. And, though the Directors have been compelled to limit their assistance to the most distinguished among the competitors, the preparatory studies of the unsuccessful candidates have not been fruitless or in vain; for, returning home, they devote themselves to another year's earnest preparation, now prosecuting their studies with a more precise and definite aim, and almost certain to obtain, in the end, the reward that first prompted, and continues to sustain, their efforts.
It is only after having passed this examination creditably, that a student, whether competing for a bursary or not, is formally enrolled in the books of the institution.
II. The course of instruction upon which the students enter, after having passed this examination, embraces Biblical Instruction, English Literature and Grammar, History and Geography, Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Practical Mathematics and Mechanics, Latin, Greek and the Elements of Hebrew, Drawing and Music, Chemistry, Botany, Vegetable Physiology and Cottage Gardening, with the Theory and Practice of the Art of Teaching.
The instructions in English Literature and Grammar, History and Geography, are given by Mr. Fulton, the Rector of the Institution; Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Practical Mathematics and Mechanics, are taught by the Mathematical Tutor, William Swan, Esq., F.R.S.E.; the studies in Latin, Greek and Hebrew are conducted by the Classical Tutor, the Rev. Peter Steele, A.M.; Drawing is taught by Mr. Surenne; French, by Mons. Deflandre; Music, by Mr. Strang; and Chemistry, by Dr. John Murray. To Botany, Vegetable Physiology, and Cottage Gardening a portion of the leisure time of the students is devoted, and their instructions in these branches are communicated by Mr. Stark to whom the Committee have given the use of the garden-ground attached to the institution in return for these instructions.
The exposition of the Theory of Teaching, and the superintendence of the students, when engaged in practising in the Model schools, is the special work of the Rector.
A copy of the time-table will be found appended to this Report.
periodical Reports made to them by the rector and tutors regarding the conduct and progress of the bursars.
N.B.-There must be throughout the church many under the age of seventeen. whom it is highly desirable to aid and encourage in their preparatory studies. Deacons' courts and presbyteries are earnestly recommended to use every exertion in their power for bringing forward such youths, until they have arrived at the stage which will bring them within the scope of the committee's scheme of encon ragement by bursaries..
* See Appendix No III.