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Two masters to be appointed to
labour, that, according to Mr. Edye, it leaves it "of little value;" thirdly I save for the purposes of the school, every day, the half hour which is allowed to each apprentice for coming from his work to the schoolroom. a saving amounting to three hours per week. He is on my plan to com directly from his own home to the school. Fourthly, I make no other claim upon the time of the apprentices than is made by the ordinary service of the yards, and thus I take one step towards securing that public opinioe amongst them favourable to the objects of the school, without which all the labours of the schoolmaster will be fruitless.
For the instruction of the apprentices of each of the three schoolsPortsmouth, Plymouth, and Chatham, which I have inspected-I propose each school. that there should be appointed two masters, who are to have no other duties to perform, and hold no other appointments. One of these-the Eng lish master-to be charged with the religious instruction, and the ordinary elements of an English education; the other to be the mathematical master, and to be charged with the department of exact science. Separate lecture rooms should in every school be appropriated to the use of these masters each room containing a gallery with parallel desks capable of seating 40 apprentices. There should moreover be a third lecture room, having a gallery in which the entire number of apprentices may at any time be assembled. Besides the two masters thus constantly employed in each school, I propose that a gentleman of the dock-yard, having been a student in the Naval Architectural College, should be appointed in each school to give instruction to the two first divisions in what immediately The method concerns the practice of naval construction. The method of instruction should be chiefly that known as the method of oral instruction, "s practised at the Battersea Training Institution, and at the Greenwich schools."
to be chiefly oral.
During the hours occupied by the lecturer on naval architecture, both masters will be set free, and one day in the week will be left entirely without school duties. Under these circumstances the labour of the masters will certainly not be greater than in ordinary schools.
The subjects of instruction which appear to be proper for dock-yard schools may be classed under the following heads-religious knowledge, general literature, scientific knowledge, drawing, vocal music, and I sug gest a distribution of the school hours among these subjects according to the following time table :
Each division containing from 20 to 35 apprentices, each sub-division The discior class will contain from 10 to 18.
pline render ed easy by The management of each such class, so far as the discipline is concerned, sub-division. will under these circumstances be comparatively easy; and the educational power placed in the hands of a skilful and experienced schoolmaster by a sub-division so complete is scarcely to be overrated.
For the religious instruction of the apprentices, the time table provides Religious that a Bible lesson given by the English master forin part of the devotional Instruction. exercises of the morning. In order to compensate for the additional labour of three-quarters of an hour, which will thus fall to the share of the English master, I propose that he should be set free on that afternoon when the sub-division of the first section attends the school for the instruction of the mathematical master. (See p. 4.)
The whole course of religious instruction should be placed under the superintendence of the chaplain, and whenever it is convenient to him to attend the school during the hours set apart for it, it is desirable that he should examine the apprentices, or give them such other religious instruction as he may judge to be expedient. Although this time table is constructed for the larger schools in which there are two masters, yet it is applicable to the smaller schools in which there is but one, if the whole of each division be taught in one class, and the number of divisions be three instead of four.
It will be remembered that the four divisions attend the School on different days, and that each division has two classes.
By a knowledge of the English language, I understand with a reference to the object of these schools, a ready apprehension of the meanings of words and of sentences, and the power to convey our ideas with precisi and accuracy, orally and in writing. Under the first head, etymology is instruction. included, and under the others orthography and English grammar.
The course of instruction in the English language may, I conceive, be advantageously combined for the purposes of these schools with those in history and geography, so as to be taught at the same time with them; and with this view I would suggest that a course of reading lessons on history and geography be prepared and printed on a plan to be detailed hereafter. to be used in the schools alternately in the morning and afternoon, (and therefore with the same divisions on different days); and that after each lesson Text Books has been read, the master proceed to examine the class, first upon the pared for the meanings of the more difficult words, instructing them in their etymology; secondly, in the meanings of the more difficult sentences, instructing them in their grammatical construction; and thirdly, in the scope of the lesson and in their intelligence of its subject matter.
to be pre
In the answers which they give to the questions he thus proposes to them, they should be accustomed to put their ideas under complete and grammatical forms ef expression.
They should moreover be made to take their books home with them, and required, when they next attend the school, to write out on paper* in correct language, carefully spelt, and with a due attention to the penmanship, their recollections of the last lesson.
The papers thus written out by each apprentice should be stitched together in a book, and preserved for the inspection of the officers of the dock-yard, and the examination of the inspector.
The scientific course of instruction should be strictly a course of prac tical science. A long experience in this kind of instruction, and some ac quaintance with practical men, have convinced me that theoretical and practical knowledge may so exist in the same mind, that the theory shall have no relation to the practice, and the practice no dependence on the theory. There may be the mathematical power, and the opportunity for its application, and yet that application may never be made, so that except, in so far as he is benefited by that general education of his mind, which is the result of scientific studies, the practical man would do just as well without them.
It is the especial object of schools, such as these, to bring about the union of these elements, to make the application of mathematical principles to practical uses. How far a few such principles will go in this application, the experience of the department of the applied sciences at King College, of some of the training schools for masters, and even of several elementary schools, has fully shown. With a view to this application in the dock-yard schools, I propose that a series of reading lessons should be prepared in mechanics, in mechanism, in experimental science and in manufacturing art.
Text books on pure mathematics should also be prepared for the use of the schools. On arithmetic and the first part of algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, descriptive geometry, the differential and integral calculus, the second part of algebra, &c., &c.
They might be bound in a single volume, with the three or four first books of Euclid, and a collection of problems and examples.
When placed in possession of these books, the apprentice will have cupation for his leisure hours, on those days when he does not attend the school. Each school ought, moreover, to be provided with a well-selected lending library.
The apparatus should include a set of models to illustrate the principles
This is of course to be done without reference to the books.
of mechanism; and I would recommend that these models represent the
To these should be added models of tools, to which Mr. Holtzappfell's Apparatus.
It appears desirable, that a taste for experimental philosophy and che- Experimenta mistry should be encouraged among them; some would probably be found Philosophy to attach themselves to these experimental subjects who do not excel in mistry. others. The best way of introducing them to their notice would be to include them among the subjects treated of in their reading lessons, they would thus acquire a well grounded knowledge of the principles. To fix these in the mind, they must, however, be illustrated by experiments, and for this object I would propose that a course of lectures should be given during the winter evenings, once or twice a week, and that laboratory should be established in connexion with each school, to which some of the students may have access, and where the experiments necessary for the lectures may be prepared. Apparatus must be prepared for these lectures. At the Greenwich Schools, lectures of this kind are given by the masters, who are allowed at the rate of half a guinea for each lecture, and give, each, twenty lectures annually. There is this advantage in the arrangement, that it encourages a taste for scientific pursuits among the masters themselves, and gives useful and instructive occupation for their leisure hours. At Portsmouth Dockyard School a lecturer on chemistry has been appointed, whose lectures are delivered once a fortnight.
The respect which persons of the class of these apprentices are likely to The social have for the school, and its discipline, and for the instruction they receive position of there, is dependent, in no slight degree, on tho social position they see assigned to the schoolmaster, Had I indeed, no other motive, than the estimation in which the boys should be led to hold the functions of the schoolmaster-taking into my view the importance which attaches to that estimation-I should not hesitate to recommend that a liberal salary, and a respectable rank in the yard be assigned to him. But what is not of less importance, the deference of the officers of the yard for the business of the school, and the respect of the schoolmaster for himself, depend mainly upon the consideration which the Lords Commissioners may thus publicly think fit to show him.
For carrying out a system of instruction, such as I have described, teachers of superior ability and of great energy are moreover required, and, at the present time, such teachers cannot be procured, or, at least, kept, except upon liberal terms.
If, according to my proposition, all the apprentices were sent only a day in the week, instead of a day and a half, a saving of one-third of the time would thus be effected; but as some of them are to attend more than one day, I will suppose it one-fourth, three-fourths only of the time will then be spent upon the schools that is at present spent. Thus, assuming the present expenditure for the wages of that time to be 20007. annually for three-fourths of the time it will be 18007., so that there will be a saving effected in the labour of the apprentices amounting to 500l.
ciency of the Schools in
This is a considerable set-off against the increased salaries of the masters. If it be asked, how with so large a deduction from the time at present creased, not devoted to the schools, I can expect to obtain more satisfactory results, my withstanding answer is, that I have provided for it by a higher standard of admission that the school-hours and a more perfect system of instruction.
are short- With reference to the books which I have recommended to be prepared ened. and printed for the schools, I am aware that the preparation of them cannot The expense but be attended with great expense and trouble, inasmuch as it would be of providing desirable to secure for this object the co-operation of men of acknowledged the requisite Text-books. ability and eminent attainments. The thing is however practicable, and I know of no greater boon that could at the present moment be conferred on the cause of popular education, than the publication of such a series of works.
The possibility of form ing in the Dock-yard Schools, a class of
It is not to be expected that, without the aid and the support of these books, the masters should pursue any such comprehensive or uniform course as that which I have here sketched out. To form them to it, it would be necessary to establish a training school especially for that object, and to prescribe a preliminary course of two or three years' instruction. By this expedient they will be made to train themselves, and their scholars placed in a position more advantageous for benefiting by their instructions than probably any other which could be devised.
In concluding this Report, I am desirous to record the impression I have derived from the examination of the schools, as to the possibility of forming and selecting from the body of the apprentices, a class qualified to enter on a higher course of instruction, and eventually to fill with advantage to the public service, responsible appointments in the administration of Her Majesty's Dock-yard. Low as is the standard of scientific instruction hitherto reached, and most deplorable the ignorance in all that belongs to literature, yet, from what I have seen even here, and yet more from what I know of Portsmouth, the experience of the public training institutions for schoolmasters, the students in which come from a like condition in life to these youths, I entertain an intimate conviction that this result is practicable.
youths qualified to be transferred
to the Central
It is quite possible, and indeed probable, that some of these youths, the best of whom have given me but dubious evidence of mathematical power, would have developed unquestionable ability if a more perfect education had afforded them the opportunity of doing so; and I have no doubt, that among the mass who have given no evidence whatever of instruction, except as to its first and most technical and mechanical elements, there are many whose minds proper opportunities and skilful teaching would draw out, and who would be found gifted with talents equal to any exigency of the public service.
Youths thus educated could scarcely fail to unite with the theoretical knowledge they might acquire, a great amount of practical skill; and although a few only could hope to attain to offices of great emolument, yet the rest to whose lot subordinate appointments would fall, could not regret the pursuit of studies which had raised them from the condition of common labourers.
In the present state of the schools, it appears to me impossible to make satisfactorily a selection of youth qualified for the central school at Portsmouth. It would seem, therefore, to be inexpedient to commence that college until a more efficient course of instruction shall, for at least twelve months, have been in operation, and the more so as the students first admitted will probably be those who will first succeed to offices of trust and responsibility, and by whom the character of the Institution will be fixed. If the schools be placed upon a new system at Midsummer next, arrangements should be made for opening the central school at Midsummer, 1848.
As long as the business of the apprentices' school is made to give place to School may every other in the dock-yard, it cannot be expected to stand high in the