Skip to main content

Full text of "Studies in foreign education, with special reference to English problems"

See other formats

.:r STUDIED jiN,: 







Henrg W. Sage > ** 

%n(^^i>i juluitj 


Cornell University Library 
LA622 .B84 

Studies In foreign education 


3 1924 030 561 553 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



Board of Education Special Reports on 
Educational Subjects. 
Vol. 7. The Rural Schools of North-west France. 
Vol. 24. A Comparison between French and Eng- 
lish Secondary Schools. 
United States Bureau of Education. 

Report of the Commissioner of Education for 
the Year ending June 30, 1910. Vol. I, Chap- 
ter XV, Education in Ireland. 
Reisn's Encyclopedia of Education. 

Article on Higher Education in England and 


The Teaching of Modern Languages, with 

Special Reference to Big Towns. London: 

Blackie & Son. 

Memorandum on Modern Language Teaching. 

Cambridge : The University Press. 
Pitt Press Series. Appendix to (i) Remi en 
Angleterre, (2) Le Blocus. Cambridge: The 
University Press. 
SiEPMANN's French Series. London : Mac- 
millan & Co. 
Une Annfe de College i Paris— Andrd Laurie (in 

conjunction with Fabian Ware). 
Marchand d'Allumettes — A. Gennevraye. 
Un Saint — Paul Bourget. 
Little French Classics. London : Blackie & 
Histoire de I'Adjudant — A. de Vigny. 
Le Philosophe sans le Savoir — M.-J. Sedaine. 
Oxford Modern French Series. Feuilletons 

choisis. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 
Translation of " Underground Man," by G. Tarde. 

London : Duckworth & Co. 
Translation (in conjunction with F. Rothwell) of 
"Laughter," by H. Bergson. London: Mac- 
millan & Co. 
















A KIND of tidal wave of unrest is at present sweeping through 
the English educational world, and the future outlook is 
still more unsettled, as the Government, through Lord 
Haldane, have recently indicated a possible reorganization 
or at least readjustment of our system of national education. 
The spirit of inquiry and discontent has invaded even the 
most cloistral of our schools, and time-honoured methods 
and traditional aims are everywhere being challenged and 
criticized. Instinctively we look abroad to see how our 
neighbours are faring, not without a hope that a careful 
investigation of their methods of dealing with similar prob- 
lems may in some cases indicate a solution or a way out 
of our growing difficulties. 

The present volume of collected studies is concerned with 
a large number of such thorny questions. The first and 
longest, which has already appeared as a Board of Education 
special report, deals with some of the principal controversies 
connected with secondary education in France and England. 
It discusses, for instance, the relations between State and 
local control, the supervision of private schools, the quaU- 
fications, salaries and tenure of assistant masters, the en- 
forced ceUbacy of many of the EngUsh teachers, the position 
and powers of the headmasters in the two countries, the 
merits of yearly or terminal promotions, of the " set " 
system versus the rigid class organization, and the kindred 


problem of class or specialist teachers. The burning ques- 
tion of external examinations is dealt with at considerable 
length and the " ungodlx4Mnbk/^-D£JexaIIUIW3^bodies,in 
Ene ;land expo sed, as well as the too , mechani cal nature-of 
mar]yjpi_Qur. examiaaliQi^, which a study of French methods 
might correct. A good deal, too, may be learnt, it is be- 
lieved, from the French method of studying the mother 
tongue and from the naorgJintHlprtual atmosj^ier-e -that 
pervgdes-the -Exench --school, while the superiority of the 
English ^public school in forming .character is also insisted 
on. An attempt is made throughout to indicate that while 
educational machinery — or rather organization — ^is an abso- 
lute necessity, its whole raison d'etre is not to lessen and 
hamper the living thing it deals with, but to ensure that 
life may be diffused and distributed more abundantly. 
In these days when the majority of our views and con- 
ceptions are sicklied o'er with a philosophy too exclusively 
based on the quantitative and mechanical sciences it is 
well to remember that the school is not a factory but a 
nursery, and that its products are not standardized auto- 
mata manufactured and turned out by the gross, but are 
or should be subtly differentiated human beings. Edu- 
cation in its final analysis is really a problem in psychology ; 
and perhaps in support of this view I may cite a letter from 
Monsieur Henri Bergson, the well-known author of L'£volti- 
tion creatrice : 

" I have at last finished the reading of your study, and 
I want to tell you how much it has interested and instructed 
me. Not only is it full of material information which one 
can find in it alone, but, moreover and above all, it contains 
a complete comparative psychology of the two systems 
of education, which is of the highest interest. It is the 
first time to my knowledge that a work of this kind has 
been undertaken, or at least has been pushed to such a 


degree of thoroughness. One will be able, I am sure, to 
derive from it useful lessons both in France and in England." 

As for its general accuracy as far as France is concerned, 
I- may perhaps quote from a letter of Monsieur A. Ribot, 
formerly Premier and chairman of the Commission on 
Secondary Education in France, which reported in 1899 on 
the subject in sevea volumes : 

" It is not possible, I believe, to treat this subject with 
a greater competence, or a more perfect knowledge of all 
the details. The sojourn that you have made in France in 
order to understand our methods of teaching has allowed 
you to go to the bottom of things and not to stop short at 
superficial views." 

Many of the leading educationists in England, France, 
Germany and America have expressed themselves in equally 
favourable terms, so it is to be hoped that the facts and 
views contained in the report are reasonably correct or at 
least well founded. 

The article on French Universities is an object-lesson of 
the way in which the French, in spite of their excessive 
centralization, have developed a system of local univer- 
sities. That on Rural Education deals with a question of 
capital importance for us at the present time. The system 
of giving the dwellers in the country a " townee " education 
is gradually passing away, and perhaps this article may 
help to hasten the necessary transformation, by recognizing 
the child's actual environment and experience as the prin- 
cipal basis of its education. The article on Moral Instruc- 
tion in France deals also with another burning problem, 
which is more and more coming to the front in this country. 
It attempts to show that the subject as taught in that 
country is not a dry-as-dust collection of moral maxims, but 
an organic and natural outgrowth of that intellectuaUsm 
touched with emotion that is the predominant feature and 


element in French education. The article in question has 
had the honour of being translated into French for the 
Revue pedagogique, the official organ of French education, 
at the instance of Monsieur Louis Liard, Vice-Rector of 
Paris University and the head of French education. 

It is unnecessary to speak on the importance of school 
hygiene at the present day and on the question of some sort 
of physical training for the young, whether miUtary or not. 
The monograph on " Physical Education in France," pre- 
sented to the Royal Commission on Physical Training, deals 
with these and other similar topics which are stiU warmly 
debated in this country. The other reports on French 
institutions are sufficiently explained by their titles. 

" A Look Round German Schools " and " The New Way 
of Teaching Classics in Germany " emphasize various points 
where we may with advantage copy German methods, 
especially in respect to teaching the mother tongue and the 
classical languages, while the article on " Toward France 
or Germany : EngUsh Education at the Crossways," sums 
up in favour of the former rather than the latter as the more 
worthy of our example in those departments of education 
in which our own system seems to be weak. If America, 
on the one hand, seems more remote than France or Ger- 
many, as far as distance is concerned, it is in regard to some 
of its educational problems far nearer than any European 
country. The munificence of its millionaires in the cause 
of education, its rapid assimilation of the alien, and the 
cult of individuaUty rather than of results in its schools 
are all points that we in England would do well to imitate. 

We cannot go to school with any nation, or in other 
words we cannot bUndly adopt the organization or methods 
of any of our neighbours, for each nation has evolved its 
own particular way of dealing with its educational flora, 
the result of long years of trial and experiment ; but as 


ardent pueri-ciilturists, to use the French term, we can try 
to study and understand the methods and above all the 
loving care and insight that each nation lavishes on the 
coming generation. If we know our own country well, we 
can with a certain diifidence say what is practical in the 
way of imitation, whether it be adoption or adaptation ; 
we can also see what it is advisable to safeguard against 
— for prevention is a large part of educational practice, 
and the teacher who says " Don't " to himself saves himself 
from having to say many " Don'ts " to the children ; and, 
lastly, we may catch what is perhaps the most difficult, 
yet the most precious thing of all, a portion of that divine 
spirit or afflatus that pervades a great national system, and 
make it not merely our own, but communicate its inspiration 
to our fellow-countrymen, whether they be administrators, 
teachers, or parents. 

I have to thank the Comptroller of His Majesty's Sta- 
tionery Offlce for leave to pubUsh the first article, which 
formed part of volume 24 of the Board of Education series 
of Special Reports and Enquiries. I have also to thank 
the Editors, past and present, of The Monthly Review, 
Nature, The Journal of Education, The School World, School, 
and The Practical Teacher for similar permission to re- 
publish articles which have appeared in their pages. 




A Comparison between French and English 
Secondary Schools i 

[Reprinted from Vol. 24 of Special Reports on Educa- 
tional Subjects, published by the Board of Education.] 

Thirty Years _ of University Education ' in 
France 173 

[Nature, August 6th, 1903 ; reprinted in The Educa- 
tional Review of America.] 

French Rural Education 185 

[Address delivered at the Society of Arts, December 
loth, igo2.] 

The True Inwardness of Moral Instruction in 
France 214 

[Journal of Education, February, 1908; translation in 
Revue p4dagogique.'} 

Physical Education in France .... 223 

[A monograph included in the Report of the Royal 
Commission on Physical Training (Scotland), June 
20th, 1902,] 

The Infant Schools of France . . • /^ • 245 

[The Practical Teacher, September, 1898.] 



The Paris International Guild .... 250 

\The Journal of Education, December, 1902.] 

A Look Round German Schools .... 253 
[The Journal of Education, April, 1904.] 

The New Way of Teaching Classics in Germany 263 

[The School World, Mq,y, 1904; reprinted in The 
Educational Review of America.] 

Toward France or Germany? English Educa-x- 

TION AT THE CrOSSWAYS . . . . /. 274 

[Lecture delivered at tlie Sorbonne ; The Moiithly — 


A Bird's-eye View of American Education . 291 

[The Monthly Review, December, 1901.] 




Difficulties of making a comparison — extent of ac- 
quaintance with French schools— the recent educa- 
tional reforms in the two countries — coming prob- 
lems in England — contrast rather than comparison 
— each may learn of the other .... 9 

I. Administration. 

(i) Relation to the State and to the Locality. 

France : {a) Relation to the State — (&) to the locality — 
the lyc^e autonome — Uablissements libres — England : 
relation to the State and the locality — ^non-local 
schools — local schools — ^the private schools — op- 
tional inspection — superiority of France in central 
control — redeeming points in England — local con- 
trol : superiority of England — to encourage private 
initiative in France 13 

(ii) Proviseurs and Headmasters : their Relative 

The proviseur (or directeur) — his position — defects in 
his position — partial reforms — a lycSe autonome : 
Lakanal. — The English headmaster : his inde- 
pendence — his position as regards the boys — his 
personal influence . . . .22 

(iii) Teachers : their Appointment, Qualifications, 
and Position. 

Professeurs and maUres-r6pHUeurs — (a) Professeur — 
his high qualifications — the licence — the agrdgaiion 
training — the ficole Normale — the doctoral — connec- 
tion with the University too close ? — need of caution 
in making financial comparisons between France and 
England — the hours of work — prospects — fixity of 
tenure — penisions — salaries — (6) Maitre-ripMiteur — 
his position — proposed reforms — the English teacher 
— the French teacher best off — the English teacher's 
qualifications — registration — qualifications, in theory 



nil in practice varied and extensive — dangers of 
asking too much of teachers — training — salaries : 
their infinite variety — prospects — lack of leisure — 
tenure — social position — marriage prospects 3° 

II. Internal Economy. 

(i) Formalities on Admission — Age of Pupils — Super- 

Formalities on admission, age limits : (a) France^(6) 
England — Superannuation 41 

(ii) Maintenance of Standard — Organization of 
Classes, Sets, etc. 

Maintenance of standard — class organisation — sets : 

(a) France — (6) England — standard maintained in 
England by external examinations — a possible alter- 
native — sets : their raison d'etre — possible extension 

of the system ........ 42 

(iii) Form Masters or Expert Teachers. 

(a) France : preponderance of the specialist teacher — 

(b) England : visiting specialists a pis aller — possible 
increase in speciaUst teachers — the form master : his 
degrees of excellence .... -44 

(iv) Average Length of Time spent in each Class — 

Stay in each class — promotions : (a) France — (6) Eng- 
land — promotion by seniority . . . -47 

(v) Examinations : their Conduct and Aim — Prepara- 
tion FOR THE Higher Examinations — Radical 
Differences between French and English 


(a) France — the lower classes free from public ex- 
aminations — certificat — baccalauriat — difficulty of 
examination — the first part (formerly rhitorique) : 
subjects— caynei scolaire — aim of the first part — the 
subjects in philosophy — conduct of the examinations 
in the two parts — the aim of the second part, and of 
the examinations as a whole. — The rhitorique supi- 
rieure — mathimatiques spioiales and the cours 
spiciaux de matMmatiques — the special schools — 
entrance age — a case for co-ordination — the chauff- 
age. (fi) English examinations : the present chaos — 
external examinations ; the Trojan horse — multi- 
plicity of examinations in the schools — multiplicity 
of entrance examinations — evil effects on the schools. 



— The uses of examinations — ^possible remedies — 
radical differences between French and English 
examinations — English examinations mainly an 
audit of knowledge — a verification of facts — French 
examinations an audit on the art of production 
rather than of reproduction — the best method 
probably a compromise between the two ideals. — 
Oral examinations — superiority of the French — the 
merits of oral examinations — probable revival of 
oral examinations in England 48 

(vi) Privileges attached to Completion of Full School 
^^-^ ~ Course. 

In France : one general leaving certificat which is an, 
entrance to all the professions — far-reaching effects 
of this new reform — In England : school leaving 
certificate in its infancy — equivalents . . .62 

(vii) School Hours. 

(a) France : school hours — length of lessons — (6) Eng- 
land : school hours — length of lessons . . .64 

(viii) Home Work. 

(a) France : little or no regulation — (6) England : 
some regulation. — Desiderata — comparison between 
hours in French and English schools . . .66 

(ix) The Teaching of Subjects. 

Only a partial comparison possible — the mother tongue 
— the French essay — the real meaning of composition 
— the effect of this literary excellence on modern 
language teaching in England. — Position of the 
mother tongue in theFrench schools of to-day. — Latin 
and the mother tongue (France) — The mother tongue 
in England — reform tendencies — classics in French 
schools — methods — classics in England — attempted 
comparisons with France — ^English and French Latin. 
— Modern languages : (a) France — (6) England — a 
word for translation — history and geography : (a) 
France — (b) English history — geography : (a) France 
— a point for English schools to consider — mathe- 
matics : France — two great advantages — points 
worth noting — science : France — comparative lack 
of practical work — superiority of England — other 
subjects 70 

Appendix. — Comparison of the teaching of subjects by 
M. Duhamel entitled " Une Experience p6dagogique 
franco-anglaise " . . . ... . .90 



(x) General Teaching Methods — Marks. 

(a) France : the methods — (i) old style — (2) new 
style — (6) England : the two aims of questioning un- 
differentiated. — Marks : their pros — their cons — the 
cult of marks — good servants, bad masters . . 94 

(xi) Standard of Mental Maturity and Intellectual 
Comparatively early mental maturity of the French 
boy — influence of education — of race — of milieu — 
the absence of a schoolboy atmosphere as it exists 
in England — the home influence in France . . 97 

(xii) Rewards and Punishments. 

Rewards — punishments — {a) France — (6) England- 
impositions — their abuse — the ethics of " caning " — 
its philosophical basis . . . . .101 

III. Relations between Home and School. 
(i) Day Boys and Boarders. 

/ (a) France : carnet de correspondance — ties between 

^ parents and teachers — the French mother — ^Pfere 

Didou on the subject — (6) England : growth of tie in 
the day-schools — the schoolmaster a foster-parent- — 
tie between home and boarding schools — parental 
pride in the schools — the " old boy " and the school 
— social ties between headmaster and parents — 
parents' meetings . . . . . . .104 

(ii) Hostels. 

In France : hostels — In England : hostels and houses 
— the female element — which ideal ? — State or 
family ? . . . . . . . . .110 

(iii) The Religious Question. 

Provisions for religious instruction in France — (i) the 
aumdnier — a new departure : (2) la morale — a speci- 
men lesson — la classe de philosophie — England : the 
Broad Church spirit in the schools — a noteworthy 
tendency . . . . . . . . .112 

IV. Boy Life. 

(i) School Games. 

School games in France — their history— obstacles to 
their spread : (i) Fear of accidents — (2) parental 
indifference and opposition — (3) premature recruit- 
ing by the clubs — the real value of games appreciated 



in some quarters — games in England — dangers con- 
tingent on the excessive pursuit of athletics — the 
athletic master — the degradation of the intellectual 
life — the remedy— Mr. Benson on the subject . ■ H7 

(ii) Gymnastics. 

Gymnastics : their limited vogue in French schools — 
les bataillons scolaires — England : gymnastics — cadet 
corps. — Anthropometric developments . . .124 

(iii) Opportunities for Intellectual Self-development. 

France : school libraries — class libraries — England : 
school libraries — the school and the pubUc library — 
school reading-rooms — comic papers too much en 
Evidence — original prize competitions in England — 
the concours gdnSral . . . . . . .126 

(iv) School Societies. 

School societies in France — the English debating 
society — its merits — literary societies — school 
theatricals — other societies — the school magazine . 129 

(v) School Surroundings — Social Life — Manners — 
Code of Honour. 

France : the milieu — (a) moral surroundings — signs 
of a change — the saving virtue in French education 
— (6) material surroundings — no gathering of the 
classes in the French schools — hence little sense of 
community — caution against exaggerating the situa- 
tion — manners and character . . . • 131 

England : the life of the boarder — its untroubled joys 
— need of choosing a career — the day boy — the pubfic 
school tradition — manners — attempted sketch of the 
typical boy ........ 138 

Appendix.—" L'Honneur chez le Lyceen franjais," 
by M. Veillet- La valine ... . . 143 

■. New Experiments in Secondary Education. 

(i) The Chorus of Critics — PfeRE Didon. 

The chorus of critics — new experiments — P6re Didon 
— his life-purpose — criticisms of the present system — 
the needs of the age — how to meet them in the 
schools — PSre Didon in England — his premature 
death — the extent of his influence .... 146 

(ii) M. Demolins and his Imitators. 

M. Demolins — A quoi tient la supSrioriU des Anglo- 
Saxons — an interesting comparison — L'&ducation 



nouvelle and the ficole des Roches — the school at 
work : a visit — its future — the ficole de I'lle de 
France — its programme 152 

(iii) M. DUHAMEL. 

M. Duhamel — his profession of faith — the raison d'Hre 
of the new departure — French education as it is — a 
health catechism — the new rigime on education — 
the College de Normandie — sumptuary laws — a 
modest beginning essential — general regulations — 
vices secrets — their prevention — subsequent history 
— English influence in France- — imitation should not 
be all on one side . ..... 159 

Bibliography . . 167 


A COMPARISON betw een any branch of English educa tion 
and Its corres ponding equivalent in some loreign syste m can 
never^gleiasy-'- The elasticity and variety that prevail in 
evSy grade of English school make it difficult in many cases 
to say with absolute definiteness what is really tj^ical and 
representative. At practically every point of comparison 
one could cite schools which in the particular matter under 
review can vie successfuUjt-with the best that obtains in 
the best schools elsewherej But English secondary edu- 
cation, like the English climate, is made up of a very large 
number of samples. If its specimens when good are very, 
very good, it is no less certain that when they are not they 
are often horrid enough in all conscience. 

Still no doubt a rough and ready estimate can be framed 
of the management, methods, aims, and ideals of the general 
run of English secondary schools, and to provide such an 
approximation will be the earnest endeavour of the present 

1 Note. — The second draft of this report was finished in November, 
1903. It was revised by means of notes in January, 1909, and Jan- 
uary 19 1 3, and to these footnotes the date has been prefixed. I have 
to thank especially for aiding me in making these revisions M. Liard, 
Vice-Recteur de I'Universit^ de Paris ; M. Bayet, Directeur de 
I'Enseignement Sup6rieur ; M. Gautier and M. Lucien PoincarS, 
successively Directeurs de I'Enseignement Secondaire ; M. Brissou, 
private secretary to M. Gautier ; M. Darlu, Inspecteur-G6neral au 
Ministfere de I'lnstruction Publique ; M. Gabriel Lippmann, Membre 
de rinstitut, Professeur k la Sorbonne ; M. fimile Boutroux, Membre 
de I'Academie franfaise ; M. Henri Bergson, Professeur au College 
de France et Membre de I'lnstitut ; M. le Docteur Mathieu, President 
de la Ligue fran9aise pour I'Hygifene scolaire ; M. Brunot, Professeur 
d'Histoire de la Langue franjaise k la Sorbonne ; M. Belot, Inspecteur 
de I'Academie de Paris ; M. J. Demeny, Official Director of Physical 
Exercises ; M. Alfred de Tarde {Agathon) ; Mr. J. E. C. Bodley, the 
author of France, from whom I have received many valuable hints. 


HappDy the selection of normal types is far less arduoiis 
in the case of the French schools, owing to the uniformity 
of standard which State control and State oversight con- 
tribute to maintain, though it is probable the writer could 
hardly have ventured on the task if he had not had the 
exceptional privilege, through the kindness of the late M. 
Greard, formerly Vice-Recteur of the University, of passing 
more than a year in a well-known lycee, first as an eleve de 
rhitorique and afterwards de pMlosofhie at the mature age 
of thirty-two. 

Thanks to his exceptional position he thus enjoyed the 
friendship and confidence of boys and masters alike. With 
the former, once the excitement attending his apparition 
had evaporated, he quickly found himself on terms of the 
most charming cordiaJity. He saw them not only at school 
but in private life and in their own homes, to wluch he was 
not infrequently in\'ited. He was thus able to study the 
French boy in a close and thorough fashion, and, while not 
blind to his failings, to appreciate his many excellent quali- 
ties and sympathize with the disadvantages under which 
his education often labours. 

Again, from his close intercourse with the professors he 
learnt to realize their high standard of culture, the con- 
scientiousness and lucidity of their teaching, and their pro- 
found sense of the high intellectual task entrusted to them, 
even if on the educational side there seemed large lacuna 
for which the system itself was rather to blame. ^ As far 
then as his experience goes, the writer can speeik with con- 
fidence, though from the very nature of things the com- 
parison on the French side must necessarily be very largely 
confined to the State schools. 

Even with these reservations the hst of difficulties is by 
no means exhausted. Both P'rance and England have just 
gone through an educational revolution, the effects of 
which are far from being as yet complete. Each scholastic 
system is therefore in a state of unstable equilibrium, 
though no doubt once it has found its new centre of gravity 

' C/. Coubertin, L'^ducaiion anglaise en France, p. no : " Ce n'est 
pas I'ouvrier, c'est I'outil qui ne vaut rien." 


it will ultimately come to rest in a stronger position.^ In 
France the revolution has mainly affected curricula ; ^ with 
us it has been above all administrative. While our neigh- 
bours across the Channel have been recasting their pro- 
grammes from top to bottom, we have been reconstructing 
and consolidating our whole system of national education, 
in which for the first time secondary education finds definite 
official recognition. 

It must be owned that in spite of the new complexities it 
introduces, the reform presents at least one advantage for 
anyone attempting to institute a comparison, inasmuch as 
it allows us to say with, more certainty than before what 
is and what is not secondary education.^ Here, however, 
the advantage ceases. These far-reaching administrative 
changes are bound to produce in their turn a crop of other 
reforms before the schools settle down into something like 
stable conditions. The mere fact that henceforth the 
localities are responsible for the supply of secondary 
education in their midst must not only influence the 
financial, administrative, and pedagogical condition of 
the schools under their control, but also of the bigger 
schools, which, though virtually independent, are obhged 
to a certain extent to keep step with the local authorities' 

To mention only a few of the questions which must shortly 
come to the front, we have the cost of secondary education, 
involving * proper staffing and proper salaries ; the tenure 

iNoTE. — (1913). This prophecy seems likely to come true as far 
as France is concerned. In France certain readjustments have 
taken place in the curriculum, and others seem possible. But the 
actual division into four optional courses will in all likeUhood remain 

^ Note. — (1909.) Since 1903, a new factor has appeared in the 
definite separation of Church and State. The efiects of this change 
will be noted in the course of the report. 

' An instance of the difficulties of defining secondary education may 
be seen from an article in La Revue internationale de I'Enseignement, 
February, 1899 : Chronique de I'Enseignement, Angleterre. Les Re- 
formes prochaines dans I'Enseignement secondaire, by Cloudesley 

* NoTB. — (1909.) Many of these necessary reforms have been 
taken in band and solved to a certain extent. See notes on the 
section entitled " Teachers " and elsewhere. 


of teachers and their relations to the headmasters ; the need 
of properly thought-out time-tables with an eye to the needs 
of the district, involving on the one hand a definite challenge 
to the supremacy of Greek in the higher schools and on the 
other the necessity of rehabilitating literary studies ^ in the 
lower secondary schools. In these circumstances it seems 
more than probable that not a few of the contrasts made 
in this paper will shortly be more or less out of date. One 
says contrasts advisedly, because the points of difference 
in the two systems are infinitely more numerous than the 
points of resemblance. This is really a gain for both 
countries. Where one is strong the other is often weak. 
Where the one has made mistakes the other is often in the 
happy position to profit by them, if it will. Each, in fact, 
has much to learn from the other, both in the things to copy 
and in the things to avoid. 

I have to thank, for their valuable assistance in aiding 
the completion of the report, M. Rabier, Conseiller d'£tat, 
Directeur de I'Enseignement Secondaire ; M. Chariot, In- 
specteur-Gdneral au Ministere de ITnstruction Pubhque ; 
M. Hovelaque, Inspecteur-General au Ministere de 1' In- 
struction Pubhque ; M. H. Lemonnier, Rapporteur de la 
Classe III (Enseignement secondaire) a I'Exposition de 1900, 
Professeur a I'ficole Normale et a la Sorbonne ; M. Izoulet, 
Professeur au College de France, ancien Professeur de 
Philosophic au Lycee Condorcet ; M. Picavet, Redacteur- 
en-chef de la Revue internationale de I'Enseignement, Secre- 
taire au College de France ; M. Blanchet, Proviseur au 
Lyc6e Condorcet ; M. Ponee, Secretaire de la Direction de 
I'Enseignement Secondaire au Ministere de I'lnstruction 
Publique ; M. Duhamel, Directeur du College de Normandie 
the late M. DemoUns, Directeur de I'Ecole des Roches 
M. Scott, ancien Directeur de I'ficole de I'lle de France 
M. J. Manchon, Professeur au College de Normandie 
M. Veillet-Lavallde, Professeur au College Stanislas; and 
many others. 

' See Report on the Teaching of Literary Subjects in some Secondary 
Schools for Boys, by J. W. Headlam, Esq., M.A., in the General 
Reports on Higher Education for the year 1902, published by the 
Board of Education, Cd. 1738. 


(i) Relation to the State and to the Locality 

The secondary schools of France are divided into two cate- 
gories, the ecoles d'etat and the Scales libres. The State 
schools are divided into lycees and colleges ; ^ the former, which 
only exist in the more important towns, are entirely at the 
charge of the State, the colleges are supported in part by the 
town, but the position of the teacher as a State servant is 
the same in both types of school with the exception of one 
or two schools in Paris. All lycees and colleges take day- 
boys ; many also have a boarding house attached. 

The lycees and to a great extent the colleges are managed 
direct from the Ministry, which inspects all State schools 
through its inspecteurs-gineraux or through its represen- 
tatives on the spot {recteurs or inspecteurs d' academie. (It 
settles everything from the appointment of teachers ^ to the 
fixing of fees in the day and boarding departments, except 
that in the case of the colUge the towns in which they are 
situated have also a voice in the matter. The colleges are 
in fact divided into two categories, those en regie, in which 
the State and the locaUty are severally responsible in certain 
agreed proportions for the financial conditions of the day 
and boarding departments. 

About 14 per cent, of the colleges are under this regime, 
the rest, some 200 odd, are d, la charge du principal — that 
is to say, the State and town are responsible as heretofore 
for the finances of the day department. They also decide 

^ The comparative importance of the lyUe and college may be seen 
from the following figures. About 38 per cent, of pupils are in the 
colUges arid 62 per cent, in lycies (statistics of 1901 and 1908). There 
are 107 lycies and 233 colUges (in 1909, 108 lycies and 237 colleges). 

* The Sconome in the colUge is appointed by the town, and his 
appointment is confirmed by the Ministry. 


the maximum fee that may be charged in the boarding 
department, which is handed over to the 'principal of the 
school to be conducted at his own risk, the town being 
ultimately responsible for any deficit that may occur. In 
general there is a separate agreement between the town and 
the principal, which deals specifically with these matters. 
Except for these financial arrangements the locality has but 
Uttle part in the management of the school ; an effort has 
been made recently to remedy this defect, and the official 
authorities on the spot are urged — 

" To adapt the organization of the teaching to the local needs and 
possibilities by remembering that if it is incumbent on the colleges 
to offer the most varied resources and programmes to a clienUle, 
which does not wish to dissociate itself from them, and which seeks 
to find what it needs on the spot, this variety renders indispensable 
a flexibility in organization which has perhaps hitherto not received 
sufficient consideration." 

The idea is to encourage the localities to provide extra 
funds for such special courses as it desires to see introduced 
into the school teaching. These courses have to be sanc- 
tioned by the rector of the local university, though this 
difficulty does not seem to be very serious, as the word has 
gone forth that these new departures are to be encouraged. 
So far apparently several towns have availed themselves 
of the privilege. Attempts have been made at co-ordina- 
tion in connection with the college, a higher primary school, 
or an ecole pratique de commerce or an &cole pratique d'agri- 
culture.^ With a view to lessening further the present 
excessive centraUzation, a new departure has recently been 
made by the creation in different university regions of a 
certain number of lycSes autonomes, which are allowed to 
make experiments within certain limits. 

' For a beginning in these matters see Special Reports on Educa- 
tional Subjects, Vol. 7, Rural Edtication in France, page 180. Note. — 
(1909.) In no less than twenty-four instances in the provinces an 
icole primaire supirieure has been placed side by side with a colUge 
under the same principal, in order that the pupils may pass freely 
from one to the other, the colUge, of course, giving a general education 
and the icole primaire supirieure a technical, commercial, or agri- 
cultural training. I was also informed of a colUge in the north whose 
principal had successfully adopted an experimental course adapted 


The greater number of Mablissements libres are schools 
which were formerly conducted by religious orders,^ but 
have been transferred to private owners or to companies, 
as a result of the Law on the Associations.^ The others 
consist of " free schools " like the ecole alsacienne, or of 
ordinary private schools, including those which have been 
recently founded on more or less English lines. In all these 
schools the right of the State is restricted to a sanitary ii;- 
spection of the buildings and to an inspection of the text- 
books and note-books of the pupils. The object of this 
last-named safeguard is to prevent anything being taught 
which is contra bonos mores or against the Government. The 
inspectors have no right to be present at any of the lessons. 

to the needs of his district. But such experiments are apparently 
rare, as M. Maurice-Faure complains there are now in the lycies no 
supplementary classes preparing pupils for commerce, the Post OfBce, 
or tile railways. He further points out that there exists, apart from 
the higher primary schools, a so-called " regional " and technical 
education, but it is given in free schools, some of which receive State 
and municipal grants. There is, apparently, still need for greater 
elasticity in respect to local requirements, in spite of the trade schools 
established by the Ministry of Commerce. 

1 Note. — (1909.) This is no longer true, as these schools have lost 
a very large number of pupils. The latest figures available (1906) 
give the number of pupils in the quondam religious schools as 20,820, 
as against 35,049 in the enseignement libre sSculier, and 98,963 in the 
State schools. The latter have, since 1907, lost a certain number of 
pupils (96,289, fljoS), though their net gain since the passing of the 
Association Law is still very great, as the numbers (82,000 in igoi) 
show. Part of this decrease is due to the fall in the birth-rate ; part 
is due to the opening of a certain number of religious schools on the 
Belgian frontier and in England. It is considered probable by com- 
petent judges that the younger brothers of the boys who now go 
abroad for their education will frequent the State schools in ever- 
increasing numbers, owing to the enormous pressure indirectly 
exercised in all spheres of life by the State. — (1913.) The religious 
schools have recovered some of their lost ground — 56,836 in Nbvem- 
ber, 1912, as against 17,563 in the enseignement libre sdculier {laique) 
and 98,399 in the State schools. 

^ There are still under consideration proposals for drastic changes 
in the conditions of the enseignement libre, as far as secondary schools 
are concerned, even if the loi Falloux is not abolished outright, and 
thej so-called woMo^o/e established instead. Note. — (1913.) These 
revolutionary changes seem less likely to occur : a certain apaise- 
ment has set in, and people are frightened at the prospective expense, 
of which they have already had a foretaste by the compulsory closing 
of the religious elementary schools. 


The head teacher in the secondary portions of these 
schools must possess the title of hachelier, but no professional 
qualifications are required for the rest of the staff. Com- 
phance with similar conditions is a sine qua non for opening 
a private school, and infraction in their maintenance may 
entail the compulsory closing of the school either for a time 
or indefinitely. Every French parent knows that to what- 
ever school he sends his son, that establishment possesses 
the Government guarantee that the sanitary conditions 
comply with a certain definite minimum, and that the head 
teacher is at least a qualified person. 

This regard for quality and standard is carried to such 
a pitch that no free school can call itself a lycee. The 
general public are, however, so alive to the needs and 
standards of education that the various " flat-catching 
titles " of Academy, Academical Institution, High School, 
etc., are unknown in France. Whatever may be the state 
of some of the ecoles libres, they do not apparently need a 
fancy signboard to attract the attention of ignorant parents. 
It is rumoured that the Government intend shortly to 
demand that the teachers in the "higher parts of these schools 
should be licencies ; ^ such a state of things is, however, 
already the rule in not a few etablissements libres.^ 

In England the different categories of secondary schools, 
either within or without the full purview of pubhc control, 
are still very numerous. Matters, again, are complicated 
by the dual control which is exercised by the State and the 
locahties over many of the schools. The Education Act of 
1902 in fact divided up the non-private schools into local 
and non-local schools according to whether they were aided 
or not from the public funds. Under the latter heading 
fall the so-called great public schools such as Eton and 
Harrow, and such of the smaller endowed schools as do not 
accept State or rate aid. The majority of these non-local 
schools are, however, to a certain extent under the Board 
of Education, in respect to their endowment and finance 
as well as their educational functions, though this control, 

1 Note. — (1913.) Nothing so far has been done. 
' At least for the school year 1903-4. 


owing to the lack of any organized system of compulsory 
inspection, is largely nominal. These schools, therefore, 
enjoy a large measure of autonomy.^ 

The so-called local schools are' far from being a homo- 
geneous body. They include in their ranks the grammar 
schools in receipt of pubhc aid, trust schools, which retain 
a sum not exceeding 4 per cent, per annum on the capital 
expenditure for the purpose of repaying the amounts origin- 
ally subscribed, and the growing number of municipal and 
county council schools which have been founded during the 
last ten or twelve years by the local authorities. In the 
case of grammar schools, the Board of Education exercises 
a certain amount of oversight in respect to the purely ad- 
ministrative side of the endowments, etc., as well as over 
the curricula, or those parts of it which are inspected and 
receive grants from the central authority. It is clear that 
through the action of its inspectors, who freely criticise the 
methods and equipment, it has a considerable influence on 
the schools. 

But the real control is more and more passing into the 
hands of the local authority, which acts not only as a receiver 
but as dispenser of the grants earned in these schools, and 
in addition sometimes subsidizes them out of moneys re- 
ceived from local sources.^ The power assigned to the 
locaUties under the recent Act to frame for themselves their 
own system of education, subject to the approval of the 
Board of Education, again gives the localities a strong voice 
in the framing or re-casting of the programme of studies in 
these schools. The Board of Education has indeed divided 

1 (1909.) — It would appear that the comparative autonomy of 
these schools is likely to be challenged in the near future, the Board 
having recently announced its intention to inspect one of the largest 
of these schools (St. Paul's) . It is noteworthy that a motion at the 
Headmasters' Conference, December,. 1908, welcoming inspection by 
the Board under certain safeguards, was only lost by 25 to 20. — 
(1913.) A certain number of these schools have since voluntarily 
accepted inspection by the Board, notably Harrow, Wellington, 
cEfton, Bradfield, Dulwich, etc. In fact, over half the schools on the 
Headmasters' Conference have asked the Board to inspect them. 

' NoTK. — (1909.) The position is now roughly as follows : The 
county councils aid an increasing number of these schools, but no 
longer receive the Government grant. Their own subsidies are, 
B.B. B 


up the schools in question into two classes, A and B, i.e. 
into schools which are roughly technical and scientific, and 
those which rather give a more Uterary and general educa- 
tion. For a school to pass from or be placed in either one or 
the other class requires its sanction, but the lines are so elasti- 
cally drawn that a school in either category, and especially 
in B, possesses a wide latitude in .framing its programme.^ 

Outside these schools come the so-caUed private schools, 
which are likewise a very heterogeneous body. They in- 
clude a large number of first-rate ^ preparatory schools, 
which serve as nurseries and feeders to the big public schools 
and the private schools generally, good, bad, and indifferent. 
The classification of these schools has as yet not got beyond 
mere enumeration. In the only comprehensive statistics 
on secondary education which have so far been compiled 
and published, all private venture schools have had perforce 
to be included, down to the veriest dame school and private 
kindergarten,* it being quite impossible to find a line of 

All these schools, however, now have a right to demand 
to be officially inspected at the public cost, both in respect 
to their teaching and buildings, provided they fulfil certain 
conditions. Both they and some or aU of the teachers in .. 
them may be recognized as efficient by the Board of Edu- 
cation. It seems possible that this optionsd inspection 

however, framed in consideration of the amount of the Government 
grants. At the same time, the number of municipal and county 
council secondary schools has largely increased. 

1 NoTK. — (1909.) Important reforms have taken place of recent 
years which should lead to the codification of secondary education. 
The Board has issued a list of secondary schools, has abolished 
the division between A and B schools, given the schools greater 
liberty to draw up their time-tables, and has made a start towards 
providing for the training of secondary teachers. 

" A competent authority, Mr. Tarver (in The Nation's Need), esti- 
mates the amount expended by parents on preparatory schools in 
England at about a million and a quarter per year. 

' Even in France the difficulty of classifying what is and what is 
not secondary education is not unknown, as tiiere is no official de- 
finition. Thus it has been held at law that a boarding-house kept 
by a dame for children attending a free school was an establishment 
of secondary education. (Gobron, Ligislation ei Jurisprudence de 
I' Enseignement public . . . en France, 1900, § 1664, p. 466.) 


may prove the thin end of the wedge in the way of bringing 
all the private schools in the country under a limited form 
of public control. When the majority of efficient private 
schools have received pubUc recognition, those who still 
hang back may possibly be legally forced to submit to 
inspection or else be compulsorily closed. 

In this way we may see the end of the charlatanism which 
is still too rife among our private schools. At present any- 
one in England, even a ticket-of-leave man, may, as Matthew 
Arnold has remarked, open a school in England. The 
question is not merely a question of instruction, it is also a 
matter of public health. It is indeed curious to observe 
that while we have done as much as any nation towards 
improving the sanitation and hygienic conditions of public 
and private buildings, not a single legal enactment has been 
passed for laying down certain definite minima in ventilation 
and sanitation for such premises as are intended to be used 
for school purposes for which no public money is claimed. 
Overcrowding, foul air, insanitary conditions may be 
rampant. The authorities are powerless to interfere. 

On comparing the two systems it would seem in the case 
of France that State control has produced one great ad- 
vantage. By maintaining a thoroughly qualified staff corps 
of teachers, supervised by a body of competent and ex- 
perienced inspectors, it has estabUshed a uniformly high 
standard of intellectual efficiency in the State schools to 
which our secondary schools in the mass can afford no com- 
parison. Again, in requiring certain minima in matters of 
sanitation and school hygiene, as well as in the qualifica- 
tion of head teachers in private schools, France is certainly 
ahead of England as far as the bulk of the private schools 
is concerned. 

On the other hand, the greater hberty enjoyed by our 
almost autonomous public schools has not been without 
compensation. It has saved us from the opposite dangers 
of excessive uniformity, and tied our hands less in the 
making of new experiments. Again, in such cases in which 
public inspection has been only optional, it has been ren- 
dered more elastic by giving the local authorities or the 


schools themselves a choice of inspection either by the 
State or the Universities, thereby interesting the Univer- 
sities at the same time in those institutions which supply 
their future recruits.^ 

This last advantage also obtains in France, where the 
State and the University are one, but at the same time in 
the absence of such a latitude in choice, variety and elasti- 
city are far more difficult to attain. In fact the French 
secondary school, being an integral part of the University,^ 
it is possible that the connection between the two is rather, 
if anything, too close. In France the locality has had 
hitherto but Uttle or no voice in the management of the 
schools, to which it often contributes a considerable sum. 
As has been already stated, an effort has been lately made 
to give it an interest in the subjects taught, but the experi- 
ment is stiU too recent to pass a judgment on the results. 

In England, while introducing or extending the principle 
of State control, we have attempted to guard otirselves 
against the danger of excessive centralization in the future 
by giving to the locahty a very definite suzerainty over its 
schools with a view to allowing it to make experiments and 
work out for itself the particular organization and kind of 
education which best accords with its particular needs. We 
have, in fact, applied on a large scale the principle enun- 
ciated by M. Ribot : On connatt mieux sur place ce qui con- 
vient a chaque localite. No doubt we run the risk of the 
locality making a certain number of mistakes, but there is 
little doubt that such a measure of decentralization will con- 
tribute to the advantage of English education in the long run. 

In France the State in its struggle with the religious 

' Note. — (1909.) This, no doubt, has been an advantage in the 
past, but there are signs that in the future it will be necessary to take 
steps to standardize the different inspections by making the inspec- 
tion a joint matter between the University, or locality, and the State 
— if not between all three. 

2 (1913.) — It is worth noting that the French term Universiti has 
two meanings. In addition to the ordinary English one, it signifies 
in ordinary parlance the whole corps enseignant in the secondarv 
schools and the Universities under State control. It also technically 
includes the elementary teachers who are under the University for 
teaching purposes, though nominated by the prefect. 


schools has tried to cover the whole ground with a network 
of secondary schools. There are, however, certain regions 
where no State college exists and the towns refuse to support 
one or prefer to assist a religious school. In his report on 
the Secondary Education Commission M. Ribot proposed 
that the State should actually subsidize a society formed for 
creating a local school or even a university professor, who, 
while accepting fuU inspection and the usual State cur- 
ricula, would be willing to run a big school as a private 
venture. Such a school in his opinion " will perhaps have 
more of a Ufe of its own than an ordinary college, it will 
adapt itself better to local necessities." 

The suggestion received further sanction by being adopted 
by the Parliamentary Commission itself as one of its pro- 
posals, with the additional rider that any State professor 
employed in such a school sliould preserve his rights of pro- 
motion and pension. Finally the law of July, 1900, em- 
bodied the proposal in its fifth article, but up to the present 
time nothing has been done, as the State is busily engaged 
in preserving and putting on a better footing the colleges, 
but according to M. Rabier ^ there is good reason to believe 
the permission wiU be turned to good account. It is very 
significant to see, in a country where the public authorities 
are accustomed to do far more than in England, the locality 
already has the right, and the State now further proposes 
to assist private initiative from motives of economy, apart 
from the reUgious question, which, of course, has a certain 
weight in the matter. 

It is curious that we in England, on the other hand, who 
owe a great debt to initiative, should seem indisposed to 
subsidize even the efficient private schools. Perhaps our 
local authorities have not yet realized, like their French 
compeers, the enormous cost of an efficient system of secon- 
dary education. At all events, putting aside all other argu- 
ments, there seems/ to judge by the French, a certain amount 
to be said for giving pubHc assistance to efficient private 
schools, or for allowing them to be attended by county 

' See E. Rabier, Instruction publique : Enseignement secondaire, 
p. 32. 


council scholars in places where no proper facilities for 
obtaining a public secondary education ejdst/ " 


(ii) Proviseurs and Headmasters : their Relative 

In the State schools the official head, who in a lycSe is 
called the proviseur and in a college a directeur or a principal, 
is above all things the administrator, the director of the 
school, the titular head of the professeurs and surveillants, 
or repStiteurs (ushers).' He has two other officials at his 
side, one the censeur, who looks after the discipline and is 
responsible for arranging the hours in the time-table, and 
the other the econome, who acts as bursar or steward, an 
office which in smaller schools is held by one of the teaching 
staff. His pay, even in a Paris lycie, does not exceed, in- 
cluding free quarters and allowances, £360 per annum.* 

' This has, of course, been done in some places in England. 

' Note. — (1909.) Connection between the Elementary and Secondary 
School. — It is curious to note that in a democratic country like France 
the number of scholarships assigned by the State to secondary educa- 
tion only amounts to about 1,000 a year (or, roughly, 5,500 scholar- 
ships in all). Of these, only some 1,580 are held by pupils coming 
direct from elementary schools, i.e. about 25 per cent, of the whole. 
The total number of scholarships obtained by elementary children 
per year is under 300. While in country districts the number is 
therefore quite inadequate, there is apparently in the bigger towns 
a sufficient supply owing to the action of the municipality. In 
England there are no State scholarships, but in country and town 
alike the number (in London alone over 3,500) is large, not to say 
lavish, especially as the overwhelming majority of our scholarships 
are given for purely literary attainments. It is to be hoped that in 
the future we may be able to endow constructional and artistic 
aptitudes, even if it be to some extent at the cost of reducing the 
number of our purely literary scholarships. It is significant that 
changes in this direction are foreshadowed in the new scholarship 
scheme of the L.C.C. In both England and France efforts have 
been and are being made to co-ordinate the curricula of the elemen- 
tary and secondary schools, but the break in the gauge, though 
lessened, still remains. According to M. Steeg (Rapport Steeg), 
" L'enseignement secondaire ne se superpose pas k I'enseignemen't 
primaire, il s'y juxtapose " (p. 72). 

3 Note. — (1909.) The two categories have now become four : 
professeurs, professeurs adjoints, maitres-ripititeurs, surveillants. 

* See Report Kirkman, p. 632. Note. — (1909.) It has now been 
raised to £500. — (1913-) £i^o- 


He has no pecuniary interest by way of a capitation fee or 
otherwise in the financial success of the establishment if 
it be a day school, and he can make nothing out of the 
licensed victuaUing if it be a boarding school, unless it be 
a colUge au compte du principal.^ 

At the time of Matthew Arnold's visit to France in 1859 ^ 
the position of proviseur was looked on as one of the prizes 
of the profession. Since then the position has apparently 
lost many of its advantages. Its present unsatisfactory 
state was brought out in a startling way by the ParUamen- 
tary Commission of Enqiiiry into the Condition of Secondary 
Education of which M. Ribot was chairman. In the volume ^ 
in which he summed up the general conclusions of the Com- 
mission he writes : * " Every effort has been made to 
deprive the proviseurs of what freedom of action was left 
to them." A proviseur whom he quotes says : " A mourn- 
ful uniformity reigns in our schools." There is no solidarity 
between the different officials. Each one shuts himself up 
in his special compartmerit, in his restricted sphere of duty. 

The proviseur entrenches himself too much within his ad- 
ministrative functions. His freedom of action is extremely 
limited. He cannot decide on his own responsibility on the 
purchase of a book or a piece of scientific apparatus. He 
cannot give the smallest tip to a school servant out of the 
money at his disposal. The boarding fees, the tuition fees 
are fixed without his being even consulted. He has been 
deprived of the right he once possessed of reducing the fees 
under certcdn conditions. The programmes in all their 
details are settled for him by the consultative council 
(Conseil Superieur de 1' Instruction Publique). The number 
of his masters is fixed without his having a voice in the 
matter. If he wishes to form classes in any particular 
subject he has neither the right nor the means to do so. 

" No wonder," M. Ribot says, " a good proviseur is pretty 
rare." How can it be otherwise, when " many professors 
refuse the post because they do not wish to exchange their 

* See above, p. 13. 

' See Matthew Arnold, A French Eton, p. 11. 

' See R. E., Chapters I and II, passim. 


independence for the worries of a situation full of responsi- 
bilities and devoid of initiative ? " At present a proviseur 
has no voice in the appointment of his staff. A proviseur 
informed the present writer that at the very most if he 
knows the recteur of the university he can go and see him in 
a friendly way, ask to be allowed to look at the Ust of candi- 
dates, and suggest to him So-and-so as specially suitable 
for fiUing the vacancy. But sometimes a professor arrives 
and presents himself to the proviseur with the words, " I 
present myself to you as your new professor of philosophy," 
etc., and that is the first occasion of their acquaintance. 

According to M. Ribot a proviseur should at least have 
the right to fill up the inferior posts. Again, to win the 
confidence of famiUes one must live for some time in a place ; 
the fashion has been to shift the proviseurs about far too 
frequently. " In fifteen years," said the recteur of Caen 
University, " I have seen 28 different proviseurs in 8 lyc&es," 
M. r Abb6 Follioley stated before the Commission that before 
his arrival at the lycee of Nantes there were 25 proviseurs 
in 24 years. The average stay of one proviseur in a lyUe 
is three years, whereas in a " free school " the directeur 
often stops 15 or 20 years. M. Ribot attributes these fre- 
quent changes to political influences. The extraordinary 
law which rendered the proviseur responsible for all 
accidents to the pupils on the premises naturally pre- 
vented most proviseurs from encouraging games.^ The 
law ^ still exists in a modified form, and acts no doubt 
as a great deterrent to the organization of school athletics 
on a large scale. On this side, therefore, the moral influence 
of the proviseur over the boys is naturally restricted. 

' Probably the most extraordinary case on record in which the 
courts held the headmaster of a school pecuniarily responsible to the 
parents for damage done to their child was that in which one boy was 
seriously injured by another in a fight which took place more than a 
quarter of a mile from the school premises. 

' The State accepts responsibility, reserving to itself the right of 
rendering the proviseur liable if in its judgment the latter is to blame. 
This naturally makes the proviseurs take all sorts of precautions in 
order to be on the safe side. A series of unpreventable but untoward 
accidents for which the State had been mulcted would naturally have 
a bad effect on his official career. — (1909.) The law still exists. The 


In the big lyc&e, on the other hand, the complexity of his 
duties makes the proviseur " the head of an administration 
much more than the director of a house of education." 
How can it be otherwise when, as in some cases, the school 
population under him amounts to nearly two thousand 
souls ? ^ One proviseur of such a lyc^e received in a single 
year 30,000 visits. No wonder he had a good deal of trouble 
even to know his staff by sight ; and as for knowing the 
bulk of the pupils, that was clearly impossible. Every 
morning, however, he held an enquiry, like the colonel of 
a regiment, into what had happened the day before. He 
thus came to know the names of those who figured with 
sufficient frequency on the black Ust. To combat this difS- 
culty M. Ribot would reduce the limit for each lycie to 300 
to 400 pupils. And he cites with approval the phrase of 
another witness before the Commission : " What is wanted 
at the head of each of our establishments is an apostle; 
too often there is only an official." 

M. Ribot and his fellow commissioners made certain re- 
commendations for amending these defects in the proviseur' s 
position. The Ministry have taken note of them, and in 
certain University regions they have created the so-called 
lycees autonomes, of which Lakanal, just outside Paris, may 
be taken as a specimen type. 

The proviseur in this case is far more like a real com- 
mander-in-chief than merely primus inter pares among the 
other officials and professors. The boarding arrangements 
and general management are in his hands instead of being 
entrusted to a separate official (the Sconome). The balance 
of any moneys he does not expend, instead of being returned 
to the Treasury, can be devoted by him to any purpose he 

results are sometimes very curious. This year the Ministry forbade 
Rugby to be played at the lycde of Rouen, owing to the dangers to 
life and limb. The boarders were obliged to give up the game, but 
the day boys apparently owing to its prohibition played with greater 
zest than ever. 

'•Note. — (1913.) In Paris six lycees have over 1000 pupils, and 
three over 900. Bordeaux, Marseilles and Lyons have over 2000, 
seven more towns have over looo, and two more over 900. In 
England the only school with over 1000 is Eton, which has about 


pleases. Thus, in 1902, he constructed a winter garden with 
the surplus. The lyUe, which cost 10,000,000 francs, is 
surrounded by a magnificent park, which, however, requires 
draining. The Government have made him a grant of 
25,000 francs to carry out the necessary work. 

He has had the same free hand in rearranging the sleeping 
arrangements in the boarding house. In place of open 
dormitories he has built cubicles which are tall and well 
ventilated. Each boy is shut in for the night, but by break- 
ing a httle " Judas," not unlike the glass covering of a fire 
alarm, he can let himself out in case of necessity. The pro- 
viseur has given up the old system of surveillants for the 
dormitories and enlisted in their place young students who 
are working for special examinations or surveillants who are 
only appointed from year to year. He has thus got rid of 
the permanent official with much of the unpopularity and 
dislike attached to the calling in the eyes of the pupils. On 
the other hand, he has tried to break down the party- 
wall between teachers and ushers by making the latter 
take part in the work of the lower classes — an excellent 

Furthermore, the proviseur has thrown himself heart and 
soul into the moral education of his pupils. Every month 
he holds a separate meeting of each of the sections into 
which the school is divided, discusses in general terms the 
besetting sins he has observed, and discreetly distributes 
praise and censure. The effect on the tone of the school is 
already very marked. There is an undoubted growth of the 
spirit of esprit de corps. It is further fostered by school 
entertainments which are held from time to time in the large 
reception rooms, and which are attended by parents and 
friends of the boys. 

What cannot fail to interest English people is the fact that 
at the moment of my visit I found two English boys in the 
school of whom the proviseur spoke in the highest terms as 
being an excellent influence in the school. A private con- 
versation with the boys themselves showed that the good 
feeling and good opinion were by no means one-sided. Both 
the boys had been at an English school, so they were able 


to make comparisons. They spoke of the kindness of boys 
and masters, and, what seemed a specially t37pical trait, 
they dilated on the excellence of the " grub." ^ It was 
certainly very interesting to come across such a pleasant 
example of the entente cordiale. 

The headmaster is extremely keen on the interchange of 
pupils with other countries. He thinks, with apparently a 
good deal of reason, that English boys who want to have 
a year at French before going into business cannot do better 
than come to him, while at the same time he pays us the 
comphment of thinking that our boys will in many ways be 
an excellent influence for good among their French fellows. 
Certainly the idea has much to commend it. The cost is 
not excessive, and the sanitary arrangements which I looked 
over appear to be thoroughly up to date. If this is a speci- ' 
men of the average lycee autonome, it ought soon to become, 
by force of example, the rule and not the exception.^ 

In comparison with the position of the French proviseur 
or directeur the English headmaster is a far more important 
person. He is often a veritable -pastor agnorum, a pontifex 
maximus, in comparison with whom the French educational 
chief seems a mere rex sacrificulus. He has no censeur on 
his right hand with whom to share the power of the fasces, 
no iconome on his left with whom to divide the financial 

1 Note. — (1913.) Such an authority as Mr. J. E. C. Bodley 
informs me that this is typical. This view is confirmed by an article 
of M. leTDocteur Mathieu, president of the International Congress 
on School Hygiene, in HygUne scolaire (July, 1911), on the results of 
an ofiScial inquiry into the feeding, ventilation, sanitation, etc., in the 
lycSes from 1900-1910. Dr. Mathieu's chief criticism is that the fare 
might be in some cases reinforced from the point of view of vegetables 
and sugar products. 

a Note. — (1909.) All lycies have now become lycies auionomes. 
Unfortunately the reform, which was intended to be first and fore- 
most pedagogical, has become mainly economical. As M. Maurice- 
Faure in his report says, the root idea was excellent. It was meant 
to give the administration of the lyc4e more liberty, to inspire a sort 
of corporate responsibility ; with a possibility of catering for local 
needs, and securing financial economy. The latter ideal, however, 
has prevailed to the practical exclusion of the others in the great 
majority of lycdes. A very grave mistake was made, at the outset, 
by excluding the professors from the' meetings of the administration. 
This, however, has been remedied (November 25th, 1908). 


control. His power over his assistants is, at least in theory, 
absolute.^ He can dismiss at three months' notice, without 
cause assigned, a master who has served the school faithfully 
for thirty years. Until recently he was appointed for life ; 
now he is usually appointed for a fixed period indefinitely 
renewable, and in actual practice he is rarely if ever ejected 
unless he has proved himself impossible as a headmaster. 

Like bishops and judges he is never supposed to grow old, 
and superannuation is a word which as regards himself is 
wellnigh unknown in his vocabulary.^ This may at times 
lead to abuses, but the merit of the system is very great. 
Without freedom there can be no responsibility. The 
English headmaster is no mere caretaker, but a business 
manager put in to run the concern by his governors, who 
wisely allow him like any other business manager a wide 
latitude. Nominally, of course, he is under the control of his 
governing body, but in the great majority of cases he is really 
the moving spirit of the board. They recognize that he must 
naturally know far more of the inside working of the school 
than they, and it is only in matters of finance that they 
exercise a preponderating voice. 

The headmaster's position towards the boys is very largely 
a matter of his own making, apart from the prestige he may 
have inherited from his predecessors;^ His school is not so 
large as a rule as the average lycte, though Thring ^ would 
consider more than one of our public schools far too big. 
His routine duties are probably considerably les^ /As a 

1 Note. — (1909.) This is still true of the general run of secondary 
schools. But the position has been modified in the so-called endowed 
schools by the Endowed Schools (Masters) Act, 1908, which makes 
the assistant master the servant of the governing body and regulates 
the terms of dismissal. Again, in the majority of the schools main- 
tained by the county councils the local authority reserves to itself 
the right of dismissal after a year's probation. This, in practice, 
considerably adds to the security of tenure on the part of the assistant 

2 Note. — (1909.) In certain schools, notably those belonging to 
the county councils, this is no longer the rule. 

' See Parkin's Life of Thring, vol. i. pp. 73, 74, where 330 is laid 
down as the ideal number. The late Dr. Haig-Brown was strongly 
of opinion that 500 should never be exceeded. See Biographical 
Memoir (p. 69). 


rule there is no Government office to which he has to make 
returns. He has thus a greater opportunity for taking an 
active part in the work of the school. He nearly always 
devotes some of the time to teaching, and in the more 
modem schools supervises to some extent the teaching of 
his assistants. This brings him into real contact with the 
boys in school. 

As a rule he takes the highest class, though he does not 
necessarily neglect the little boys.^ He is thus able not 
only to keep in touch with the most advanced work done in 
the school and by setting a good pace in the VI Form to 
ensure that the teachers below must follow suit or be found 
out, but also he is able to exercise a personal influence on 
those boys who are most influential in the school. He does 
not merely aim by precept and example at giving tone and 
character to the school. He interests the head boys directly 
in its good government by making them prefects and treat- 
ing them as responsible beings to whom certain privileges 
are attached^for he is no beUever in the civitassine suffragio. 
-J(Nor does his sphere of influence end here. As often as 
not he is an old athlete, and outside the class-room, even if 
emeritus, he still takes a paternal interest in the games and 
expects his assistants at least to do the same. Here again the 
moral aim comes to the fore. The doctrines of honesty and 
loyalty he has upheld either in the class-room or the school 
pulpit find constant appHcation in the tradition of fair 
play and straightforwardness which rules the plajdng field.)/^ 

Naturally in a day school his influence is less paramount, 
yet there is no difference other than a difference of degree. 
If he is reaUy a strong man his influence is over the whole 
school, not merely in the school-room and in the games, but 
it passes out into the daily life of the pupils and forges in 
their yet untempered hearts beliefs and ideals that can 
never be broken. This is the great glory of the English 

1 NoTE.^ — (1909-) If he has a besetting sin it is that he undertakes 
too much teaching, and is apt to allow himself to be cumbered by too 
much serving. He becomes, in fact, so immersed in details that he 
at times loses sight of those wider issues which no school can afford 
to disregard without finding itself out of touch with the deeper needs 
of the nation. 


Public School, which the Thrings and Arnolds have hved. 
and died foi^ They took up the ideal of the education of 
a gentleman, based very often on a strong Christian beUef 
and moulded into a modern form, raising it beyond the level 
of mere rule and precept till it became the very hfe and 
atmosphere not only of our ancient and rehgious founda- 
tions, but of those great public schools which sprang into 
existence during the latter half of the nineteenth century.^ 

(iii) Teachers : their Appointment, Qualifications, 
AND Position 

The staff in a French State school is divided into pro- 
fesseurs and mattres-rep&titeurs.^ The broad distinction 
between the two, as has already been indicated, is that the 
former teaches, and the latter looks after the boys in pre- 
paration and out of school. 

The standard of attainment in the professorai has so risen 
that a candidate for the post, except in the purely prepara- 
tory classes,^ must be at least a licencit, that is to say, he 
has not only passed the baccalaureat or entrance examina- 
tion in the university, which is generally taken at 17, but 
he has also passed the licence which roughly corresponds 
to a degree in honours at Oxford or Cambridge or the London 
M.A. He cannot, however, become a full-blown professor, 
that is, a professeur titulaire, in a lycee, unless he has also 
passed a very stiff competitive examination, called the 
agregation, in some special " School," such as Philosophy, 

^ Thomas Arnold believed that a school could be a Christian society, 
and Edward Thring believed every boy had a soul to be saved : 
quotation from an anonymous writer in Skrine's Pastor Agnorum, 
p. 13, an excellent book, which may be consulted on the ideals which 
underlie the calling of an English headmaster. 

^ Note.— (1909.) Four categories : Professeurs, professeurs ad- 
joints, maUres-ripititeurs, and surveillants. 

' In the classes enfantines and priparatoires (pupils 6-8) the teachers 
are primary masters and mistresses. In the classes iUmentaires, 
especially in the lycies, the professors possess either a certificat d' apti- 
tude for teaching in secondary schools or a university degree {bachelier 
or licenciS) . For a fuller account of teachers' qualifications see Report 


Letters, Mathematics, etc. Success in this examination 
definitely entitles the teacher to permanent Government 

Pedagogical training has hitherto been confined to a term's 
residence in a school as a teaching student. According to 
the proposals of the Parliamentary Commission aU future 
teachers wiU have to go through a stage of student-teacher 
in a lycee or elsewhere, and no one wiU be allowed to assume 
the title of agrege tiU he has obtained a certificate of teaching 
proficiency. The ficole Normale, which prepares a limited 
number of students, the pick of the secondary schools of 
France, for the university and school teaching, has hitherto 
neglected pedagogics. The Parliamentary Commission has 
recommended that the school should be henceforth con- 
ducted not merely as a school of advanced study but as a 
veritable pedagogical institution. Recently the various 
professors have given lectures on the teaching of their own 
particular subjects,^ and still wider reforms are in contem- 

Over and above the agregation comes a purely voluntary 
examination, the doctoral, awarded mainly on the merits 
of a thesis involving original research. All secondary 
teachers who aspire to be fuU university * professors must 
take this examination. It will be realized, therefore, how 
high the standard of scholarship is of the more brilliant pro- 
fessors in secondary education. This is not, however, with- 
out its drawbacks. There is a certain restlessness on the 
part of the young and able professor to get into the univer- 
sity enclosure, together with the feeling that the public 
school is only a lieu de passage. 

1 Note. — (1909.) All students at the :tcole Normale are obliged to 
pass a space of three months or more with one of their professors. 

* Note. — (igog.) The number chosen each year for the ficole Nor- 
male has been increased. Formerly, only twelve were taken, later 
there were twenty, and now the number has been raised to forty. 
All these cannot be accommodated at the school a.s boarders. Those 
who live outside receive a bourse d'agrSgation. This has robbed the 
local universities of some of their best students. 

' Only a docteur can be a professeur titulaire in a university. An 
agrigi can be matire de confirences or chargi de cours, but in the latter 
case at least he is supposed to be working for a doctoral. 


One cannot expect in such persons, any more than in the 
future curate who takes up teaching for a year or two in 
England, much of the sentiment of giving up their lives to 
the work, and perhaps the aloofness that exists between 
professor and pupil in France is due in part to this somewhat 
too intimate connection between the school and tmiversity. 
There is, nevertheless, a good side to the medal. The French 
university professor has won for himself by his stay in the 
schools some notion of the standard of attainment other 
than that obtained by the setting of scholarship papers. 
In any case it seems more logical to start as a teacher and 
to finish as a don, than to begin as a don and go on as a 

It must be remembered that a true estimate of salaries 
can only be made by comparing them with those of other 
civil servants in France. It is certainly not an exaggeration 
to say that State salaries in England are half as much again 
as they are in France, and in some cases they are more than 
double.^ Again, there are no " extraneous tasks." ' The 
teaching hours are also comparatively short. In the lycBes 
the maximum number of hours' class work per week re- 
quired of the professors in the two highest forms varies from 
twelve to fourteen hours, with a possible two hours' overtime 
for which extra pay is given. The maximum number of 
hours is not always exacted, especially in the classe de 
rheforique* in which the number of pupils is often very large. 

"^ The Teacher. On this point see " Organised Education and the 
Teacher and the State," by J. C. Tarver, M.A., in What is Secondary 
Education ? pp. 309, 310. " To our largest and richest schools men 
are not infrequently appointed as headmasters who have had no 
personal experience of school work and school organization. We not 
only make appointments equivalent to suddenly promoting a sub- 
lieutenant to the command of a regiment ; we do worse. We are not 
shocked when, to continue the parallel, a general is put in command 
of a ship, for a successful university tutor need know no more about 
school work than a line officer about the organisation of a man-of-war. " 

* This Is due to the fact that in some cases the salary has remained 
the same since the beginning of the last century. 

' Note. — (1913.) This of course implies no supervision or de- 
tention or oversight of any kind out of school. A professor would 
not feel necessarily obliged to take cognizance of two schoolboys 
fighting or misbehaving themselves in the street. 

* Note. — (1909.) Or premiire, as it is now generally called. 


The maximum number of hours in the second and third 
class amount to fifteen, with a possible two hours' overtime 
for which extra pay is given. In the division eUmentaire 
the maximum is nineteen, with two possible additional hours 
of overtime. In the colUges the corresponding maxima are 
an hour and occasionally two hours longer, with the same 
possibiUty of overtime. The number of pupils per class 
or per professor, however, is often considerably less than in 
the lyc&e. These comparatively short hours allow of private 
study, which renders the pursuit of the doctorat possible or 
permits the professor to increase his income by private 
lessons or by hterary work. 

It must not be forgotten that the out-of -class work in the 
way of preparation (which is a very serious thing in France) 
and in the way of correction is very heavy. Thus in the 
classe de premiere (formerly rMtorique) the professor may 
have fifty French essays to look over, many of them eight or 
ten pages long. The correction itself is very carefully done. 
It not only deals with speUing or grammatical errors but 
with faults of style. There is Uttle doubt that the new pro- 
grammes have for the moment at least added to the work of 
the professors by increasing the number of lessons which they 
have to prepare for the different sections, with a correspond- 
ing increase in the amount of written work to be corrected, 
and also by raising the actual number of teaching hours. 

Apart from the university professorships to which the 
doctorat is a stepping-stone, the full professor can also become 
an inspecteur-general, a rector of a university, not to mention 
a -proviseur?- His position is in fact a highly honourable 

1 Note. — (1909.) During the last few years, however, the desire 
to enter the teaching profession has considerably slackened. This 
is clearly indicated by the decrease in numbers of those trjdng for 
the cerHficat d'aptitude and the agrigation (for statistics, see Rapport 
Steeg, pp. 44-47) ; the level of the examinations themselves has also 
fallen (un sensible dichet, according to M. Maurice-Faure) . The 
causes, no doubt, are multiple. First and foremost is that while 
the cost of rent and Uving has largely increased (in some towns M. 
Steeg estimates it a third), the salaries, in many cases, have remained 
at the same figure as in 1872. The wave of economy that has passed 
over the lycies has meant, in many cases, more hours' work and less 
chance of extra remuneration for overtime, the supplementary lessons 
being handed over to the ripititeurs for economic reasons. This has 
B.E. C 


one. A professeur in a lycSe or college is as much a professeur 
de r University as a professor at the Sorbonne {Report Kirk- 
man, p. 632). One and all the professors are members of the 
learned professions in the most literal sense of the word. 

The average teacher is appointed about the age of twenty- 
five. He becomes there and then a State servant with the 
ordinary fixity of tenure, with a right to a pension after 
thirty years of work or at sixty years of age. He can, at his 
own request, be continued on till sixty-five. He is appointed 
by the Minister. Promotions are made in proportion of (i) 
on the grounds of seniority, and (2) at choice.^ As we have 
seen, the headmaster has no voice in his appointment. The 
latter has but Uttle more power in the matter of dismissal. 
In the case of disagreement between proviseur and professeur, 
an inspecteur-general makes an inquiry into the rights and 
wrongs of the case and distributes his criticism accordingly. 
If the relations between the two are very strained, the pro- 
fesseur is moved to another school. 

The following is the scale ^f pay in the lycSes and coU&ges: 

LycSes (Seine and Versailles) 
Professors in the preparatory classes — initial . ;£i2o rising to £192 ' 
Professors in the other classes — initial . . ^^200 rising to £z°°-* 

Lycies de Province 

Professors in the preparatory classes — ^initial . £100 rising to £tst.* 

Professors in the other classes — ^initial . .£128 rising to ;£2 1 8 . 

Professors charges de cours (all classes) — ^initial . £84 ' rising to ;£i92.' 

led to a cry against I'enseignetnent au rabais. Fewer private lessons 
are obtainable, as many religious schools have been shut, and a large 
number of cours dejeunes fiUes have been formed into regular colUges. 
A Parliamentary Commission has reported on the subject, and the 
Minister is preparing a Bill. The situation is summed up by M. 
Steeg, who says : " It is easy in effect to show that the Third Re- 
public has assured to the^eysoMwei of secondary education a treatment 
which can only be considered inadequate " (p. 55). — (1913.) There 
has now been a general rise of salaries (see notes on this page). 

1 Note. — (1909.) This has been modified. After four years every 
professor has his class. 

» Note. — (1909.) ;£2oo. 

3 Note. — (1909.) Professeurs chargls de cours, £180, rising to £240. 

* Note. — (1909.) £200. ' Note.— (1909.) £92. 

' Depends on the class. 


The Colleges 
Class I. {licence or certificat d' aptitude) — initial . /loo rising to ;£i36. 
Class II. (bachelier) — ^initial . . . £^6 rising to £103. 
Class III. {brevet) £6^ rising to £83.^ 

All the above salaries are non-resident. For a few other 
perquisites see Report Kirkman, p. 629. 

The maitres-rSpSiiteurs are appointed in the same fashion 
as the professors. They must be at least bacheliers. More 
than one-third are Ucencies. They have fixity of tenure and 
the right to a pension after 30 years' service. 

Their position does not appear to be altogether satis- 
factory either to themselves or to the schools. During the 
last few years they have formed an association to formulate 
and demand the abolition of their grievances. M. Ribot 
has clearly perceived that their anomalous position is one 
of the Brennpunkte ^ in the whole question of reform. He 

1 Note. — (1913.) The present classification and rate of pay of the 
secondary teachers are as follows : 

Lycies {Seine-et-Oise) 
Professors in the preparatory classes ... . . £i6o-£2/^q. 

Professors (Including one-fifth of those in the prepara- 
tory classes) ....... ;£i8o-;f26o. 

Full professors {agrigis) ...... 222o-236o. 

Lycles de Province 

Professors in the preparatory classes . . . . ^ii6-;£i96. 

Professors (including one-fifth of those in preparatory 

classes) ........ ;£i28-;£2o8. 

Full professors (not agrdgds) ..... £n?i-£22(>. 

Full professors {agrigis) £148-2248. 

Marseilles and Lyons give from £^£2,0 more in each class. 


One-fifth of professors assimilated to lycie professors . ;f i8o-;f26o. 

Professors (ist category) ...... ^104-2184. 

Professors (2nd category) ..... ;£8o-2i6o. 

Professors {bachelier) (no 6th or 5th class) . . . £i2^~£i'j2. 

Elementary teachers (fij-ewe/) (no 6th, 5th, or 4th class) . ^i 16-^140. 

Professors in the first and second category receive £^ a year more 
in Lyons and Marseilles, and £12 more in Seine and Seine-et-Oise. 
Elementary teachers receive £12 more in Lyons and Marseilles, and 
from £32 to £^o more in Seine and Seine-et-Oise. 

' " C'est le point faible dans V organisation des lycies et des colliges." 
— iJ. E. p. 31. 


devotes an entire chapter to the consideration of their case. 
To begin with, their social position, subordinate as it is to 
that of the professor, is an open sore. " Every moment, 
even when licencii, the ripMiteur is reminded that there is 
a profound demarcation between the professeur and him- 
self." He takes no part in the teaching, though formerly 
he not infrequently became professor. 

Of the 2,319 rtpititeurs in the schools, only eighty in the 
year 1897 became professors. The reason lies in the fact 
that to get into a lycee one must practically be an agrSge 
nowadays. According to M. Ribot, the reform of their 
economic position is not the most important matter. They 
are practically paid at the rate of college professors minus 
certain deductions which are not, however, equitable. The 
duty of maintaining order in " preparation," at meals, in 
the playground, and in the dormitory is enough to ruin the 
disposition of any highly educated man. 

The remedy clearly lies in uniting the dual functions of 
discipline and teaching.^ In this way only can the repUUeur 
lose his present gaoler-like air. Much may be done by 
utilizing the services of the professeurs stagiaires. In most 
schools the whole question of surveillance has been handed 
over to the proviseur, who arranges the matter according to 
his own ideas. The rSpStiteurs have generally been replaced 
by surveillants selected by the proviseur. 

Not possessing the French passion for S3niimetry and 
distinctness which has led them into that thoroughgoing 
classification which ends by not only separating duties but 
also by putting asunder the persons who perform them, we 
have been saved from establishing such a fatal division as 
that which exists between the bras rdigieux of professors 
and the hras siculier of surveillants.^ 

' This element of weakness was clearly seen by Jules Simon as far 
back as 1848, when as rapporteur for the Budget of Primary Instruc- 
tion he expressed the hope that in the near future closer relations 
would prevail between the maitres d'Studes and the professeurs, and 
that a certain number of functions would become common to both. 

2 Note. — (1909.) There are now, as has already been noticed, 
four categories : professeurs, professeurs adjoints, matires-rlpititeurs , 
and surveillants. The maUres-ripititeurs can now become professeurs 
adjoints, and owing to financial reasons there is a distinct tendency 


But, on the other hand, the balance of comparison as far 
as the teacher's standard of attainments go is immensely 
on the side of France, and certainly the teachers' position, 
speaking generally, and their social position and standing, 
are distinctly higher. 

To begin with, what are the qualifications required of a 
teacher in England ? A few years ago they were theo- 
retically nil. The registration ^ of teachers is gradually 
introducing a minimum standard,* but, as things are at 
present, a ticket-of-leave man may still open a school. 
A fortiori, he may naturally be an assistant-master. In 
practice, however, each headmaster sets out what he wants, 
and certainly the list of requirements must often seem to a 
French teacher inordinately long. 

The following are two specimen advertisements culled 
from the educational press. 

May, 1904. — Wanted, after the Easter holidays, an Assistant 
Master for classics, English, and drill. Ability to take part in the 
games will be considered an additional qualification. 

June, 1904. — Assistant . . with university qualifications and 
experience in teaching in classics, science, and mathematics, modern 
languages, and music. Candidates must be members of the Church 
of England. 

to give them work rather than the more highly paid professeurs when 
extra lessons are needed. The result is that the gap between the 
two grades is considerably less, and it would appear to be merely a 
matter of time as to when the ripititeurs will one and all receive the 
title and functions of professeurs adjoints. See Rapport Maurice- 
Faure, pp. 239, 240, in which the ideal to be aimed at is spoken of as 
the " identification progressive des fonctions de professeur et de ri- 
pHiteur," the latter not merely giving lessons but acting as a sort 
of understudy to the professor. The surveillants have now been 
abolished, except in the boarding schools, in which they are appointed 
by the headmaster, and are regarded as largely oiseaux de passage. 

1 Note. — (1909.) The registration of teachers is unfortunately in 
a state of suspended animation. More may be expected from the 
registration of efficient secondary schools, a list of which has been 
issued by the Board. — (1913.) Recently a Teachers' Registration 
Council has been formed containing representatives of the univer- 
sities, secondary, technical and elementary teachers, as well as of 
teachers of art, music, physical exercises, shorthand, and of those 
engaged in teaching the blind and the deaf. 

* In addition, all State-aided schools are now obliged to possess a 
staff adequate in number and qualification for providing instruction. 


In the first advertisement the foreigner, no doubt, would 
be startled at the great prominence given to athletics, and 
would vaguely wonder whether the school must not rather 
be a gymnasium in the modern sense of the word. In the 
second he would probably be struck by the stress laid on 
the moral side of the teacher and by the requirements of a 
religious test. The former would possibly seem to him 
admirable, the latter he would most likely regard as a relic 
of ecclesiasticism from which he has shaken himself free. 
He would be no less amazed at the vast range of subjects 
that the professor is required to teach. In fact, if entirely 
ignorant of English education he might well imagine that 
Admirable Crichtons were as plentiful as blackberries ; and 
in his position as speciahst he might— agrege though he was 
—admire the encyclopaedic range of subjects that the 
English teacher apparently has at his fingers' ends. 

As regards training, the matter, as in France, is stUl in 
its infancy. StiU, the regulations for the registration of 
teachers seem likely to change the present state of cifEairs 
in the future.^ 

Coming to the question of salaries and emoluments, there 
is no doubt that the masters in the big public schools are 
higher paid than the professor in a similar school in France, 
especially if one takes into consideration the profits that 
are made out of the hcensed victualling business by those 
masters who are fortunate enough to possess a boarding 
house.* It should be noted, nevertheless, that, once the 
smaller schools are reached, the salaries tend to decrease 

* Note. — (1909.) This hope has not been fulfilled, but much may 
be expected from the new Regulations for the Training of Secondary 
Teachers issued by the Board of Education, and the introduction of 
a clause in the Regulations for Secondary Schools requiring a certain 
proportion of trained teachers on the staffs of schools receiving 
grants. — (191 3.) Something may be expected from the new Teachers' 
Registration Council. 

'Note. — (1912.) Mr. J. E. C. Bodley tells me of an interesting 
case of a professor in a southern lycie who was offered a post in one of 
our big public schools at double his existing salary. He refused 
because he would be worse off, as (i) the cost of living and especially 
the scale of living was higher than in France ; (2) his boys in France 
were educated for nothing ; (3) he made money by giving private 
lessons to boys unconnected with the Ivcde. 


rapidly, till in some schools it will be found that the salary 
dpart from board amounts to a merely nominal sum, while in 
certain cases the system obtains of what in equine circles is 
called "meat for manners," otherwise called "mutual terms." 

Compared, therefore, with French teachers, each of whom 
is paid a living wage, the general run of Enghsh teachers are 
certainly not so well off. For if there are a few bigger 
prizes in the lottery, far too many have plenty of chances of 
drawing a blank — a condition of things which does not 
exist in French State schools. The English teacher can, it 
is true, become a house master, a headmaster, or even a 
bishop, but once he has left the university he has httle or 
no chance of returning as a professor. His prospects, there- 
fore, are far more Umited than those of his French confrere. 

He has not, either, the leisure of his French colleague. * 
Very often, if he is in a boarding school, his work is never 
done. How many an English master would be content if 
he only had that " excessive " number of twenty hours per 
week ! Many have far nearer thirty. How can they find the 
leisure for self-improvement, which the French authorities 
consider so important ? The English teacher must regard 
with feelings akin to envy the position of his Gallic colleague, 
secured against every chance of unjust dismissal, with the 
certain prospect of a pension at the end of his career.^ 

In England security of tenure does not in theory exist.^ 
Most engagements are made by the school year or the term, 
with often a half-term's notice. The appointment of a new 

1 In many cases the out-of-school work of the French professor is 
heavier, but even when allowance is made for this his work is prob- 
ably lighter than that of the English teacher. 

•Note. — (1909.) Things have considerably improved, especially 
in schools connected with or under the county councils, in the last few 
years. Regular scales of salaries with proper increments have been 
established. In London, all schools accepting the Council's scale 
pay the following salaries : — Assistants : initial salary, £150 ; rising 
by yearly increments of £io to ;^300. (Heads of departments, 
£^$0.) Headmasters, according to the size of the school, are paid 
from ;£40o to ;£8oo with ;£20,increments. The evils of capitation fees 
are thus avoided. Teachers in the Council's service can also con- 
tribute to an adequate pension scheme. There is also a lower scale 
for teachers without a degree already in the service. 

' Note. — (1909.) See previous note for modifications, p. 28 above. 


headmaster who " knew not Joseph " is sometimes the 
signal for a clean sweep of those who have spent their best 
years in serving the school. While the French teacher's 
salary increases with his years of service, the English teacher 
finds his financial value depreciate every year, and if he 
wants to change when he has reached what in antiquity was 
considered the prime of life, he is told by the school agents 
that no headmaster will look at a man over 36.^ Many 
headmasters prefer youth, which they can train, to ex- 
perience, of which they are sometimes said to stand in awe. 

The only member of the profession who triumphantly 
withstands the ravages of time is the headmaster himself. 
It is not an unknown thing for the hale and hearty principal 
of 65 to look down on the assistant of 40 as decrepit and 
past work. Fortunately the best of our headmasters have 
felt the need of providing for their assistants by means of 
voluntary pension systems to which the school funds con- 
tribute their quota.^ In position, again, the English master 
is certainly less fortunate. Mr. Benson classes him as a 
second-class gentleman, the first class being occupied by the 
representatives of Army, Navy, Civil Service, and land 
agency (!) . In the smaller schools his social status is probably 
stiU lower, and he ranks about on a level with the curate. 

In France the prestige of the State teacher and his of&cial 
standing make him a highly eligible -parti,^ especially in the 
eyes of those mothers who wish to choose a steady man for 
their daughters in the same way as some mothers in England 
have a distinct preference for a clergjrman. On the other 
hand, the Englishman, except in a few schools or unless he 
is lucky enough to obtain a house-mastership, is often con- 
demned by a straitness of means to celibacy, his only 
consolation being that of acting as a foster-father to other 
people's children. 

1 Note. — {1909.) This is not so universally true as ten years ago, 
owing to the decreasing number of persons entering the profession. 

* Note. — London has established a system of pensions for its 
municipal secondary teachers, and State pensions have now been 
promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the State contributing 
£1 to the teacher's £•]. 

' Note. — (1913.) This of course assumes that the parties con- 
cerned are of the same religious and political complexion. 


(i) Formalities on Admission — ^Age of Pupils — 

The only formalities to fulfil for entrance into a State 
school are the presentation of a demand for admission 
signed by the parent or guardian, with a certificate of suc- 
cessful vaccination. There is no age limit, as the present 
writer himself can vouch for. On their entrance into a petit 
lycie the pupils are classed more or less according to their 
age. If after a week or two the professors find that one 
of the new-comers is not up to the work he teUs the fro- 
viseur, who sends the pupil down to the class below. In 
the big lycee there is an examination, not for admission, 
but for placing the pupU. Boys who are old enough to 
enter the rhetorique {classe de premiere) are allowed to do so 
without examination, the assumption being that they are 
studying for the first part of the haccalaureat. Pupils enter 
the petit lycte at the age of five or six, and the lycee proper 
at eleven or twelve. 
y/\n England some of the big public schools have a very 
stringent entrance examination,^ owing to the number of 
applicants being far larger than they can possibly accom- 
modate. Preference is, however, given to those who have 
put down their names beforehand for vacancies. So keen 
is the competition in some schools that parents wiU often 
put down their children's names many years in advance. 
A good many other schools have no entrance examination 
at all, or only one for placing the pupils. The age at which 
boys enter naturally varies, but speaking generally a boy 

1 Note. — (1909.) A certain number of the public schools have 
now combined in order to have a joint entrance examination. 


enters the big public schools at thirteen or fourteen, unless 
there be a preparatory house or division, in which case he 
goes earUer. 

In practice boys never stay on much over nineteen, and 
this privilege in boarding schools is only obtained by those 
who have reached a certain standard of attainment. There 
is in fact a regular system for weeding out those boys who 
are dunces or who fall behind the others. Unless a boy of 
a certain age has reached a certain class, he is superannuated, 
as it is called — that is, he is politely requested to leave, the 
request, like those of royalty, being equivalent to a com- 
mand^ The method does not exist in French schools. 
^ Though clearly of advantage to the school itself in making 
short shift of stragglers and eliminating its most palpable 
non-valeurs and failures, it is doubtful whether this method 
of " enUghtened discrimination " is quite fair to the boys 
themselves or their parents either.^f 

(ii) Maintenance of Standard — Organization 
OF Classes, Sets, etc. 

In the French State schools the standard is more or less 
maintained in the different colleges and lycees and also 
between them by the official programme and the baccalaureat 
as well as by a system of universal inspection. The classes 
themselves are organized for a year's work. In the upper 
classes of the first and second cycle the pupils in the several 
divisions are as a rule taken together in the subjects common 
to the two programmes. There are no sets in the lycees, 
but quite recently the mathematical pupils in the third and 
fourth classes have been divided up into two sets for geo- 

■jC In England, with no official programme and no universal 
'inspection, the standard of work in the upper classes and 
between school and school is maintained by external ex- 
aminations which have to a certain extent been forced 
on the schools by public opinion. As a rule a large number 
of boys escape this public test, and in any case nothing like 


the same degree of uniformity of attainment is possible as 
in France. C'^u^i-^j^^^-^- xT 

The problem in the future for the headmaster is largely 
a question as to whether he will abandon the tyranny of 
excessive external examinations for the possibly preferable 
alternative of internal inspection and examination, the 
latter being largely intermixed under the supervision and 
control of the Government, the Local Authority, or the 
Universities. In this way the standard in the classes 
might be maintained, and the dangers of over-uniformity 
be avoided, which a single general examination always 
threatens to produce.^ 

If the same high level of attainment which prevails in 
French schools is not to be found in English schools as a 
whole, the comparative autonomy of the English school has 
allowed it to give a wide extension to the system of sets 
which act not only as capacity-catching machines, by giving 
the clever boy a chance of forging ahead in his best subject, 
but also as incapacity-catching machines, a sort of ambul- 
ance for those who have fallen out on the march, being 
unable to go the pace of their fellows in some one particular 
subject, while able to keep with them in the rest of the 
programme. Transferred to a set below the others, they 
are able to keep in touch with the subject and even pro- 
gress, instead of being put put of the game altogether. 

This, as Mr. A. T. PoUard ^ has pointed out, is the real 
raison d'etre of the set method. It is, in fact, devised for 
the exceptional case, which he puts as low as one per 
cent, in a junior school. The percentage is, however, 
immeasurably higher in the higher classes, in which the 
straggliijg must needs be considerably greater. Judging 
by what has taken place in America in the way of estab- 
Ushing elective studies, it seems quite possible that we in 
England may in the future still more largely employ the 
" set " method in order to maintain a middle course between 

' Cf. Teaching and Organisation, edited by P. A. Barnett, pp. i8, 
ig, quoted by M. E. Sadler in Report on Problems in Prussian Secon- 
dary Education for Boys (Special Reports on Educational Subjects, 
Vol. 3, p. 129). 


the somewhat inelastic allgemeine Bildrmg ideal in Germany 
and the extraordinarily wide freedom of the American 

(iii) Form Masters or Expert Teachers 

In the lower classes of the petit lycee the same teacher 
takes everything, but from the fourth class upwards of the 
lycee the practice obtains of having professors for subjects 
rather than for classes. The whole system of the agrSga- 
tion favours such a division, as success in that examination 
depends on excellence in one particular group of subjects, 
such as philosophy, history and geography, letters, etc. 
Until recently the French, Latin, and Greek in each class 
were taught as a rule by one master, but niaw with Greek 
altogether optional and with Latin optional for half the 
pupils, the same professor has in some divisions only the 
French ; even the history from the sixth class upwards is 
henceforth to be taught when possible by a specialist. 

In modern languages, again, efforts are being made that 
the pupil may have the same teacher two years running, 
the idea being that one professor should cover the whole 
teaching in the subject when possible. In some classical 
divisions even the French and Latin are under different 
teachers. In the opinion of some, the new reform has gone 
too far in thus splitting up the classes amongst so many 
masters. The classes have become Hke sheep that have no 
shepherd, and the shepherds themselves have been reduced 
to the position of drovers who barely know the numerous 
flocks entrusted to them by sight. Such at least is the 

1 Note. — (1909.) The size of classes naturally plays a great part 
in the efficiency of this teaching. The wave of economy that has 
followed on the establishment of the lycie autonome has been re- 
sponsible for increasing the size of classes which were often already 
too large. M. Steeg talks of classes of nearly fifty (Rapport, p. 51), 
and there are others bigger still, notably one of 100 in the rhStorique 
supirieure at Louis-le-Grand. In England, and especially in London, 
there has been a strong movement to reduce the numbers, and in 
London the proportion of pupils per teacher works out (irrespective 
of the head) at about twenty to one. In many of the Girls' Public 
Day Schools Company schools it is still less. 


complaint of more than one professor, and it is probable 
that something in the nature of appointing form masters 
will have to be effected in the near future.^ 

In England the visiting master has in many schools been 
a prominent feature. In fact, most of the subjects which 
have since effected a lodgment in the curriculum have crept 
into the school on these terms. The system, however, 
presents nearly all the inconveniences of special teaching 
without the advantages. The visiting master is not " on 
the strength " of the educational regiment, he lacks the 
prestige and not infrequently the authority of a regular 
member of the staff, and his interest in the school can hardly 
ever be so intense. It is true an official recognition has been 
given to the system by the appointment of regular travelling 
teachers to visit groups of schools, but it is well understood 
that the chief reason for its adoption has been that of economy. 

Still, among regular teachers there is Uttle doubt that the 
specialist is likely to become more numerous. Differentia- 
tion is the law of the school curriculum to-day, and as each 
subject, whether science, modern languages, the mother 
tongue, history, or that Cinderella of education, geography, 
emancipates itself and claims to be regarded no longer as a , 
" by-subject that anyone can teach by keeping a lesson or 
two ahead of his class, but as one that needs as serious and 
thorough treatment as classics or mathematics," so the 
increase of specialist teachers seems inevitable. ^ 

1 Note. — (1909.) This has become somewhat of a burning ques- 
tionj M. Steeg says in his Rapport, p. 39 : " II n'y a •plus de classe 
une et plus de professeur de classe. C'est & nos yeux I'inconvinient le 
plus sSrieux de la nouvelle organisation des itudes." Parents are 
beginning to complain that owing to the multiplicity of professors 
there is no one among them who knows sufficiently about the work 
of their son, and can tell them exactly where he needs special atten- 
tion. Others accuse the present system of leading to overwork, 
owing to the competition among the professors for the pupils' time, 
A general r4sumd of the situation is given by Dr. M. de Fleury in 
L'Hygiine scolaire for October, 1908, in which he points out that in 
one class in a certain lycSe there are seven professors. The remedy 
is probably the appointment of definite form-masters like the German 

2 Note. — (1909.) The ideal seems to be, in the higher classes at 
least, while retaining the form master as far as possible, for the 


Nevertheless it would probably be difficult to find a 
school in which the ideal of the form master had been 
totally given up. It is true that his sphere of duties varies 
from school to school. He may merely teach the class in 
the majority of subjects, sit in the class-room which is called 
after the name of his form, and be responsible for the 
weekly marks of the boys ; or in the feudal hierarchy that 
obtains in the school he may act as a tenant-in-chief to the 
headmaster's overlord, responsible for the work and well- 
being of the members of his class, corresponding perhaps 
directly with the parents and acting in loco parentis towards 
their offspring. His influence may spread further, till he 
becomes a pillar of the school constitution whose word is law, 
an ipse dixit that no boy would dare to question or disobey. 

Nay, he may become the uncrowned king of the place, 
of wider influence and wider reputation than the head- 
master himself, for headmasters come and go but he 
" abideth in his place " and receives into his keeping the 
children of those he taught as children, maybe dying the 
unmitred abbot of the school in which he first made his 
profession as a schoolmaster, a novice in the best sense to 
the very end, being ever a learner, remaining ever young, 
holding no conspicuous post of honour, yet held in honour 
by all. It is needless to mention names, for nearly every- 
one can recall one of these strong influences for good with 
which our big public schools have abounded — these nameless 
great ones who saw their greatness realized in others, who 
stamped their mark on the lives of a whole generation, 
their monument sometimes some class-room or playing- 
field called after their name, more often a spirit incorporated 
with the genius loci, so that those who seek it find it every- 
where in the life around, and know that " he being dead yet 
speaketh," and that the thoughts he uttered make every 
year a fresh lodgment and nest in youthful hearts that never 
knew the heart in which they were first hatched and bred. 

specialists to have at leasttwo subjects — a.Hauptfacha.u& a Nebenfach, 
as in Germany. This could be easy enough in modern languages, 
for instance, if we had not the absurd system of expecting a teacher 
to take both French and German instead of one of the two languages 
and his own. 


(iv) Average Length of Time spent in each Class — 

In the French schools not only to each class is assigned 
a definite amount of work for the whole year, but the work 
itself is definitely split up into portions for each of the school 
terms. A boy is therefore perforce obliged to stop a whole 
year in a form. The removes are made without any further 
examination for all pupils who have obtained 50 per cent, 
of the marks given during the last term, and of those given 
at the competitive compositions at the end of or during the 
year. If the pupil has obtained too low a mark for pro- 
motion he goes in for a pass examination for which he 
has probably been preparing during the hoUdays. This 
examination is held at the beginning of term by the pro- 
fessor of the class he desires to enter. The professor has 
thus the right of accepting or refusing him. 

In theory, backward boys are thus obliged to go over the 
whole year again. But as a matter of fact those who are 
rejected take extra lessons, with the professor himself if 
they are wise, and so generally succeed in getting into the 
class in the following January, the school year beginning, 
as, with us, in September. 

/in England, where every school is more or less a law unto 
itself, a clever boy may go up two and even three forms in a 
year. This is rendered possible by the less amount of co- 
ordination that exists between the classes. As has already 
been pointed out, the standard of work apart from tradition 
is principally set by the requirements of external examina- 
tion, while the standard itself is maintained in class by an 
elaborate system of marks ^ by which the English head- 
master is dispensed from inspecting his own class-rooms. yi^ 

' Marks are a convenient shorthand method of giving a bird's-eye 
view of the progress of the class. Many masters feel the burden and 
weight of them — which is not unnatural, seeing they add the duties 
of scorer to one who is already bowler, fielder, and umpire, not to 
mention the making out of elaborate weekly averages. Many a 
master would look more kindly on the presence of the headmaster 
and inspector in his class if he realized that it might release him from 
serving the weary tables of multiplication and division. 


The French system probably errs on the other side of 
uniformity, but as long as in a large number of schools the 
master's class-room is hke the EngUshman's residence, a 
castle, into which the headmaster has by custom only a 
limited right of entry, it is obvious that a clever boy can 
skip with less danger to himself from class to class than he 
could, were it possible, in a French school, for if there are 
likely to be lacunce in his educational progress there is more 
chance of these being filled up, with overlapping nearly a 
certainty in the work of the different classes. 
^A less desirable practice which obtains in_some English 
schools is the custom of promotions by seniority, or charit- 
able promotions as they are sometimes irreverently called, 
due in most cases to the headmasters yielding to the unwise 
solicitude of the parents. ^(This practice of taking the pupil's 
age into account, as if it were a high mark which helped to 
swell the general total, seems as logical as the book-keeping 
of the. college bursar who showed a balance of over £1,900 
by inadvertently adding in the date of his balance-sheet. 
)(Its effects are often disastrous. The struggling boy is 
' taken clean out of his depth, a certain amount of uimeces- 
sary ballast is added to the dead weight the form master 
has to move, and an undesirable premium is put on these 
" cart before the horse " promotions. VNo doubt there are a 
certain number of dull and neglected boys in French schools. 
No doubt French professors are not always adamantine in 
the presence of parental pressure, but as a general rule 
there are fewer of these dunce-promotions than with us. 

(v) Examinations : their Conduct and Aim — Pre- 
paration FOR THE Higher Examinations — Radical 
Differences between French and English Exami- 

The lower classes of the French secondary schools are 
unharassed by external examinations.^ Matthew Arnold 
has remarked on examinations in France being put at the 
' Cf. M. Arnold, A French Eton, p. 328. 


right age (fifteen to twenty-eight), and on little boys of 
nine being free from the drudgery they entail. The stan- 
dard is maintained, as has already been pointed out, by the 
general uniformity of the programme backed up by State 
inspection. The internal examinations are not all squeezed 
into the last fortnight or three weeks of the school year, 
during which the Enghsh pupil undergoes a veritable 
KevoJo-is of knowledge ; as a rule compositions, as they are 
called, are set in every subject once a term, and these 
compositions are separated by at least a week from one 

The system has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. 
Teachers complain that once the pupils have been examined 
in a subject they are apt to neglect it for the rest of the 
term in order to concentrate on those in which they have 
still to be examined. Under the new dispensation at the 
end of the first cycle of studies, that is to say, in the case of 
pupils aged fifteen or sixteen, a certificate of secondary 
studies of the first degree can be awarded to pupils on the 
result of the marks obtained by them during the four years 
of the first cycle, on the dehberation of the professors whose 
classes they have followed.^ 

But the real goal of the full-blown secondary pupil is, of 
course, the baccalaur^at. Although the courses leading up 
to it are four in number, Latin-Greek, Latin-Science, 
Latin-Modern Languages, Science-Modern Languages, no 
distinction is henceforth made between them. One and 
all they serve at once as a leaving certificate and an entrance 
to the universities and the liberal professions. The bac- 
calauriat remains as before divided into two parts. The 
first, formerly called the rheiorique, is taken b5»1:he pupil of 
the first (or rhetoric) class. Then a year after comes the 
second part, which is taken by the pupils in the philosophy 
or mathematics class. The age for entrance is sixteen ; 

1 Note. — (1909.) This certificate does not seem to have been a, 
great success so far. " The diplSme has hardly any value in the eyes 
of the pupils " (Rapport Maunce-Faure, p. 222). The reasons given 
are that many pupils have not stayed long enough to qualify, so that 
only a few, and those not necessarily the best, get it. — (1913.) No 
improvement to chronicle. 

B.B. D 


candidates below this age require a special permission to 
enter for the examination.^ The diificulties of the examina- 
tion are shown by the following fact, that the number of 
passes are well under 50 per cent.^ 

Leaving out of account the old baccalaureat, which finally 
came to an end in 1905, the new baccalaureat, like the old, 
is divided into two parts, each part having four separate 
divisions corresponding to the different courses in the 
schools. In the First Part (classe de premiere) there is a 
French essay common to all four divisions. Three subjects 
are given, but only one may be chosen. Further, there is a 
version latine, i.e. a passage to be translated from Latin into 
French, which is common to the three sections in which 
Latin occurs ; an exercise in ' mathematics and physics for 
thfe sections in which science occurs, and a composition in a 
foreign language at the choice of the candidate in the 
section in which modern languages occur ; and lastly a 
passage for translation from the Greek in the purely classical 
section. This gives, then, three written papers in each 

All candidates who desire to present themselves for the 
oral examination must first pass the written section. Half 
marks are necessary for a pass, equal marks are given for 
the compositions and versions, with the exception of the 
composition in mathematics and physics, which counts 
double. At the oral the classical pupil has to translate and 
comment on a passage in classics, on another in modem 
language, as well as commenting on one from the mother 

1 Note. — (1909.) These permissions (or dispenses) are, unfortun- 
ately, on the increase, owing to the extra demands made by the 
service de deux arts in the army. Thus, while all other countries are 
increasing the time devoted to education, France is diminishing it. 
The effect on the study of philosophy appears to be very unfortunate. 
The pupil who takes up the subject at sixteen instead of seventeen 
has not the same mental maturity. — (1913.) The number of dj's- 
^ewses seems to have become stationary : in 1909, 1,297; ^^ 1910, 1,308. 

2 Note. — (1909.) Last year they varied from 49 per cent, to 
40 per cent, n the different courses. — (1913) Between 48 and 40 per 

' For a detailed programme of each subject see the Programme des 
Examens du nouveau Baccalaureat de I'Enseignemeni secondaire (Paris, 
Imprimerie Delalain). 


tongue, besides answering questions in ancient and modern 
languages, geography, mathematics, and physics. The 
other sections are examined in the same fashion in the sub- 
jects of these sections. 

A zero in any subject produces a failure, half marks are 
necessary for a pass, the mention assez Men being awarded 
to those who obtain 60 per cent.. Men to those who obtain 
70 per cent., and tres Men to those who obtain 80 per cent. 
A candidate who has failed at the oral is excused for two 
sessions from having to take the written examinations. To 
ehminate to a certain extent the element of chance from the 
examination, every candidate is allowed to present a carnet 
or livret scolaire, which gives in a concise form his school 
record. If his case is a doubtful one either at the written 
or oral examination, he cannot be " ploughed " until the 
jury have taken into consideration his " school record " 
and decided against him.^ 

The rhetorique portion of the examination still preserves 
its rhetorical aspect. The French essay is looked upon as 
the most difficult part of the examination, as being that 
part of the examination on which the examiners lay most 
stress. The version latine for those who take Latin is 
regarded with almost equal awe by the candidates. A mere 
word for word translation showing that the student has 
grasped the meaning of the passage is insufficient. The 
pupil is given some twenty lines from some classical author 
and three hours to do it in ; the greater part of those three 
hours is intended to be devoted to poUshing the French. 

In the Second Part the courses are reduced to two ; the 
students in the classical and Latin-modem languages 
sections take the so-called philosophy proper. The written 
work in this division consists of a French dissertation in 
philosophy and a paper in natural history and physics. 
The oral section comprises a viva-voce in philosophy, and 
explanations of a philosophical author the pupils have read 

* NoTB.^(i909.) An examiner of some years' standing states that 
the carnet scolaire is of the greatest use in deciding the passing of a 
pupil in doubtful cases, and that much practice enables an examiner 
to easily allow for the personal equation of the teachers who have 
signed it. 


in class, with further viva-voce examinations in modem 
history, physics, and natural history.^ 

The written work in the mathematical division comprises 
three papers, on mathematics, physics, and philosophy. 
The oral section comprises an interrogation on mathematics, 
physics, chemistry, natural history, modem history, and 
philosophy. The same rales for passing the written and 
oral portions of the examination which obtain in the First 
Part also apply to the Second Part, as well as those for 
obtaining distinction. 

In the First Part the papers in all the sections are for 
three hours, except that in mathematics and physics, which 
has four hours assigned to it. In the Second Part the paper 
for those taking the full course in philosophy is four hours 
in length. The same candidates have only a two-hours 
paper for their physics and natural history. The candi- 
dates in mathematics have three hours for each of their three 
papers. In each part the average length of the oral exami- 

1 Note. — (1909.) During the last seven years the historical part 
in the examination has been abolished, and more stress laid on the 
explanation of certain set books, for which a special mark is accorded 
at the examination. It is complained that this excision of the past 
places the pupil too much at the mercy of the professor's personal 
ideas. But the explanation of the set books is held to provide the 
necessary counter-balance. The tendency on the part of the pro- 
fessors is to leave more and more on one side the logical and meta- 
physical side, and to study moral and social questions. Certain 
critics remark that this growing variety in opinion may lead in the 
long run to a sort of anarchic philosophigue, but the danger seems 
somewhat remote. Variety is the indispensable condition of true 
progress, and sincerity is, after all, the most precious quality in 
teachers and in taught. Speaking from experience, the present 
writer can bear witness that the Sorbonne of some ten years ago was 
too rigidly orthodox. More serious seems the criticism that the 
courses given by some of the professors appear to lack a central idea. 
— (1913.) At the present time the metaphysical side is certainly less 
studied and the social side more and more, though complaints are 
sometimes made that the sociology taught is too scientific and 
abstract. On the other hand, the introduction of modem questions 
sometimes leads to difiiculties. Quite recently a professor at the 
College Chaptal has been attacked in the Press for dictating a passage 
from Karl Marx to his class. This development seems inevitable, 
and similar difficulties will arise in English schools when the dis- 
cussion of present-day questions invades, as it is certain sooner or 
later to do, our history lessons. The only safe way will be to give 
both sides of the question. 


nation is three hours. The jury are composed of members 
of the Faculty of Letters and Science, together with an equal 
number of teachers either in active service or on the retired 
list. No teacher can examine his own pupils. 

The introduction of the teaching element is largely due 
to a desire to lighten the duties of the university professors, 
who find the baccalaurSat a great strain on their univer- 
sity work. A German happily summed up the previous 
situation by saying that the French apparently thought it 
necessary to use their best razors to cut blocks. The exami- 
nation itself is held twice a year, at the beginning and end 
of the school year. 

The aim of the examination in rhetoric is to test an 
education which in the main is Uterary and aesthetic. The 
aim of the examination in philosophy is an audit of the 
pupil's studies, not only in " le beau," but also in " le vrai " 
and " le bien." Thus French education covers the whole 
field of the mental faculties. No year is more important 
in the pupil's hfe than that of philosophy. He finally 
learns and realizes that everything in his work so far has 
been devoted to the object of making a savant and a man of 
him. A rhetorical education by itself has great dangers. 
One brought up exclusively under its rigime is more or less 
at the mercy of words. It is true that a philosophical 
education puts us also at times at the mercy of ideas, but 
the danger is certainly preferable. A rhetorical education 
gives us in fact the colour of ideas ; the philosophical adds 
a sense of their structure. 

Certainly one can speak with experience of the extreme 
value of this philosophical education. It is not only for the 
pupil a resume, an Erkldrung of the past, it is also a base 
and groundwork for his future education, providing him as 
it were with mental pigeon-holes wherein he may arrange 
his subsequent experience. The mere fact of teaching the 
pupil to examine, analyse, and classify his ideas, and arrange 
them into a coherent whole, seems to me of the highest 
value. The most effective personaUties apart from fanatics 
are those in whom this unification has obtained the greatest 
extension, more especially when they possess in addition a 


strong will as driving power. It would be weU if we in 
England had a little more respect and appreciation of general 
ideas, which, after all, are but the intellectual names of great 
moral principles.^ We should certainly be able to reason out 
many of our social and political questions more readily and 
be less slaves to the gross sophisms which obtain currency 
from the neglect of the ordinary cultivated man to examine 
the exact meaning of the terms with which he reasons. 

It is true that philosophy in France wears of all philo- 
sophies the least forbidding look. It may not attain the 
profundity of German philosophy ; in some cases it may 
only be a sort of glorified common sense ; but in its lucidity, 
in its close attachment to the problems of daily life it finds 
at once its strength and its weakness. Nor is it by any 
means so shallow as foreigners are inclined to think. The 
depth is there, but the bottom is seen so easily because the 
milieu is so transparent. In France the philosophers do 
not forget that their subject is a branch of Hterature, and 
the whole attitude of the best writers is not to pose as high 
priests of mystery and explain the ohscurum -per obscurius, 
but rather to show with the greatest suppression of self how 
after all the thing is not so difficult to produce. Culture 
fortified by clear thinking would appear to be the aim of the 
two parts of the baccalaureat.^ 

In two or three of the big schools classes have beea 
started of recent years for those who have already passed 
the baccalauriai and are working for the ficole Normale or 
the licence. These classes de rheiorique su-pirieure (or pre- 
miere) are not altogether regarded with a friendly eye by 
the universities, who look on the pupils of which they are 
formed as already part of their clientele. France is the 
country par excellence of dehmitation, yet even here over- 
lapping is not, as we see, entirely unknown. 

1 Note. — (1909.) For further development of these ideas see 
p. 214, " The True Inwardness of Moral Instruction in France." 

2 Note. — (1909.) M. Steeg (Rapport Steeg) thus sums up the 
general effect of a French secondary education : " II en subsiste peu 
de connaissances pricises et siires. Ce qui demeure, c'est une certaine 
maniire de sentir, le souvenir ilevi de nobles Amotions, quelque besoin 
de penser, quelque curiositi et surtout une pricieuse modesiie " (p. 40) . 


Pupils who have taken the baccalaureat in the science 
course follow, according to the career they intend to enter, 
special courses for the Ecole Polytechnique,^ the Ecole 
Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, and the ficole Normale 
Superieure (Section des Sciences). The courses are two 
years in length, and are called respectively Elementary and 
Special Mathematics. Those pupils also who are going to 
try for St. Cyr, the ficole Navale, the Institut Agronomique, 
and the Ecoles Sup^rieures d' Agriculture, attend special 
courses directly preparatory for these various institutions ; 
such courses are only organized in certain lycees. 

The entrance age for these examinations naturally varies. 
A candidate for the £cole Navale must be not less than 
fifteen or more than nineteen ; for the Polytechnique and 
St. Cyr he must be over seventeen and under twenty-one ; 
for the Ecole Normale he must be over eighteen and under 
twenty-five ; for the ficole Centrale, the Institut Agrono- 
mique, and the Ecoles Superieures d' Agriculture he must be 
over seventeen, but there is no higher Umit of age. The 
work in these classes is naturally dominated by the pro- 
gramme of examinations in these schools. A certain 
amount of agitation is going on at the present time in 
favour of assimilating the requirements of those examina- 
tions to those of the baccalaureai whenever they do not but 
can be made to coincide. At present, for instance, there is 
a lack of agreement between the mathematics required at 
the baccalaureat and that required at the entrance examina- 
tion of these schools. 

Teachers complain that pupils will not get up certain 
portions of mathematics which are set for the baccalaureat 
because they are not required later on at St. Cyr or else- 
where. Clearly the remedy here is greater co-ordination. 

1 The ificole Polytechnique corresponds roughly to Woolwich : its 
best pupils often become State engineers in the Fonts et Chauss^es ; 
the Ecole Centrale is a much enlarged Cooper's Hill, or is rather 
equivalent to the new London Charlottenburg ; the £cole Normale 
is really a preparatory school for university professors no less than 
for secondary teachers ; the Ecole Navale represents the Britannia 
(1909, Osborne) ; the Ecole St. Cyr corresponds to Sandhurst ; the 
Institut Agronomique is a sort of Cirencester and Rothampstead 


These big schools cannot be allowed to dictate ad lib. to 
the lycSes. 

One cause of complaint among others against the bac- 
calaurSat has been that it has led to overwork and many 
have demanded its suppression. It has been felt, however, 
that its advantages are greater than its defects. It is 
significant that the proposal to substitute for it a school 
examination in the presence of a delegate from the Ministry 
was rejected by nearly all the teachers. The examination 
therefore has been maintained. It is possible that the 
complaints against the baccalaureat on the grounds of 
overpressure were exaggerated,^ but there is reason to fear 
that the overwork induced by the severe competitions for 
the special schools is a very serious evil. 

Many competent, persons speak of candidates working 
ten and twelve hours a day. M. Berthelot speaks of the 
system as the cause of the physical and intellectual deca- 
dence of the youths of the country. No doubt something 
will have to be done to reduce the present chduffage to which 
the unhappy candidates are at present subjected, but what 
that something should be is difficult to decide. A com- 
petitive examination must inevitably lead to overwork. 
The best one can hope to do is to eliminate the unfit at as 
early a stage as possible.^ 

^ It is significant that complaints against the pressure of the new 
baccalauriat are already beginning to appear, and it is freely asserted 
that the sum total of work demanded is still greater than under the 
old system. Matters are compUcated by the recent action of the 
Minister of War, who has lowered the ultimate limit of ages for 
admission into the army schools. This means that the pupils will 
be more tempted than ever to take baccalauriat at fifteen in order to 
find sufficient time to specialize for the army examination. — (1913.) 
The programmes in all sections have been slightly lightened. 

' Note. — (1909.) The hostility to the baccalaurdat has steadily 
decreased .since it has been seen that it is essential to have a leaving 
certificate for the schools, and an entrance certificate for the higher 
forms of education, and that an examination which fulfils this double 
function is the last word on the subject. Unfortunately, it still 
appears that the form and substance of the examination are dictated 
too exclusively by the university, in spite of the presence of a secon- 
dary teacher on the Board of Examiners. Other complaints to-day 
are the surmenage owing to the extent of the programmes to be 
studied, the drop in the age of the pupils who take the examinations, 
and the decline in French composition and philosophy. 


KTo discuss the English examination system, or rather 
chaos, would require a treatise in itself. Its genesis is 
more easy to explain. The English school is a close 
borough. In many cases public opinion has respected its 
privileges, while demanding first of all an audit of those who 
leave it and next an audit of those who are within its gates. 
Headmasters to save their autonomy have allowed the 
introduction of external examination.^ Nay,' some of them 
have gone further and in the desire to learn what their own 
staff are doing they has:e actually joined in the demand for 
public examinations. In any case the acceptance of ex- 
ternal examinations has been the introduction into the 
schools of a veritable Trojan horse. External examinations 
once admitted within the walls of the schools have speedily 
ended by dominating the teaching, so that to-day examina- 
tions rather control curricula, whereas curricula should 
control examinations. 

The examination Moloch demands that all the children, 
even of the tenderest age, should henceforth pass through 
its fires. To-day we have examinations for all ages up the 
school. Like the French, we have our special examination 
for the Army, Navy, and Civil Service, but instead of having 
one leaving certificate like the baccalaureat as the " open 
sesame " to the universities and the professions, not only 
has each university its own special examination, but many 
of the professions have also preliminary examinations of 
their own. It is true that the system of equivalences which 
partially obtains modifies to some extent the mischief, but 
the evils under which our education labours are none the 
less very great. The schools themselves suffer, the upper 
classes are cut up through pupils working apart at different 
subjects, and much of the moral value of the last year at 
school derived from work in common is lost. With the 
influence of its leading boys thus comparatively diluted, the 
moral effect of a strong sixth form is lost to the school. 

The curricula of the schools naturally suffer. All exami- 
nations imply specialization of a more or less narrow kind, 
except those which by tempting the candidate to obtain 
honours in as many subjects as possible tend to the opposite 


extreme of diffuseness. In either case subjects not in the 
examination Ust are more or less scamped, if they do not 
become a dead letter for those who are working for the 
examination. The teaching suffers. Teachers are tempted 
to neglect everything but what pays in the examinations, 
to cut their subject down to its examination Umits. In 
their attempt to anticipate the examiner they are apt to 
degenerate into the teaching of tips and tricks. Again, 
the stereotyped nature of the questions engenders monoton- 
ous and mechanical teaching. The boys suffer. Spontaneity 
is discouraged, originality is discounted. The iron of the 
examination enters into the boys' souls. The ideals of 
knowledge are lowered, the mental outlook is narrowed, a 
distaste for learning and literature is engendered. 

Yet we probably cannot do without examinations. It 
is rather their excessive use which is harmful. They have 
their uses over and above their mere utilitarian value of 
helping us to make selections and of being one of the ways in 
which knowledge is audited. To mention only one of these 
uses, there is the immense advantage of the habit of being 
able to codify, arrange, and mobiUze one's knowledge when 
it is wanted. If it were not for the exigencies of examina- 
tions, the English schoolboy would often have no notion of 
how to put together and set forth what he has learnt. The 
art of conveying one's knowledge is hardly taught in EngHsh 
schools except for examination purposes. 

The remedy probably Ues in the great extension in the 
system of equivalences, which might be carried out by a 
joint board of the Board of Education, the local authorities, 
and the universities, say a sub-committee of the Consulta- 
tive Committee. These could act as a clearing house for 
diplomas. They might in time be able to get the consent 
of the various examining bodies to the estabhshment of 
one single leaving certificate.^ Probably something might 

i Note. — (igdg.) The Consultative Coramittee issued a scheme 
in 1904 (Proposals for a System of School Certificates, Board of 
Education Consultative Committee), but nothing much so far has 
been done. It is probable, however, that something in the nature 
of joint examination and inspection outlined above will come to pass 
in the long run. — (1913.) Perhaps the recent report on Examinations 
by the Consultative Committee may effect something. 


be done on the German system of having joint boards for 
districts or groups of schools composed of a certain number 
of trained examiners and inspectors to represent the Board 
of Education and the local authorities and of the school- 
masters themselves. 

We want to guard against uniformity, which one single 
examination common to the whole country would produce ; 
we want to safeguard equivalence of value between the exa- 
minations, and we want to bring in the teacher, who knows 
more about the pupil than anyone, and who can best put him 
through his paces ; and lastly we want to disturb the school 
curricula and to cut up the school classes as little as possible. 

The French may well congratulate themselves upon the 
fact that even if preparation for their higher schools leads 
to a considerable amount of overpressure, they are free from 
the multiplicity of examinations which hang like a never- 
hfting cloud over the Enghsh school, and produce a sort of 
depressing examination atmosphere or chmate which is at 
least lacking in the lower portions of the French school. 
There is, however, another point in which French examina- 
tions radically differ from our own, which it would be well 
for those who are interested in examinations in England to 
consider, if not in part to copy. 

'j<The Enghsh examination is too exclusively an audit of 
knowledge ; at its worst it is a mere audit of facts. The 
competition is above all things a match against time ; the 
pupil who can disgorge the greatest quantity of facts in a 
given time comes out top. Naturally a certain minimum of 
speUing and punctuation is demanded, and the facts them- 
selves must be correct. But the workmanship side of the 
question, style in the best sense of the word, occupies at 
best a secondary position. Who can deny that examina- 
tions on the whole are very largely a matter of memory, 
either in the actual reproduction of what one has learnt or 
in the production of something similar, be it either some 
classical " tip " or some tricky solution in mathematics ? 
Originality is too rarely sought for or desired. The arts of 
exposition and development in composition are compara- 
tively neglected, y 


When a French university professor is shown an English 
examination paper containing some ten or twelve questions 
he is lost in astonishment, and when he is told that full 
marks alone can be obtained for answering them all, and 
that only three hours is given for the paper, he is dumb- 
founded. On recovering his speech he informs us that the 
number of questions to be attempted in the lycee for a three 
hours' composition, as in the university for a six hours' 
composition, would be one or two. One can only explain to 
him that the English ideal largely partakes of Coleridge's idea 
of a sponge, which when squeezed returns the water it has 
absorbed, not always in its pristine condition, and that in this 
competition of sponges the most absorbent naturally scores. 

He wiU probably ask. Where does the composition come 
in, the art of presenting one's subject in the clearest form 
and in the best language ? One can only point out to our 
critic that he has misapprehended the Enghsh point of 
view, that the English examinee writes on the assumption 
that he is writing for those who are acquainted beforehand 
with what he ought to say, and who only want to verify his 
remarks. In a word, the examiners are already " in the 
know," the examinee has only got to prove that he is too in 
order to satisfy them. Our French friend wiU then prob- 
ably agree that the systems differ, and will point out that 
the French examinee writes from the point of view of one 
who wants to explain to the ordinary cultured person what 
he has to say, and that he therefore tries to state the case 
as it should be stated on its merits. 

He may further pertinently add that, as far as the actual 
value of the two systems goes, his method is superior. It 
not only tests the originality of the pupil by laying stress on 
the ability to put two and two together, and on the collation 
of facts apart from their mere collection ; it is also a first- 
rate exercise in quahties which are of real use in everyday 
life — to wit, the power to put one's views clearly and 
distinctly, not to say persuasively. Direct reply on the 
point seems difficult ; for are we not confronted here with 
the chronic inability of the average Enghsh boy, and also 
to some extent of the average Englishman, to express him- 


self and his ideas in a coherent fashion ? The common sense 
of the latter brings him nearly always to the point ; but it 
is only after hunting all over the place like a hound on a bad 
scenting day. 

A certain amount of composition teaching on French 
lines at school would have enabled him to dispense with 
much of this discursive thinking aloud. But if direct reply 
is difficult, we may still by way of rejoinder point out 
certain dangers which lurk in the French system, by showing 
that an extreme cult. of the form may lead to undue dis- 
regard for the subject-matter, how a skilled rhetorician may, 
by his mere brilliancy, dazzle the eyes of his examiners 
and conceal his lack of depth and grip of the subject. We 
certainly do not want to produce mere writers of the type 
of Brougham, of whom someone in discussing his articles 
has wittily said : " He used to get into a bath of rhetoric 
and splash about." 

Probably both we and the French have got hold of 
opposite ends of the truth, but on the importance of laying 
more stress on the quality of the work apart from the 
quantity we have certainly much to learn from them, especi- 
ally in matters of composition in the wide sense of the word. 

But our French critic has probably not finished with his 
objections. He inquires why we have so largely aboUshed 
oral examinations in England. We reply that we did so 
because of the greater element of chance they contained 
in comparison with the written test, and because a clever 
but nervous candidate could not under such trying con- 
ditions do himself or his knowledge adequate justice. Our 
critic will point out that if the object of examination is to 
produce learned recluses our second reason has considerable 
weight, but that it can hardly be seriously maintained that 
this is the usual object of examinations, that in daily life 
knowledge is often of little good unless it can be mobilized on 
the spot, that presence of mind and quickness of judgment, 
provided it is sound, are qualities which are of the greatest 
value. He admits that for a general estimate and survey 
of the extent of the candidate's knowledge and abilities 
a written examination is wellnigh indispensable, but 


he insists that the oral examination tests qualities which 
are simply untouched and unassayed by the written 

In suppressing the viva-voce examination we have cut the 
Gordian knot, we have not solved it. We have merely 
reduced and restricted our powers of finding out what a 
candidate is really made of. In a word, for the sake of 
obtaining uniformity in our tests, we have robbed them of a 
large portion of their value. Anyone incredulous of the 
value of oral examinations should attend the oral examina- 
tions at the Sorbonne, which are open to the pubUc and are 
often very largely attended by the friends and relations of 
the candidate. Those for the baccalaureat are relatively 
short, though even in these pupils are expected to be able 
to give a connected account in those subjects which lend 
themselves to narrative, not merely to answer a few names 
and dates. 

But in the higher examinations " the oral " assumes a stiU 
greater importance. In history or philosophy candidates 
for the licence are often given a subject to discuss for a 
quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, and the examiner 
looks for something which has at least a beginning, middle, 
and end. Happily the spread of the direct method of teach 
ing modern languages is bound to bring the question of 
viva-voce examinations weU to the front in England, and we 
may perhaps hope in the near future to see such indispens- 
able tests restored to their proper place in the majorit}' of 
subjects taken up for examination. ^ 

(vi) Privileges attached to Completion of Full 
School Course 

The new programmes have introduced one very sweeping 
revolution. Formerly success in the classical section of the 

iNoTE. — (1909.) Viva-voce examinations have already been 
established in the London County Council intermediate scholarships, 
and the French honour examinations at London University. They 
are already optional for the examinations of the Oxford and Cam- 
bridge Locals, as well as for the Modern Language Tripos at Cam- 
bridge. An influential " Report to the Modern Language Association 


baccalaurSat was necessary for those who intended to study 
for certain of the liberal professions. Now, though the 
courses have been increased from two to four, the examina- 
tion in them all bears the single title of baccalaurSat ; that 
is to say, in no matter what examination the pupil has 
obtained his baccalaurSat, he has henceforth the right to 
present himself for all State and professional examinations, 
whether he desires to enter the civil service, or become a 
doctor, a barrister, etc. 

The choice between the courses of study is left to the 
parents. In practice they, as a rule, leave the decision to 
the teacher. The Government have in fact instituted a 
sort of universal suffrage among French parents on the best 
kinds of curricula to follow. So far the one most in favour 
seems to be the Science-Modern Languages, while the Latin- 
Greek is in some country districts comparatively neglected. 
There seems to be some probability that the Government 
will suppress or confine to the larger schools those courses 
which obtain comparatively few votes. The outlook for 
classics is said to be far from brilliant.^ 

In England the examinations which correspond most 
closely to the baccalaurSat are the leaving examination of 
the London University, the Oxford and Cambridge Higher 

on the Qualifications and Training of Modern Language Teachers," 
published in Modern Language Teaching for April, 1909, demands 
that they should be made compulsory for the future master or 
mistress in modern languages. 

' NoTB. — (1909.) The predictions given above do not appear to 
be likely to be fulfilled at present. The classics, though not in the 
front, are still holding their own. Here are the statistics of the 
results of the first part of the BaccalaurSat Examination held in 
July, 1908 (see Journal of Education, December, 1908, p. 820) : 

of passes. 

Science and Modern Languages . 3,897 1,626 42 % 

Latin and Modem Languages . 3,058 1,255 4° % 

Latin and Greek . . 2,886 1,306 45% 

Latin and Science .... 2,766 i,35i 49 % 

The greater number taking Science and Modern Languages is to be 
accounted for by the fact that the course is very largely chosen by 
the scholars who, coming up from the elementary schools, have 

Courses. Candidates. Passes. 


Locals, and the Joint Board Examinations. The passing 
of these examinations provides in many cases partial or 
total exemption in the entrance examinations of the uni- 
versities and numerous pubUc bodies. The exemption, 
however, is far more often partial than total, and each 
particular pubhc body has its own Ust of obligatory sub- 
jects in which a candidate must pass in order to obtain 
complete exemption. Something of the nature of a uni- 
versal leaving examination — though not necessarily of a 
uniform nature — would be a great boon in England.^ 

(vii) School Hours 

In France as a rule the day schools open at 8 or 8.30, and 
morning school lasts tiU 11.30 ; in boarding schools there is 
generally an hour's preparation before breakfast. There is 
generally a break in morning school about 10.30. Afternoon 
school lasts from 1.30 to 4.30. This does not imply that 
all the boys are in school during these periods. In fact, boys 
of from eight to ten years of age in the preparatory and 
elementary divisions have only twenty hours a week. 
Deducting the weekly half or whole hohday on Thursday, 
this means they have only three and a half to four hours a 
day. From twelve to sixteen the boys in the two divisions 
A and B have twenty-three and twenty-two hours respec- 
tively for the first two years, and twenty-two (plus four 

naturally done no Latin. Still, we are told that in some schools the 
classical section is being elbowed out for reasons of economy.— 
(1913.) The statistics for July, 1912, are as follows : 

Science and Modern Languages 
Latin and Modern Languages 
Latin and Science 
Latin and Greek 

In five years Latin and Greek have lost over 700, or about 25 per 
cent. ; Science and Modern Languages have gained within 150 as 
many. The other sections, in both of which Latin occurs, have gained 
together as much as Science and Modern Languages. 

•See School series of articles, January to May, 1904, on "The 
Examination Chaos," by Cloudesley Brereton. 









43 % 


optional hours) and twenty-four respectively in the second 
two years. 

In the first year of the second cycle the classical boys get 
off with twenty-two hours, the Latin-modern with twenty- 
three, the Latin-science boys with twenty-six, and the 
science-modern with twenty-seven. In the first year of the 
baccalaureat the classicals have twenty-two hours plus two 
hours optional for drawing. The Latin-moderns have 
twenty with two hours optional for drawing and two for 
making up ground in Latin. The Latin-science boys have 
twenty-five hours, and the science-modern twenty-seven. 
In philosophy the hours for philosophy and mathematics 
with their two subsections are thirteen and a half with three 
optional, twenty-one with four optional, twenty-seven with 
two optional, twenty-eight with two optional. These 
hours do not look excessive, but the out-of-school work, 
especially in respect to the preparation for the Government 
schools, St. Cyr, etc., causes, according to all accounts, 
great overpressure.^ 

The normal lesson is one hour in length. Occasionally 
classes of an hour and a half are allowed, if the professors 
and proviseurs desire it and the rector of the University 
approves — a rather large order. The old lessons of two 
hours, which were far too long, have been definitely 
abolished. In the preparatory classes certain lessons may 
be subdivided into half-hours, to wit, geography, etc. In 
the higher classes, again, the programme allows lessons of 
an hour and a half for chemistry and physics. 

In the boarding schools the pupils get up at 6 a.m. and 
sometimes at 5 a.m., which seems somewhat early, though 
they go to bed at 9 or even at 8. Even the French day boy 
gets up as a rule earher than the Enghsh, 6.30 or 7 being the 
usual time. He often prepares a large part of his work 
before breakfast. This early rising is probably one of the 
causes that keep him in health. 
yin England the school hours naturally vary, but as a 

' Note. — (1909.) This overpressure appears to be growing. — 
(1913.) All the four courses have now been slightly reduced, but the 
total reduction does not amount to an hour in each year of the course. 

B.E. E 


general rule one may take it that the hours of work in a day 
school last from 9 to 12 in the morning and 2 to 4 in the 
afternoon. There is generally a break of 10-15 minutes in 
the middle of the morning, or 5 minutes' interval at the end 
of each lesson. The midday interval is given up, as in 
France, to a substantial repast. There are generally two 
half-holidays a week, and in the summer term a number of 
free afternoons for cricket matches. y. With the exception of 
the national hoUdays, the French schoolboy has no such 
red-letter days in his calendar, i School hours in England 
average roughly about twenty-lour to twenty-six hours a 
week in day schools and thirty to thirty-two hours in board- 
ing schools, though in the latter case some of the hours are 
generally devoted to preparation. Boys in for special 
examinations have naturally longer hours. 

Science lessons in England are often one and a half and 
even two hours in length. The other lessons seldom exceed 
an hour in length. In some cases the lessons are only fifty, 
forty-five, and in some rare cases thirty minutes in length. 
The partisans of the shorter hours affirm that the teachers 
get comparatively more out of the pupils in the shorter 
time ; they also probably take more out of themselves. 
While short periods are no doubt adequate for some sub- 
jects, they scarcely suit all. A lesson in geography probably 
requires less time than one in Latin.H^ 

(viii) Home Work 

In France there are no definite rules and regulations for 
settUng the amount of time that pupils of different ages 
should devote to their home work. At the beginning of 
each school year there is often, however, a meeting of the 
professors of each class to discuss the work to be done by the 
pupil at home. If one professor fancies that his colleague 
has been in the habit of getting the part du lion of the pupil's 
preparation time, the matter is threshed out and a friendly 
understanding arrived at. 

This is certainly good, as far as it goes, but there must be 
always a danger of an agreement being arrived at at the 


price of the pupil being overworked. The eight-hours day 
would certainly be a popular movement among the senior 
students in the French lycSes, in which it is stated the in- and 
out-of-school work frequently amounts to ten and twelve 
hours a day owing to the large amount of home work 
which is set. The new programmes have rather added to 
than diminished the amount of work necessary for the 

In England in a certain number of schools the question 
has been seriously tackled by the headmasters. Instead of 
considering the amount of work to be done, always a more 
or less hypothetical matter, reformers have rather regarded 
the number of hours which can be properly demanded from 
pupils of the various ages. When that has been decided, 
these hours have been spUt up among the various subjects 
which require preparation. But even here the determina- 
tion of the hours and the distribution of the work are not 
a sufficient safeguard in themselves. Much oversight is 
requisite to see that the system is properly worked. The 
average teacher is always tempted to give the ordinary boy 
a bigger tale of bricks than he can complete in the allotted 
period, and thereby the work suffers or the pupil's free time 
is encroached on. 

In fact, it is necessary not only to define the hours but 
to arrive at a clear understanding of what a fair hour's 
home work really is for the pupils of different ages. Unfor- 
tunately in a good many schools the schoolboy is subjected 
to all the evils of unrestricted competition among the staff. 
Cases are not unknown where the headmaster exacts his 
pound of flesh from the class, often a very liberal pound, and 
expects his staff to go and do likewise. Under the principle 
of " pull baker, pull devil," the strongest master gets the 
lion's share, and the others come off as best they can. 

Happily this theory of getting the last ounce out of the 
pupil is defeated by the natural inclination of the average 
boy to " knock off " when he is healthily tired, but its effect 
on the conscientious is distinctly detrimental and cannot be 
good for any of the boys concerned. A healthy boy has 
only^so much stored-up energy to expend per diem. You 


can probably get all you ought to get out of him, allowing 
for growth, in four, five, or six hours at the most. To 
spread the work over nine or ten merely means that you 
exhaust him and probably produce less effect. Long 
hours in the school do not lend themselves to greater pro- 
ductivity in the long run, any more than they do in the 

What is wanted in England and France is the formation of 
a small class of medico-schoolmasters knowing both sides 
of the question and able to speak with equal authority on 
the medical and on the pedagogical side.^ 

We have already in both countries school doctors who 
have done a good deal for school hygiene. The study of 
school fatigue has been started, but we want experts who 
understand not only the medical but the pedagogical diffi- 
culties. The medical man who is not a schoolmaster can 
hardly realize that under the stress of present competition 
it is not so much how few hours' schooling the pupil should 
have, but how many one may safely give him without 
injuring his health or physique. 

It would certainly be a great advantage if the State could 
erect a few experimental schools in which among other 
interesting questions the problem of short hours in class 
and preparation could be studied by trained experts. 
Experimental stations have immensely benefited farming; 
why should they not benefit puericulture ? In capable 
hands the children experimented on would take Uttle harm, 
and the result of successful experiment would be of the 
greatest value. No doubt the question of long hours, 
especially in boarding schools, is largely bound up with 
the problem of finding boys something to do, but that 
something need not necessarily be " head work." There 

1 Note. — {1909.) A great step forwaxd has been made in both 
countries in the way of interesting the medical profession, the local 
authorities, and the parents in school hygiene, notably by the holding 
of Congresses at Paris and London. The new medical inspection 
of the Board of Education will probably make medical inspection 
universal shortly in the secondary schools. In the great majority of 
London schools there is already not only a medical inspection of the 
pupils, with remedial drill in the case of girls, but regular weighing 
and measuring records are being compiled. 


are plenty of forms of manual employment to take its place 
either as work or recreation.^ 

M. le Docteur Hogg, writing in 1892, gives the following 
interesting comparative table of the work and play in 
English and French schools (see L'Hygilne scolaire dans 
les £iablissements de I'Enseignement secondaire de la Grande- 
Bretagne.p. 55): 


From 9 to 14 

Work .... 6 
Play .... 4* 
Sleep . . . loj 

Preparatory Lycie 
Work (Summer) . 10 ■ 
Play . • 2 55 mi" 
Sleep ... 9 

From 14 to 19 

(Mondays, Wednesdays, and 


Work .... 6 

Play . . .3 

Sleep (Summer) . . 8J 

Work (Winter) 
Play . 
Sleep . 

Work (Summer) 



(Tuesdays, Thursdays, and 
Work .... 8 
Play . . 6 
Sleep (Winter) . . . gj 

Play . 
Sleep . 

Work (Winter) 
Play . 
Sleep . 





In most English schools the third half-holiday a week has 
been suppressed and added to the work. A competent 
authority states that the French hours have rather increased 
than diminished.^ The advantages on the side of the 

' Note. — (1909.) See School, February and March, igo6, " Hand 
Craft and Brain Craft." The practice of earmarking every hour of 
the pupil's day not only undermines his self-reliance and self-initia- 
tive, but precludes him from any chance of acquiring personal tastes, 
and the power of independent work and thought. In some of our 
schools a beginning has been made to meet this grave defect by 
giving pupils in the school certain hours when they may read books 
out of the library under the supervision of a teacher who merely sees 
that quiet is maintained, and places himself at the disposal of any 
pupil who desires explanation on any point. 

*NoTE. — (1909.) Cf. M. Ma.Tirice-Fa.UTe, Rapport, p. 22g : "Les 
professeurs se plaignent aussi de la surcharge de certains programmes," 
and he compares classes in Sections C and D with twenty-six and 


English boy in the shape of more sleep, longer hours of play, 
shorter hours of work, are still very marked. 

(ix) The Teaching of Subjects 

The teaching of subjects is obviously one which cannot be 
treated exhaustively. Here more than anj^where else in the 
report, an effort will be made to describe what to the author 
has appeared most typical in the two educations, but in any 
case the treatment must necessarily be fragmentary and 

Mother Tongue 

In the classical and Latin sections pre-eminently, and in 
that of science-modern languages, though in a less degree, 
French is the central subject of the programme, inasmuch as 
the classical teaching, though not the modem language 
teaching, is to a large extent ancillary to the teaching of the 
mother tongue. The great difference between the study of 
classics in an English or a French school is that the English 
boy mainly studies the classics for their own sakes, the 
French boy for the assistance they give to a fuller and more 
complete expression and understanding of his native lan- 
guage. The mother tongue is often sacrificed to classics in 
England, in France classics no doubt are sometimes sacri- 
ficed to the mother tongue ; ^ but the converse is never true. 

French seems to be the one modern language which has 
not only definitely emancipated itself from a servile imita- 
tion of classical idioms, but also built up for itself a national 
style of its own, freer and less involved than Latin, from 
which it sprang, and therefore more in accord with the spirit 
of modern life. The emancipation of German prose seems 
yet to come. For who can believe the long-winded German 

twenty-seven hours a week with others in A and B with twenty-two 
and twenty-four. M. Steeg {Rapport, p. 39) also admits " quelque 

1 Note. — (1913.) The principal persons responsible for this cult 
of the mother tongue are RoUin, the Jesuits, and, in later times, Hatz- 
feldt (the master of Taine, Boissier, and other brilliant scholars at 
the ]£cole Normale) and Jules Simon. 


sentence is the last word on the subject, even if there were 
not numerous signs of a change ? We in England have had, 
no doubt, many admirable prose writers, but we have no 
traditional school for the writing of prose such as has long 
existed in France, and probably never shall have, till prose 
writing comes by its own in the schools themselves. 

In France even small boys of five and six in the classes 
enfantines are encouraged to compose, though naturally 
their compositions are only oral. Among the three principal 
methods for the teaching of the mother tongue insisted on 
in the programme comes the direction : " Very short stories 
to be read aloud in class and told over again by the children." 
In the class above a beginning of written composition is 
made, and the twofold practice of oral and written com- 
position is thenceforth continued right up the school. The 
Men dire and bien ecrire are thus taught from the very outset 
to the close of the school career. 

It is curious to find persons in England who seriously 
dispute the use of French as a mental discipline, when the 
French themselves consider it in this respect equal to Latin 
or Greek, one might almost say superior, because being their 
own language it is naturally the better medium for their 
children. The French — pace these English critics, who have 
often but a superficial smattering of the language — are prob- 
ably right. To begin with, their language possesses the best 
traditions of ancient rhetoricians, handed down in an un- 
interrupted apostolic succession through the Schools of 
Lyons, Bordeaux, and Paris, or recovered by scholars at 
the Renaissance. It is to-day a finished product which 
has been worked up by generations of native Longinuses 
and Quintilians. 

While in England the word " composition " too often 
means a mere reproduction in a Latin or Greek medium of 
some passage taken from an English writer, a matter of 
hitting on the right phrase or word, of reproducing in a 
classical mosaic a design already given in English, it has 
retained in France its fuller, truer, and really classical mean- 
ing, of composing, of putting together, of construction. It 
calls into play not merely the talent of the mosaic maker, of 


the reproductive workman, but of the architect, the master 
builder, the original designer and artist. 

In a word, the French writer is not a mere framer of happy 
phrases. His chief glory consists in his skill in building up 
phrases into paragraphs, and paragraphs into one single 
harmonious, symmetrical, architectural whole. And herein 
lies for us, if we are only able to grasp it, the supreme value 
and importance of the study of French for ourselves. As 
our artists go to Paris to learn technique, so our school- 
masters may well go to France to study composition. We 
do not want to create in our English schools a sort of bastard 
French style. There is ijideed little danger of such an 
eventuality. We have too much of nationality, of racial 
mother stuff in us ever to succumb to that temptation. But 
we certainly may learn a good deal by studying structure 
under the great French masters. To judge by many of our 
composition manuals a vast deal more attention is stUl 
given to botching the pupil's EngUsh and correcting his 
punctuation than on insisting first and foremost that his 
essay should be a member of the vertebrate famUy.^ 

It seems impossible to insist too much on the Uteraxy 
excellence of the French language, when we consider what 
the teaching of modern languages in our higher classes 
should be, when our pupils have acquired a fair working 
knowledge of the tools of the new learning, understanding, 
speaking, and writing. We shall not have profited much if 
we surrender the shackles of the old-fashioned grammarian 
for the fetters of the new philology. Here again the example 
of the French teacher should come to our rescue and show 
us a more excellent way. 

Philology does not appear at all in the school course. In 

1 Note. — (1913.) In connection with the above remarks one may 
perhaps mention two books which have recently appeared on the 
actual teaching of French composition and literature. They are by 
M. J. Bezard, and are entitled La Classe de Franfais and De la 
MHhode litUraire (Journal d'un Professeur dans une Classe de Pre- 
miere) — the publishers being La Libraire Vuibert, Paris. They 
should prove a veritable gold-mine of hints and suggestions to EngUsh 
teachers of composition and literature, while the copious quotations 
from the pupils' work reveal the high standard reached by French 
pupils tramed on these methods. 


its place we find a well-graduated course in the national 
literature based especially on the actual study of great 
masterpieces which are discussed on critical and aesthetic but 
not on philological grounds. For foreigners, as for French 
students, some knowledge of philology may seem desirable, 
but a small manual wiU give aU that is required for a hterary 
appreciation by an intelligent person of the evolution of the 
language. Philology should come at the conclusion of our 
hterary education in the language.^ It is in fact, as the 
French hold, essentially a matter for late university or 
post-graduate study. 

Possibly under the old system which preceded the present 
reform the study of formal grammar was overdone. To-day 
the use of short grammars both in French and other lan- 
guages from which the exceptions are largely excluded is 
de rigueur in all the State schools, to the despair of many 
publishers and second-hand booksellers. They, however, 
are not the only discontented persons. The teachers in 
some schools are also complaining. 

They give as their reasons — (i) that less attention is 
given than formerly to the art of expression ; the cultiva- 
tion of I' eloquence frangaise, which pushed to excess enabled 
a person to write weU on any subject whether he was 
acquainted with it or not. This does not seem a great loss. 
(2) They complain that the new method of reading by sight 
has lowered the standard of orthography in the schools, 
because under the new system pupils are no longer obliged 
to spell their words. They learn to read more quickly, but 
the education of the eye, on which spelhng depends, is 
neglected ; (3) less attention is given, as mentioned above, to 
grammar.^ This does not apply very much to the pupils doing 
Latin and Greek, as, owing to the amount of classical gram- 
mar they do, they get sufficient drill and practice in the rules. 

1 Note. — (1909.) The recent reforms of the MediEEval and Modern 
Language Tripos at Cambridge, which partially came into force in 
1909, are largely based on these lines. 

2 Note. — (1909.) The old method of studying grammar seems 
doomed. Much may be expected from such new methods as that 
outlined by MM. Brunot and Bony (Milhode de Langue frangaise, 
3 vols., Armand Colin), based on historical grammar and closely 
correlated with composition. 


Moreover, during the classical lesson the mother tongue is 
being studied concurrently in the shape of translations, and 
the class itself is conducted in French. On the other hand, 
the grammar in the modern language lesson is cut down to a 
minimum, and the mother tongue is very largely excluded 
from the class-room. It is said by some competent judges 
that those studying English and German are on an average 
two classes below those studying Latin in the study of 
French, yet these boys have to be taken together.^ 

There seems Uttle doubt that, with French the direct 
descendant of Latin, the study of the latter must be 
advantageous to many French boys, and many moderate 
reformers in language teaching are stiU unconvinced that 
the drawbacks of elementary Latin outweigh its advantages. 
StiU it must be remembered that the parallel between 
English and French classical teaching is not altogether, as 
we shall see, complete. Where we attempt to form a 
learned scholar the French seek to give a hterary culture. 

Of the teaching of the mother tongue in England one can 
only say that on the whole it compares most unfavourably 
with the teaching of the mother tongue in France. Our 
chief hope lies in the very great progress that has been made 
during the last ten or fifteen years.^ Until comparatively 
recently, EngUsh when taught at all was taught with all 
the paraphernedia of a dead language. Its granmaar was 
studied with the same minuteness as that of Latin and Greek. 
Its rules, often merely descriptive and singularly imperfect 
at that, were set up as veritable laws of reason more infaUible 

1 Note. — (1909.) It would appear that the standard of French 
composition has certainly fallen off of recent years. This is mainly 
due to the decrease in the time allotted to French, three hours in place 
of five. M. Maurice-Faure states in his Rapport (p. 229) that the 
Conseil Supfirieur intends shortly to add another hour. — (1913.) 
Another hour has now been added in the 6th, 5th and 3rd year of ttie 
course, while in the 6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd year of Section A the hours 
given to French and Latin have been combined to enable the class 
professor to correct any special temporary weaknesses of the class 
in either subject. 

^ Note. — (1909.) See Report of a Conference on the Teaching of 
EngUsh in London Elementary Schools (Chairman, Professor Boas), 
published by the London County Council, 1909 ; second edition, 


than the enactments of the Medes and Persians. How 
often has one heard and still hears in the schools such 
instances of bastard logic as " Why is the plural of man, 
men ? Because it is an exception to the rule," or " Why is 
the participle of bring, brought ? Because it is an irregular 
verb," and other pseudo-ratiocinations. 

Then, again, authors were studied far more in the notes 
than in the text. One can cite even to-day " school " editions 
of selections from Milton more annotated even than Mayor's 
Juvenal. Our pupils stUl read too much about authors and 
not enough of their works. When poetry is learnt by heart 
it is too often gabbled. Recitations and reading aloud are 
far too widely neglected. Little or no literary and artistic 
criticism is attempted or encouraged. No doubt there is a 
certain type of mind which shrinks from all literary or 
aesthetic criticism as savouring of affectation and rant and 
bound to degenerate into sentimentality and slobber. Such 
persons often have the root of the matter in them, but 
apparently look on such feeUngs in the same light as their 
deeper religious feeUngs, as sacred things only to be discussed 
between a man and his Maker. Hence when they take a 
literature lesson they either regard the pupils as hopeless 
Philistines or treat them as Moses did the IsraeUtes when 
compelled in his anger to give them water to drink. They 
forget that appreciation is largely a matter of imitative 
sympathy, as Horace has shown for all time : 

. . . Si vis me flere, dolendum est 
Primum ipsi tihi. 

Assuredly our national hatred of affectation and pre- 
tension has its good side. It has kept down the breed of 
poeticules and poetasters, and litterateurs of the fourth 
water and of artists of the tenth magnitude ; but none 
the less we ought to be able to give our pupils a sense of 
the fineness of literary and artistic things without neces- 
sarily converting them en masse into an artistic and literary 

English is, however, excellently taught in some boys' 
schools, and for this we have largely to thank the girls' 


schools, which in the teaching of this and of other modern 
subjects have often proved the pioneers and promoters of 
new methods. The reformed system of teaching modern 
languages should be in the near future a valuable ally 
towards modernizing methods. Just as teachers formerly 
based their teaching of English on classical Unes, so they are 
nearly certain to remodel their EngUsh teaching on the 
lines of the Neue Methode, once they reaUze its potentialities. 
They will see that what is sauce for the French goose is 
probably equally good sauce for the English gander, and 
modify their cuisine accordingly. 

We are already witnessing a strong movement in favour 
of oral and written compositions, coupled with a revolt 
against the tyranny of formal grammar, though not to the 
extent of the liking of some reformers who, Uke Jack Cade, 
would almost proscribe nouns and verbs, while at the same 
time an increased interest is being shown in the literary and 
artistic side of the language. We thus have three con- 
current streams of attack playing on those institutions in 
which the older traditions of teaching still prevail. Help, 
too, is promised from a quite unexpected quarter. Science 
teachers are insisting more and more on the need of clear 
and well-ordered description on the part of their pupils. 
Their assistance should be of the utmost value, over and 
above the support thus given to the proper teaching of 
English. It should rob the old quarrel between science and 
literature of half its violence when once it has been generally 
realized by scientists that clear exposition is an absolute 


The deposition of Greek from the position it held in the 
old curriculum and its restriction to one of the four alterna- 
tive courses cannot fail to have an effect on the quantity 
of classical scholarships in the French schools. It is quite 

' For further discussion on the subject see The Practical Teacher, 
December, 1902, " Is it Possible to Improve the Teaching of English 
Composition ? " by Cloudesley Brereton. 


possible that what is left will improve in quality.^ Matthew 
Arnold remarked on the comjiarative lowness of standard in 
Greek,^ and it is probable that the level of attainment was 
much about the same before the present reform. The lycie 
being open to all, and the classical course being the fashion- 
able one for the baccalaureat, the standard was forcibly kept 
down by the quantity of pupils of merely average or medi- 
ocre ability who persisted in taking the subject. With this 
Ballast, as the Germans say, distributed, in part at least, 
over the other courses, the standard will again have a chance 
of rising. In any case, classics are far from being played out 
in France, where even such out-and-out Socialists as 
M. Jaurfis insist on their retention as necessary for the 
education of a chosen few (Slite). 

The principal aim of the teaching of classics in France is, 
as has been indicated above, to treat Latin and Greek rather 
as a means of literary and rhetorical training, especially in 
regard to the study and appreciation of the mother tongue, 
than as an instrument of mental discipUne. In a word, the 
ideal is culture rather than exact scholarship. Or rather, 
where we lay stress on didicisse fideliter artes, and expect 
that the emollit mores will follow as a matter of course, they 
lay stress on the emollit mores, and expect the faithful and 
scrupulous scholarship will be acquired concurrently or as 
a finishing polish. 

We therefore naturally find in the schools that more 
attention is paid to translation into French and far less to 
translation into the foreign languages.^ Verse-writing has 
of course been long^given up.* Composition in the Enghsh 

1 Note. — {1909.) This prediction has been realized. According 
to M. Maurice-Faure the " section classique renferme en giniral les 
meilleurs Hives" (p. 230). 

" See M. Arnold, A French Eton, p. 367. 

' " U ex-plication des textes sera le principal exercice de la classe " 
(Plan d'Studes et Programmes d' Enseignement dans les Lycies et 
Colliges de Gargons). Again, in the higher classes we find added the 
pupils will in addition be put on to supplementary reading which 
will be marked in class. 

■* In the fourth and third classes versification and prosody are 
studied and hexameters and pentameters scanned and French trans- 
lations oi them put back into Latin. 


sense of the word is less practised than heretofore. The 
method of setting compositions out of books has been well- 
nigh abandoned. What composition there is is based either 
directly or indirectly on passages taken from the classical 
authors the class have been reading, and includes free 
composition. This recourse to re-translation is interesting 
as an example of the methods advocated by Ascham and 
the earUer humanists in England. Less attention, as we 
have seen, is paid to grammar. 

In translation what is specially insisted on is the transla- 
tion of large portions of an author in preference to isolated 
fragments, extensive rather than intensive culture being the 
aim. The object of the teacher is to get a whole book read, 
and to make it as far as possible a living thing, a bit of 
Uterature for the pupil. Details are not insisted on. 
Literal translations are strictly forbidden, but good French 
translations are in some cases allowed, and the tendency to 
permit the use of these authorized versions is said to be 
growing. Such practices must seem terrible to those 
teachers in England who would bum if they could Mr. 
Bohn and all his works at the stake, but at any rate it does 
away with the illicit use of cribs. Great stress is now laid on 
a literal translation the first time over, and equally great 
stress is laid on polishing the revised translation into good 

There seems little doubt that, with the galaxy of briUiant 
" men " that our public schools send up every year to the 
universities, not only are the number of classical scholars 
worthy of the name far more numerous in England, but that 
the general standard of attainment in Greek and possibly 
in Latin is distinctly on a higher level. To begin with, 
classics in our big schools are studied on a far larger scale. 
Hour for hour the EngUsh boy devotes a considerably longer 
time to Latin and Greek in the course of his school career 
than does the French boy. Much greater attention is paid 
with us to composition, grammar, and to the points of 
scholarship generally. 

Possibly these differences, not in numbers but in degree of 
attainment, tend to decrease in the university. More atten- 


tion is there paid to scholeirship, though the perpetual 
protest against the irudition allemande even in high places 
shows a preoccupation to preserve the distinctly literary 
over the, one might almost say, philological character of 
classical education, a character which is largely supported 
by the fact that even in the licence es lettres at least half the 
examination is taken up by the French language. With the 
agr&gation, however, which is a highly speciaUzed examination 
open to students of any age, the elite who stiU continue their 
classical education probably make up any leeway in the 
matter of scholarship compared with the ' standard in 
England ; while the doctorat, which is far more often taken 
than the Litt.D. or D.Sc. with us, keeps the chosen few who 
are still studying classics hard at work at original research, 
when the majority of their compeers in England have given 
themselves up to teaching or editing school books. 

In all probability at the top there is httle or no difference : 
several EngUsh scholars have assured me of their high 
admiration for the best French scholars of to-day. While, 
then, at the top there is practically no difference, and half- 
way up the ladder our scholars are probably ahead of pupils 
of the same age in France, it is a very doubtful question 
whether the French system with or without Greek is not a 
much better training for the boy of average or mediocre 
ability. Far too many boys leave the public schools with- 
out having become even respectable scholars — a competent 
authority like Professor Laurie puts their number at the 
extraordinarily high figure of 95 per cent.,^ and does not 
hesitate to use the stronger word " failures." 

Even if these boys do carry something away in the shape 
of greater mental elasticity owing to the classical gymnastics 
to which they have been subjected, it is still a very great 
question if for such boys the French method of attempting 
to give at least a tinge of culture, to educate the taste and 
develop the appreciation, is not a more valuable and lasting 

* S. S. Laurie, Studies in the History of Educational Opinion from 
the Renaissance, p. 16. See also Public Schools and Public Needs. 
by G.. G. Coulton, for an unfavourable view of the classical attain- 
ments of the average boy. 


possession, and one that can be acquired by a very much 
larger proportion of pupils. Had Greek in England been 
taught on these lines, its position as a pass subject in the 
university entrance examinations would certainly have 
been stronger to-day. 

It has been indicated in the course of the above com- 
parison between classics in England and France that the 
supremacy of the English pupil in Latin was only a possible 
one, being based at the best on a more extensive scholarship. 
The French boy has great advantages over the Enghsh boy 
in the turning of his own mother tongue into Latin. He 
starts with a language in which every word has a distinct 
reproductive meaning. It may seem to us at times wordy 
inasmuch as it deals with compliments or commonplaces, 
but even in its most hollow-sounding periods each word 
does really stand for something. 

There are none of those gag-hke phrases and expressions 
which, to take a definite instance, abound in the works of 
Bulwer Lytton, and which literally defy translation. Once 
no doubt in certain contexts they had or stiU have a regular 
meaning, but hke coins they have become so worn and 
debased from current use that they no longer represent any 
definite thought value. Their only function is to stuff out 
the sentence, mere make-weights to give it the requisite 
balance. Again, there is a very great deal less of that 
painful recasting and rearrangement of the whole structmre 
of the passage to be translated such as is necessary with us 
in order to convert our Gothic-like Enghsh into something 
of a classical type of architecture. No one who has not 
tried can realize how easily French goes back into Latin tiU 
he remembers that the words themselves take their root- 
meaning from the Latin, and that, while minor changes 
have to be made, structural alterations are comparatively 
rare, for the logical sequence of thought is there already. 
In a word, it is not surprising that the daughter's clothes 
with a few alterations should be a passable fit for the 

There is, however, another point which renders com- 
parison somewhat difiicult, not to say dehcate. Composi- 


tion in a dead language has its fashions, and its fashion- 
able models no less than any other human art. Nothing 
surprised my French professors in Greek more than that 
a writer like Thucydides, of an epoch when the literary 
language was still obviously in the making, should be largely 
taken at Cambridge as a model for the writing of Greek 
prose. They could not understand the comparative neglect 
of Isocrates. One could not help feeling they were largely 
in the right. What should we think of a foreigner, say some 
Babu professor, who set up Carlyle as a model of English 
prose for the pupils to imitate ? It seems clear that at 
bottom the personal equation of each teacher has in Latin 
and Greek just as in everything else a certain authority and 

Hence, what may be the vogue at Cambridge owing to 
the personaUty of one or two leading professors need not 
necessarily be the vogue at Oxford. But when we come to 
the personal equation of the race, it seems highly probable 
that each country out of the same classical models should 
evolve something still more marked with the stamp of its 
own native genius, still more strongly differentiated from that 
of other countries. Just as there is certainly an Irish Catho- 
Hcism, a French Catholicism, and a German Catholicism, 
though they all firmly rest on the faith once delivered to 
the saints, is it not natural that there should be a French 
Latin, an English Latin, and a German Latin ? If literary 
Padua had its Patavinitas, surely hterary Lutetia must 
have its Parisianisms, and Cambridge also its pecuUarities.^ 
These would, it is most likely, be more marked in the schools, 
and one cannot help feeUng certain that the difference is 
sufficiently great to render a comparison between the school- 
boy Latin in the two countries a little difficult. 

• These impressions have lately been confirmed in a remarkable 
manner. A piece of Latin composition, which had received an 
extraordinarily high mark in one of the French universities, was 
shown to a brilUant EngUsh scholar who is now a professor in one of 
our universities. His only comment was, " That is not the Latin 
we write." 



Modern 'Languages 

The teaching of modern languages is dealt with at such 
length in the new programme that it seems unnecessary to 
add much here. Certainly the simultaneous introduction 
of the direct method into the French State schools through- 
out the whole of the country, with the exception of those in 
which it already existed, shows up the strong side of a 
centralized system of educational control. The present 
writer visited recently a good many classes in EngUsh and 
German, and was astonished at the change which had taken 
place during the last few years in the teaching of modem 
languages. The highest praise is due to the two inspecteurs- 
geniraux who have helped to produce such a transformation 
in so brief a time. The professors he saw were nearly all 
picked men, but none the less the comparative purity of 
their accent and their thorough command of Enghsh was 
certainly remarkable. The Enghsh struck one as being on 
even a higher level than the German.^ 

In England the direct method is certainly making great 
headway, but in many schools the whole modern language 
teaching requires reorganizing. In classics a certain amount 
of variety of method in the same school does not seem to 
matter very much : the ground is gone over so many times. 
In modern languages unity of method — at least in the 
earlier stages — and close co-ordination between the work of 
the different classes is absolutely essential to successful 
teaching. One imperfectly equipped master, whether at 
the beginning, which is certainly most fatal, or in the 
intermediary classes, means not only little progress, but 
retrogression in all matters connected with accent and 
idiom. This does not mean that the personahty of the 

1 Note. — (igog.) Subsequent criticisms apparently show that 
there is a certain danger under the new method of too much insistence 
being laid, especially in the second stage, on the acquisition of voca- 
bulary and fluency of speech, to the detriment of critical and literary 
culture. There is some talk, in fact, of rehabiUtating translation by 
making it a subject at the baccalauriat. — (1913.) Nothing so far has 
been done, 


teacher is to be extinguished ; it merely means that the 
ground must be staked out within which his personahty 
is to have play. 

It is probable that if we attain these desiderata we shall 
not in the majority of our schools continue the direct method 
in its strictness throughout the whole school course, but 
rather, once the pupil has got a good hold of the accent and 
the vocabulary, do a certain amount of translation into 
English, if we do not also attempt a certain amount of 
translation or re-translation into French.^ The splendid 
disciphne which translation provides in teaching us to match 
nuances of thought in two different media does not seem to 
be provided by any other school exercise. In composition 
in one's own language one can attempt to express those 
nuances which occur to one, but in free composition in a 
foreign tongue the tendency is always to " cut " such 


The teaching of history and geography* in the French 
schools is at present in a state of transition. In the bottom 
classes the new programme has been adopted, in the higher 
the old is for the most part en rigueur. Taking the history 
first, we find that history in the classes enfantines consists of 
biography and anecdote. In the division preparatoire it is 
defined as tales and talks about great personages and the 

' These are also the Unes on which the instruction is based in the 
higher classes of the lycie. 

' NoTB. — (1909.) Great success has everywhere been made, espe- 
cially in the London schools, where the staffs, as a rule, contain 
specialists thoroughly capable of grappling with the new method. 
The second stage in modern language teaching has, however, still 
to be reaUzed. Vide the papers read at the annual meeting of the 
Modern Language Association at Oxford, January, 1909, on " The 
Second Stage in Modern Language Teaching " (Modern Language 
Teaching, February and March, 1909; London, A. and C. Black). 
(1913). See also papers on " The Literary Stage in Modern Language 
Teaching," read at the annual meeting in London, January, 1913. 

' The teaching of geography is rapidly being put on modern lines, 
according to the doyen of the FaciUti des Letires of Nancy, M. Auer- 
bach, who himself is a pupil of the great reformer Vidal Lablache. 


principal facts in national history. In the elementary 
division the subject is treated chronologically. The course 
deals with summary notions of the history of France, with 
special stress on essential facts from the beginning down to 
1610. In the second year the pupil is equally rapidly taken 
over the ground from 1610 to 1871. The pupils are then 
taken back to the outlines of ancient history of the East and 
to Greek and Latin history. 

In the next class, the 5th, the Middle Ages and the 
beginning of modern times are dealt with. The work of 
the 4th class is devoted to modem times down to the reign 
of Louis XVI, and the first cycle ends with the history 
of France and Europe down to 1889. In the second cycle 
the history of France and Europe from the tenth century 
is gone over again in greater detail. The chief points to 
notice are that while the historical order of development is 
not neglected, the pupil is first of all taken rapidly over the 
whole ground in order to obtain some idea of the sequence of 
events which act as chronological points de repere in his mind. 

General notions of Eastern, Greek, and Roman history are 
included for all boys, the French rightly considering that all 
pupils should have some idea of what has been happily 
called the embryology of civiHzation. Classical boys in 
addition have extra courses in Greek and Roman history. 
The first and second cycle are mainly devoted to a recapitu- 
lation of the history of Europe and France. A pupil 
therefore who has been through the full course will have 
been over the ground three times. The subject is treated 
throughout from the point of view of movements, poUcies, 
regimes, etc., rather than from that of reigns and djmasties. 
The military portion has been considerably curtailed,^ and 
greater prominence given to political and social develop- 

While the history of the EngUsh people presents a longer 
sequence of orderly growth than that of any other nation, 
its very length and numerous phases of development make 

^ The following note, in some form or other, appears at the bottom 
of the programme of nearly every class : " Le professeur nefera pas 
VexposS des gtterres, il choisira quelques exemples d'actions militaires." 


the mastering of even a bird's-eye view of it une osuvre de 
longue haleine. We probably make a great mistake in 
studying our history too much at the outset from the point 
of view of reigns rather than of movements. We also 
probably attempt to teach far too many names. The con- 
centric method of teaching history has in its earlier stages 
a good deal to commend it. Later, no doubt, there is a 
great deal to be said in favour of taking up on comparatively 
a large scale the history of some definite period, together 
with some study of its original authority, but that should 
come after the pupil has got a fair idea of the spacious 
dimensions of EngUsh history. 

In the same way the study of European history is better 
kept in the background till the pupil has won a clear notion 
of the continuity of the history of his own country. This 
sense of the continuity of history is really a very precious 
acquisition. It does not depend on the mere learning of 
dates, useful as they are as milestones on the road of time, 
whose symbolical representation enables the pupil to picture 
to hirnself the immense distance at which he stands to-day 
from Caractacus, Alfred, Knut, and William the Conqueror, 
but rather on the feeling that they are aU really and truly 
the spiritual forefathers of the race of to-day, whose long 
pedigree embraces not only these pious founders, but also 
all who have made their names illustrious in helping to build 
up the nation. 

When the pupil realizes that he is the descendant of a 
people whose nationality is more than a thousand years old, 
he acquires a sort of conscia virtus, as Virgil finely terms it, 
which raises in him the resolve that he at least, in the 
presence of any foreign foe whose mushroom nationality 
dates but from yesterday, will never do aught unworthy of 
his ancient lineage. The annals of race, rightly understood, 
are its Bible, its sacred book, wherein at times of difficulty 
and danger, if it practises its sortes VergiliancB, it finds on 
every page elements of wisdom and encouragement.^ 

1 Note. — (1909.) The recent formation of an Historical Associa- 
tion for Schools will probably do much for the teaching of history in 
our schools in the near future. 



In geography the teaching begins with the explanation 
of geographical terms and of the more ordinary physical 
features, followed up by teaching the points of the compass 
with the map of the class-room, school, the house, and the 
street, with tales of travellers to be retold by the pupil. 
For even in geography the pupil is encouraged to make a 
connected narrative. The geography of France and its 
colonies begins in the seventh class. Then comes general 
geography, including elementary notions on the effects of 
climate. A whole year is given to France in the first class. 

There are several points that geographical experts might 
be inclined to criticize here, especially in the order in which 
the geographical facts and features are presented, but they 
would probably agree in stating that, as in history so in 
geography, what we want is an orderly presentation of the 
subject, so that we may be certain that every child has had 
a proper grounding in it when he comes to any school, 
and has also had a complete course in it if he leaves at, 
say, fifteen or sixteen. How this is to be done in England 
is a difficult matter, but the syllabus issued by the Royal 
Geographical Society ^ and Mr. Mackinder's ^ masterly 
address at the British Association on the teaching of the 
subject are indications that a feeUng exists in this country 
for arriving by common agreement at something hke an 
orderly treatment of this difficult subject. 

No doubt our public examinations can and will do a great 
deal towards bringing about this highly desirable result. 
But while geography is excellently taught in some schools, 
it is in the majority still a Cinderella, and did it not take 
history as its chaperon it would not appear in some time- 

1 Syllabuses of Instruction in Geography : I. In Elementary Schools: 
II. In Higher Schools. (Royal Geographical Society, i Savile Row, 
London, W., 1903.) 

" See School World, November, 1903. For possible reforms under 
existing conditions see paper read by the present writer on " The 
Teaching of Geography in Secondary Schools" at the British 
Association, September, 1903, republished by The Journal of Educa- 
tion, December, 1903. 


tables at all. Nothing can be more disheartening reading 
than Mr. Headlam's report on the teaching of geography in 
second- and third-grade English schools in his paper on 
Literary Subjects in Some Secondary Schools for Boys, 
pubhshed in the Board of Education's General Reports on 
Higher Education, 1902 : 

" Geography, even in the upper forms, remains merely an ac- 
quaintance with the names on the map. No attempt is made to 
explain the general principles of physical geography on which the 
configuration of the countries depends, or on the historical causes 
of their political conditions. No attempt is made to connect the 
history and geography " (p. 65). ^ 


Professors of mathematics in France have long possessed 
two great advantages over their EngUsh colleagues. The 
first is the metric system, which reduces all questions in 
weights and measures to problems in simple arithmetic. 
Pupils in Enghsh schools probably spend over two years 
in mastering difficulties largely mnemonic which do not 
present themselves to French boys. Arithmetic in French 
schools is altogether a much less complicated affair. One 
comes across such sensible stage directions at the outset as, 
"Avoid the too frequent use of imaginary problems," 
" Define always the terms employed," " The definitions, in 
particular those which concern fractions, will be constantly 
employed in the form of concrete examples." And this 
brings us to the second great advantage. While we in 
England still maintain an arbitrary division between arith- 
metic and algebra, and have only just begun to banish 
EucUd from our schools,^ the French have long since elimi- 

1 Note. — (1909.) Great progress has been made, especially in the 
reform of the papers set in public examination. In some schools 
geography laboratories have been founded, and attempts are being 
made to make geography a basis for historical teaching. 

2 Note. — (1909.) Thanks largely to the British Association's 
report on the teaching of mathematics (Discussion on the Teaching 
of Mathematics . . . to which is . . . added the Report of the British 
Association Committee, London, Macmillan, 1902), these criticisms 
are, to a great extent, no longer true. The party wall between the 


nated the imaginary frontier between the first two and 
have substituted for EucUd a more simple form of geometry. 
The result is that the pupil's progress is far more rapid. 
He speedily arrives at trigonometry and easy conies, and 
instead of finishing up in some branch of pure mathematics 
which seems to him to have no relation with any practical 
reahty whatever, he finds that his mathematics terminate 
in the study of a concrete subject called cosmography. In 
fact, speaking generally, the whole course, whether in 
arithmetic, algebra, or geometry, is free from a vast amount 
of unnecessary refinements, such as the simplification of long 
complex fractions or the working out of endless G.C.M. 
sums in algebra. Those interested in lightening the burden 
of the English boy in mathematics would do well to study 
the French programme, and above all the French text- 


In science in French schools the practical side is un- 
doubtedly the weak spot. Apparently the chemistry and 
physics for the classical pupils in the philosophy class are 
still taught on theoretical lines. The professor in his r6le of 
scientific conjurer produces or not the necessary miracles, 
and the pupils look on and copy down the explanations of 
the professor. The teacher's mode of exposition is a model 
of clearness, but the chorus-like part played by the pupils 
is clearly insufficient. In the two upper classes of the 
Latin-science and modern-language-science classes, two 
hours' practical work per week appears on the time-table. 

various branches has been broken down, and the teaching begins 
with and is based on the concrete. The idea of basing the teaching 
of mathematics on its historical development is gaining ground. 
(Vide A Study of Mathematical Education, by B. Branford ; Oxford, 
Clarendon Press, 1908.) 

1 Note, — (1909.) According to M. Gabriel Lippmann, excellent as 
the mathematical teaching in French schools is, it might at the 
start be still more inductive and concrete. Moreover, owing to 
the increase in the granting of " dispenses," too many pupils have to 
study the higher mathematics a year too soon. The programme in 
Section C, according to M. Steeg, " exige des connaissances trap 
complexes et trop difficiles, itant donni I'dge des iUves." He adds, 
however, that modifications are taking place (p. 39). 


No doubt of recent years an effort has been made to 
render the teaching more practical, but the Ministry find 
the cost of building and equipping the laboratories a very 
heavy expense. There is Httle doubt that the average 
French professor must look with envy on the laboratories 
in an ordinary English school.^ The amount that has been 
spent on these in the last twenty years must run into 
hundreds of thousands.^ It will be noticed that not only 
chemistry and physics, but zoology, botany, and hygiene 
are taught to all pupils who take the full course in 

Of the other subjects taught in the schools, the drawing 
naturally attains a higher level. The writing is generally 
pretty legible, if not very attractive to EngUsh eyes. Sing- 
ing is indulged in from the loth to the 7th class. There 
are also object-lessons for the Uttle boys. Book-keeping, 
which includes not merely the keeping of accounts but 
general commercial knowledge, has an hour devoted to it 
in the 3rd and 4th classes for modern boys. The 3rd class 
modern boys have also a course in common law, and that 
seems very practical. In the classes of the preparatory and 
elementary divisions moral and civil instruction is included 
in the French history and geography lessons. In the fourth 
and third an hour a week is given to the subject. The whole 
question of moral teaching will be discussed when we reach 
the religious question.' 

1 Note. — (1909.) This is no longer so much the case. Cf. M. 
Gautier (Progress of Secondary Education in France, p. 12) : " L'en- 
seignement des sciences physiques avait Mi jusgu'alors un enseignement 
purement thiorique. Dans la mesure du possible, nous en avons fait 
un enseignement pratique, c'est-h-dire, que nous avons ameni les iUves, 
par les manipulations, par I'itude pratique des appareils, & itre capables 
de fabriquer eux-mimes ces appareils." 

^ Compare Sir William Abney's paper, report of the seventy-third 
meeting of the British Association, September, 1903, pp. 865 j^f. 

' Note. — (1909.) The general verdict seems to be that the new 
programmes, in spite of a certain amount of overwork, are a great 
improvement on the whole. As M. Steeg says, they are better 
adapted to the needs of society and the aptitudes of the pupils 
{Rapport, p 39). 



Being desirous of obtaining a second opinion on my impressions of 
French and English education, and on the points of difference be- 
tween the two systems, I asked my friend M. Duhamel,* Directeur 
du College de Normandie, to furnish me with a short statement on 
the subject. M. Duhamel has not only an extensive acquaintance 
with French education, he has also had fifteen years' experience in 
our big public schools. The comparison with which he has kindly 
furnished me is, therefore, a document of exceptional value. 

Une Experience pedagogique franco-anglaise, par M. J. 
Duhamel, Directeur du College de Normandie 

Un 616ve franjaiS travaille-t-il mieux et plus vite qu'un elSve 
anglais du m§me age ? L'un a-t-il un proc6d6, voire mSme une 
m^thode, que I'autre n'a pas ? Lequel des deux saura tirer le 
meilleur avantage de ses lectures, des lefons du maltre, qu'il soit en 
presence d'un problfeme ou d'une question litteraire ? 

Poser la question n'est pas la resoudre ; mais elle est assez int^res- 
sante pour I'examiner de prfes. Supposons deux elfeves du meme age : 
i6 ou 17 ans, l'un Fran9ais, en Premiere ; I'autre Anglais dans le 
" VI Form." Tous deux ont une s^rie de compositions a faire : une 
version latine, un thfeme latin, une composition de vers latins, une 
question d'histoire et enfin un sujet litteraire k traiter. Accordons- 
leur deux heures pour la version et deux heures pour le thSme, trois 
heures pour la composition d'histoire, autant pour celle de vers latins, 
et quatre heures pour la dissertation fran9aise appelSe " essay " par 
le jeune Anglais. Puis, les ayant installes chacun k un bout de table 
sans dictionnaires, gradus, grammaires, ni livre d'aucune sorte, 
regardons-les travailler. 

La version est de Tite-Live, elle a une trentaine de lignes. Les 
deux 616ves, fiddles observateurs du conseil du maitre, ont commence 
par la lire. Le jeune Fran^ais s'arrSte, s'appuie tantot sur un 
coude, tantot sur I'autre, il regarde dans le vide, semble chercher des 
mots, puis il commence k 6crire. Mais avec quelle lenteur ! Sont-ce 
les mots dont le sens lui tehappe ? Ou bien, est-ce simplement le 
dfisir de presenter une traduction litt6rale et en m6me temps litteraire 
qui le fait s'attarder ainsi ? 

La lecture va nous le dire. D'abord, la version n'est pas achev^e. 

1 Died in 1910. His death was a most severe loss to French 


c'est d6ja un mauvais point. Notre ecolier n'en a traduit que les 
trois quarts, et encore il y a des lacunes. Des mots inconnus ont 6t6 
laisses de cot^, il y a aussi plusieurs contre-sens. fividemment c'est 
le vocabulaire qui fait defaut. Dictionnaire en main le travail aurait 
it& vraisemblement bon, k juger des passages entiers qui ont 6te 
compris et traduits. Car ce qui a 6t6 compris a et6 traduit avec un 
soin scrupuleux du fond et de la forme, on y sent I'effort, I'idee trSs 
nette de bien rendre la pens6e. Les nombreuses ratures portent 
prfcisement sur la forme, on s'est attache a bien exprimer ce qui 
avait ete bien compris. Et au moment de mettre une appreciation 
ecrite en marge on dira : " Ce qui a 6te compris est bien traduit, mais 
vous ne savez pas assez de mots, c'est la forme qui manque le moins 
et le fond qui manque le plus." 

Le jeune Anglais avait fini bien avant I'heure. II avait lu le texte, 
puis sans se presser, sans presque s'arreter, il I'avait traduit. Comme 
les paragraphes 6taient mal alignes il avait recopie sa traduction avec 
un souci trds louable de I'ficriture, et alors, posant sa plume, les mains 
dans les poches, le dos appuy6, il avait rgv6 k ce que rfivent les jeunes 
ecoliers anglais : k la prochaine partie de football et au nombre de 
hits qu'il pourrait faire. Le texte a ete compris, a part quelques 
faux sens, mais II, s'arrfite le m^rite. On sait des mots, on est familier 
avec I'allure de la phrase latine, on la comprend presque ci premifere 
vue, mais, de la forme, nul souci. Savoir ce que " f a veui dire," " to 
make sense," et c'est assez. Les phrases sont mal construites, la 
traduction est sans couleur. Tous les mots sont traduits, mais k la 
diable, tant bien que mal, plutot mal que bien. Et I'annotation est 
celle-ci : " Le texte a ete assez bien compris, mais la traduction n'est 
pas assez Utt^raire." 

Resumons notre impression : I'elfeve anglais a un vocabulaire latin 
plus riche que I'ecolier fran9ais, il a lu et traduit des passages plus 
nombreux. Lire beaucoup de latin est un moyen trSs efficace pour 
apprendre des mots, et il est en honneur en Angleterre. Mais la 
traduction orale est n^cessairement plus iache et plus d^cousue que 
la traduction ecrite, et, autant la version Ecrite, d'oii nait la forme 
litt^raire, est commune, comme proc^d^ p^dagogique en France, 
autant elle est pen fr6quente en Angleterre. Si I'^tude du latin peut 
Stre considSr^e comme un moyen de perfectionnement de la langue 
maternelle elle n'est reellement productive que si, dans la traduction, 
on a un egal souci de la forme aussi bien dans le texte que dans la 

Autrement on apprendra du latin — mais non I'anglais ou le 
franfais. Or, vivons-nous k une epoque oil I'fitude du latin pour le 
latin soit k encourager ? N'est-ce pas une incongruity pfidagogique 
que d'accorder un nombre aussi considerable d'heures k I'etude d'une 


langue trfes accapareuse de temps pour arriver k un si pauvre r&ultat 
que celui qui consiste k pouvoir 6maiIIer ses Merits ou sa conversation 
de citations telles que : carpe diem, horresco referens, pro arts etfocis P 
Avoir pein6 dix ans pour en arriver 1^ ! On ne saurait trop le r6p6ter : 
les humanitds n'ont rien de commun avec les besoins de rHumanit^. 
Shakespeare, Humphry Davy, William Cobbett, Walter Scott, 
Bulwer, John Bright ne savaient pas le latin. Les traitera-t-on de 
barbares pour cela ? 

Mais, revenons k nos deux moutons. Aprfes la version, le thfeme et 
les vers latins. A la mi-temps — pour parler le langage du sport — le 
jeune Anglais avait pris son thfeme latin. Latin de la decadence 
peut-Stre (latin de chien au-deli du d^troit ; latin de cuisine en de^i), 
mais du latin quand mSme. L'Scolier franfais avait franchement 
renoncfi k toute tentative d6s le debut. Soucieux de sa dignity, il 
avait pr^fere remettre une copie blanche. Et pendant que son 
6mule passant k la composition de vers latins, voyait dactyles et 
spondees s'aligner methodiquement au bout de sa plume, il se 
recitait, pour passer le temps, des vers de Musset ou de Victor Hugo. 
Comme le frfere du Petit Chose d'Alphonse Daudet, il rgvait d'une 
ceuvre po6tique en douze chants pour son compte personnel. . . 

La composition d'histoire comportait trois heures de travail, avons- 
nous dit. II avait 6t6 entendu entre le professeur anglais et le pro- 
fesseur fran9ais que chacun d'eux r^digerait un texte de composition 
portant sur I'histoire de I'Europe — k I'exclusion de la France et de 
r Angleterre — et que les deux textes seraient tir^s au sort par les deux 
candidats. Puisque nous sommes dans la domaine de I'hs'pothfese 
nous supposerons que le texte r6dig6 par le professeur frangais echut 
k r^lfeve anglais, et vice versa. Tous deux furent desorieutfe — c'est 
les 616ves que je veux dire, et non les maitres I 

En voici la raison : la redaction faite par le professeur anglais 
comportait quatorze questions, et I'^Uye frangais de s'6crier : " Mais 
c'est quatorze compositions qu'on me donne a faire et deux jours n'y 
suffiraient pas ! " L'dlfeve anglais ne fut pas moins 6tonn6 en voyant 
I'unique question pos6e par le professeur fran9ais. fitonnement 
joyeux, car il y r§pond en dix lignes. Cependant que le " French 
boy " ecrit pages sur pages et d'un ceil anxieux regarde a sa montre. 
Pourquoi, d'un c6t6, une question unique avec dix lignes de r^ponse 
et, d'un autre c6t6, quatorze pages de rSponse k quatorze questions. 
Qui a raison et qui a tort ? Quelle est la meilleure mgthode ? Une 
question unique, ou des questions trfes nombreuses ? Un fait a 
envisager, expliquer, commenter, juger ; ou bien : une serie de faits 
isolSs, de dates, de noms de batailles, de trait^s k rapporter ? 

Cela est la mSthode franfaise ; ceci la mdthode anglaise. Celle-lci 
vaut-elle mieux que celle-ci ou inversement ? Nous r6pondrons que 


toutes deux sont dSfectueuses. Savoir des faits, des dates, des noms 
de bataille, n'est pas savoir I'histoire ; fipiloguer sur les conditions 
d'un traits, voire mSme sur une pgriode entifere, ne constitue pas 
davantage I'enseignement historique veritable qui doit participer et 
de la connaissance et de la critique des faits. Une m^thode fait 
appel k une faculty de second ordre : la m^moire ; une autre au 
jugement, faculty mattresse, mais dont les faits sont Taliment in- 

Et quand Tune ou I'autre de ces mfethodes est devenue exclusive, 
r^colier emmagasine d'une part des faits sans lieu, ou de I'autre 
s'habitue, avec des donnSes insuffisantes, k ergoter sur un fait 
isol§. C'est le ab uno disce omnes transports dans le domaine de 

Arrivons k la dissertation : car c'est dans ce travail de production 
que rstat d'esprit des deux Scoliers apparaltra le mieux. Supposons 
que le texte de la composition est le suivant : " Qu'est-ce qui constitue 
les qualitfis de I'historien ? " C'est un sujet international. Chaque 
6coIier est libre de choisir des examples dans I'antiquitS classiqne ou 
dans la UttSrature de son pays. Inutile d'attendre quatre heures 
pour savoir le rfisultat. La sup6riorit6 de I'teolier fran9ais s'affirme 
Ik d'une fajon p6remptoire, non seulement dans le fond, mais surtout 
dans la forme. 

D6s les premiferes Ugnes on se sent en presence d'un plan. La 
question est pos6e. L'enfant n'a pas lu ni traduit Aristote, mais on 
lui a longuement expUqu6 et souvent r6p6t6, que, dans toute com- 
position, il y a un commencement, un milieu et une fin, que toute 
phrase doit tendre k illuminer une pensfie, ci expliquer, prouver ; qu'il 
faut savoir s'arrgter k temps, conclure ; qu'enfin il y a une manifere 
de dire qui constitue ce que Ton appelle la forme littSraire laquelle 
depend autant du choix des mots que de I'ordonnancement de la 
pens6e et de I'agencement de la phrase ; autant de la cohesion et de 
I'ordre dans les idSes, que de I'expression mgme de ces id6es. El il 
rature ce mot, change cette 6pith6te ; allonge ici, raccourcit plus loin, 
coupe cette phrase en deux, supprime les " que " et les " qui," les 
" mais " et les " pourquoi," cherche k Sviter les circumlocutions 
vicieuses, la maniSre de dire de tout le monde. II fait appel k ses 
souvenirs : citations notSes au cours d'une classe ou d'une lecture, 
car il a lu ses auteurs franf ais, il en salt des passages par cceur et voil^ 
que la citation vient naturellement sous sa plume ; et il est tr6s 
fier de ressembler ainsi k Montaigne. 

R6sultat : cinq ou six pages de prose franjaise tr6s acceptable et 
mSrae souvent trds louable. L'6colier anglais a noirci une page et 
demie de lieux communs. II a 6crit tout cela " d'une seule encre." 
II a fait un brouillon pour la forme. II n'y a rien change, ou presque 


rien, en recopiant. D'oti vient cette indigence si flagrante chez 
r^colier anglais ? La r6ponse tient en deux lignes. 

En Angleterre, dans les 6tablissements d'enseignement secondaire, 
on n'enseigne aux 616ves ni la langue ni la litt^rature anglaises. On 
esp6re qu'ils apprendront I'anglais en faisant de mauvais vers latins 
et de piStres thSmes. C'est une erreur grave. II y a de grands 
garfons, dans les meilleures ecoles, publiques ou autres, qui, k dix- 
huit ans, sont incapables d'ecrire une lettre sans fautes d'orthographe 
ou de style. Ce n'est pas une exagfiration, c'est un fait. 

Faut-il s'en prendre aux 616ves ou aux maltres ? Aux maltres et 
aux m^thodes, — et aux exercices physiques. L' Angleterre est par 
excellence le pays des traditions bonnes et mauvaises. Est mauvaise 
la tradition qui mSconnalt les besoins intellectnels de la gdn^ration 
actuelle, qui cantonne les esprits dans la soci6t6 des morts, si grands 
et si illustres qu'ils soient. La littfirature anglaise est riche en pontes, 
philosophes, historiens, "essayists"; et la langue elle-mSme, si 
souple et si expressive, est pour le litterateur de profession aussi bien 
que pour I'homme d'affaires, un instrument de puissance et d'action. 

Mais si elle est d6bonnaire \ qui la conrtise, elle est maratre k qui 
la d6daigne. II faudrait lire. L'6colier anglais n'en a pas le temps. 
La vie au grand air, le football et les longues stances de cricket sont 
absorbantes. Puis les magazines, les illustres, avec leurs couvertures 
all^chantes, leurs gravures 6moustillantes, ont plus d'attrait qu'un 
essai de Bacon ou une stance de Byron. Byron ! Un nom qu'on 
ne prononce qu'en rougissant dans les 6coles mgme de gargons. 

II faudrait que les University elles-memes donnassent I'exemple 
en renovant leur enseignement ; mais les Universitfis sont conser- 
vatrices et traditionnelles par essence. Quand elles bongeront, tout 
bougera, comme le midi chez nous. Ce ne sera pas avant long- 
temps. Est-ce k dire que I'instruction nationale en France, dans les 
6tablissements d'enseignement secondaire soit mieux organisee ? 
Elle en a la pretention, h61as ! Un ministre ordonne, dficrfete, affiche 
des programmes d'6tudes qui, k I'user, sont impraticables parce que 
surcharges. Un el6ve de Premiere pour la Section Latin-Sciences 
a 27 heures de classes qui supposent un minimum de 6 J heures de 
preparation par classe. Total : 62 heures par semaine, c'est-i-dire 
dix heures de travail par jour et cela ^16 ans 1 • 

(x) General Teaching Methods — Marks 

Until recently the prevailing system consisted of an 
interrogation followed by an exposition orale. The interro- 
1 Note, — (1913.) See note, p. 65. 


gaiion (questioning) was based on a resumS which had been 
dictated to the pupils at the close of the preceding lesson, 
and prepared by the pupils at home. The exposition orale 
was a lecture in which the professor broke fresh ground. 
Now, except in philosophy, the professor is forbidden to 
give a lecture or a course of lectures, even in mathematics, 
on account of the reduced time allotted to the lessons (one 
hour instead of two). Questioning and explanation are to 
take up the chief part of the lesson. 

The pupils get up at home the notes they have taken in 
class, as well as a passage out of the text-book dealing partly 
with what has been already discussed and partly with what 
is new. In every subject connected answers are looked for. 
Pupils often are put on to speak for three or four minutes. 
All the members of the class are supposed to be questioned, 
not one or two, which was the prevailing fault of the old 
system. To see that this is done is one of the new duties of 
the proviseur. And the younger generation of inspecteurs- 
generaux take much pains to see that this rule is not 
honoured in the breach. 

In the English secondary schools lecturing has been 
rarely the besetting sin of the teacher. Questioning has too 
often reigned supreme, questioning which often lacked order 
and required for its replies nothing more than a single word.* 
Apparently many teachers have never made the necessary 
differentiation between pupils knowing the lesson and being 
able to reproduce it. Yet it is one thing to give a certain 
number of test questions to see if the pupil has learnt the 
lesson or looked at it ; it is quite another thing to try to 
see how much he has assimilated and can reproduce. 

One may be able by means of skilfully framed questions 
to extract a whole lesson from a boy in the shape of scraps 
and tit-bits, and yet the boy himself might be quite incapable 
of reproducing the lesson in something like a connected 
shape. "When it is pointed out to our teachers what a 
valuable aid and adjunct to written composition this branch 

^ For an exhaustive diagnosis of prevailing faults in questioning, 
which deals primarily with Irish schools but applies to not a few 
English schools, see Report of the Temporary Inspectors, 1903, Inter- 
mediate Education Board for Ireland, 


of oral narration is, they often try to shelter themselves 
under the plea that it would never succeed with their pupils 
as English boys are a tongue-tied race. New methods of 
teaching modern languages are exploding this fallacy. Once 
we have proved to the average teacher that a boy can 
string together connected sentences in a foreign tongue, we 
shall be able to make short shrift of this time-honoured 
legend that the English boy cannot speak extemporarily in 
his own language. 

It is noteworthy that French teachers avail themselves 
but rarely of marks, except in the case of written composi- 
tions. Opponents of the metric system wiU be interested 
to observe that in the country which produced it the usual 
maximum is twenty. We in England, generally speaking, 
have gone too far in the cult of marks. As has been already 
pointed out, marks are necessary, as long as an assistant's 
class-room is his strong room and castle, as a record of and 
check on his teaching. They are also undoubtedly useful 
for indicating a boy's progress and for classifying him with 
the other boys, and for the awarding of prizes. But the 
whole system has in some schools been so worked to death 
that teachers and pupUs aUke have fallen under its spell. 

The keeping and addition of marks has become an impor- 
tant item in overwork, more especially when the teacher has 
to jot down every individual mark himself. It is obviously 
a serious strain to have to tell off yet another set of brain 
centres to carry on a third function in addition to those of 
teaching and keeping discipline. Pupils, again, are apt to 
get keen on marks, and look at the subject they are studying 
merely in terms of marks. From time to time some marks 
enthusiast of the pure mathematical mind that wants things 
right to five places of decimals, arises and complicates 
matters with a view to approximating the symbol more 
closely to the result for which it stands. The mark book 
grows, and there is soon one page to serve as a day book 
for recording marks, and another to serve as a ledger for 
entering them and adding them up. 

The whole system becomes an elaborate system of bank- 
ing in which the weekly or monthly totals and places 


furnished to the parent represent the pass-book, the teacher 
himself being a sort of automatic cash-register which banks 
and records all receipts, enters them and adds them up 
under different headings and issues a correct balance-sheet 
at stated intervals. Is there any wonder if in the end 
examiners and teachers forget that marks are only a means, 
and that an imperfect one,^ to an end, and look on the pupil 
as a mere mark-earning machine, much as the primary pupil 
was looked on as a money-earning machine before the 
introduction of the block-grant ? 

The truth is marks are good servants but bad masters. 
With small boys they have many advantages. Like 
counters, they add zest to the game for those just out of 
the kindergarten. They are particularly useful as indis- 
pensable adjuncts to the system of taking places which 
obtains so largely in the lower forms of English schools and 
is so rarely seen in foreign. Up to a certain point, then, 
as scaffolding to support and supplement the pupils' interest 
in learning, they are excellent, but we must remember they 
can never be woven into the framework of the building. 
Again, from the teacher's point of view their usefulness as a 
rough and ready reckoner of a pupil's progress is indis- 
putable, while their value for appraising composition is not 
to be gainsaid. Still, when we see how largely foreign 
teachers are able to dispense with them, we may well 
ask ourselves whether there is not an abuse of marks in 

(xi) Standard of Mental Maturity and Intellectual 

If power to express oneself with comparative facihty and 
clearness, to seize readily the gist of questions, and to handle 
with relative ease abstract and philosophical ideas, be signs 

^ A friend of the writer was once proxime accessit for a scholarship. 
He called on the tutor of the college to learn why he had failed. 
" Well," said the latter, turning to the mark-sheet, " you see the man 
above you got 285, and you only got 284 I " The tutor was perfectly 
in earnest. A mark once recorded became a chose jugte, a fact, and 
no one could dispute there was a difference between 284 and 285. 

B.E. G 


of maturity of mind, the French pupil is certainly ahead of 
the EngHsh boy at the same age. Undoubtedly, again, his 
literary and eesthetic sympathies are correspondingly more 
developed. Some of his intellectual expertness must be set 
down to the fact that secondary education in France goes 
back still further even than secondary education in 
England,^ and that while the universities and the schools 
had also their dark age in the middle of the eighteenth 
century, the traditions of Men dire and Uen ecnre were never 

But a still greater part of this apparent precocity is due 
to the race and the milieu. The French are naturally quick 
and vivacious. They have a mind that leaps to conclu- 
sions (prime-sautier). Happily the leap is generally correct, 
though if they go past the point it is often a little difficult 
to bring them back to it. Again, the French boy and the 
French girl come to physical maturity earher than the 
Enghsh. One has only to compare the whiskered and 
bearded pupils who are not uncommon in the upper classes 
of the lycee with the comparatively smooth-faced English 
boys of the same age in order to reahze the difference. 

The milieu, however, especially in Paris, is one of the main 
factors in the rapid development of the French boy, involv- 
ing as it does the practical absence of a real schoolboy 
atmosphere and the relatively cultured environment of the 
home in which he lives. 

To take the first point. School to the French day boy 
means little else than a labour-house, in which he has to put 
in a certain number of hours of work per diem. Its external 
attractions are very slight. The pupil in the boarding 
school lives under a regime of repression. The authorities 
look on boyhood as an age ingrat, a difficult stage in man's 
development, subject to outbreaks of all kinds of evil 
passions, which has to be gone through and got over, say, 
like measles or chicken-pox, and which therefore demands 

1 A friend informs me that this mental maturity as far as dealing 
with abstract and philosophic ideas is concerned is also a characteristic 
of Scottish boys. It is probably due in their case to the influences of 
three centuries of education, which has many points of resemblance 
with French. 


incessant vigilance. We have really here the old conception 
against which Rousseau flung his most daring paradox, that 
the human creature is foncierement mauvais , and that the boy 
must be kept constantly under observation like a person 
who may sicken at any moment for some disease or other. 

No wonder then if boyhood to the average boy seems more 
or less servitude, from which he is anxious to escape : man- 
hood means emancipation, and freedom to do what he 
pleases. All his thoughts are turned towards the future in 
which he promises to indemnify himself, not always wisely,^ 
for the present gine from which he suffers. He knows 
nothing of the happy innocence of the average EngUsh 
pubUc-school boy, who lives in a world very largely of his 
own, a world which may be filled too exclusively with games 
and the hero-worship of athletes, but is none the less one of 
the most delightful of worlds from the inside. 

The English boy has solved, perhaps too thoroughly, the 
problem of hving in the present for the present. To-morrow 
or the next half -holiday is the ordinarylimit of his future, 
its millennium the coming vacation. Enghsh boys will be 
boys, and they live the life of a boy from the preparatory 
school upwards. Even when they affect to be men, and 
their affectation is very pronounced, they remain at heart 
the veriest boys. While the French lyceen regards boyhood 
as a college uniform to be doffed at the earliest moment, 
the English boy puts on manhood without losing his 

The whole tendency of the English school is to keep boys 
young, often in the best sense of the word. If there is a 
spot where the fountain of youth is really on tap it is at a 
typical English pubhc school. Does one know of any other 
place where the spirits run so high, and the fun is so weU 
kept up, yet withal is so harmless ? So intense is the 
interest of the school in itself, in its doings, that school 

^ See E. p. c. p., p. i6 : " Boire des bocks, fumer des pipes, hanter 
les brasseries et les cabarets pornographiques, telle est la vie que revent 
les quatre-cinquiitnes des ' potaches.' " See also Coubertin, L'£duca- 
tion anglaise en France, the whole chapter — " Nos Lyciens." — (1913). 
For a remarkable change in this spirit in certain circles, see Les 
jeunes Gens d'aujourd'hui, by " Agathon." 


" shop " not merely pervades the common room and the 
studies, it also penetrates and often dominates the masters' 
sanctums. The life of the school is so self-centred it reminds 
you of those vigorous but provincially minded city-re- 
publics in medieval Italy, and one cannot help feeling the 
need of a wider outlook and a deeper interest in the matters 
beyond the bounds of the school.^ 

But if such an atmosphere is totally lacking in French 
schools, the home, especially in the case of the day boy, 
comes to the rescue and supplies him with other interests. 
While the English boy is still deep in cricket and football, 
the French boy is taking a Uvely interest in hterary, socio- 
logical, or social questions. Quite recently the present 
writer heard a class of small boys of 12 and 13 receiving a 
lesson in la morale. The teacher explained to the inspecteur- 
general who was present that he was rather inexperienced 
in the matter, a point which was not very apparent. At 
any rate he had some remarkably apt pupils. The lesson 
was on calumny and slander. 

I was immensely struck with the extraordinary abiHty 
with which the children discussed knotty points of morality, 
distinguished between kindred defects, and answered clearly 
and to the point. I doubt if a class of boys of 16 and 17 in 
England would have answered better. At all events they 
would not have been so ready or so sure in their rephes. 
I could not help inserting in my notebook : Les Frangais 
naissent psychologues. Another instEince. At one of the 
literary and social entertainments given by the pupils of 
the lycee I attended, to their parents and friends, a httle 

1 Note. — (1909.) For the limiting and, at times, disappointing 
results of such an education, cf. Sir Arthur Hort {Papers on Moral 
Education, communicated to the first Moral Instruction Congress, held 
at the University of London, September 25th to 29th, 1908, p. 90 ; 
London, D. Nutt) : " If in after-life the man thus trained [i.e., on the 
prefect system] proves after all deficient in the sense of what is 
demanded of him as a citizen, the explanation is perhaps that as a 
public-school boy he belonged to a society whose existence and whose 
claims were more obvious than are those of State and Church. Still 
it is undeniably disappointing that the sense of corporate life once 
gained in a miniature society does not more often develop into 
patriotism and similar virtues." 


comedy by one of the pupils who was only 17 was performed 
with great success. Such an etude de mceurs could hardly 
have been written by any person under age in England, not 
only because of the observation it contained but also of the 
maturity of judgment it displayed. 

(xii) Rewards and Punishments 

There is Uttle difference between the prize systems of the 
two countries, except that the good conduct prize which 
still figures on the list of many public schools has no counter- 
part in France. It is curious that the country of rosiires 
and prix Montyon should never have thought of -prix 
d' encouragement to promote the breed of GaUic Sandfords 
and Mertons. As minor rewards for good work in the 
compositions, etc., the pupil receives a temoignage de satis- 
faction. A certain number of these good merit coupons 
entitle the possessor to a prize. They can also be exchanged 
with the consent of the censeur against committal orders to 
durance vile in the shape of " detention." There is, how- 
ever, no forced currency in this paper money. Otherwise 
the clever but unruly colUgien would be directly tempted to 
become a chartered libertine in class. 

Corporal punishment has been abohshed in all French 
schools. The scale of penalties is as follows : (i) The bad 
mark which is inscribed in the pupil's notebook which he 
takes home. (2) The public reprimand by the professor 
before the class. (3) The lesson done over again at home. 
(4) The keeping in on Thursdays (the whole holiday). (5) 
Temporary exclusion for three or four days. (6) Definite 
expulsion. In the last case action is taken by the dis- 
ciplinary council of the lycee. Generally, however, the 
parents are sent for and it is explained to them that the best 
thing they.can do is voluntarily to withdraw their son. Boys 
turned out of the class-room for misbehaviour must report 
themselves to the surveillant-gineral, who puts them down 
for detention on the next half-hoHday. Boarders are 
further punished by being docked of their half-hohday walk. 


Detention generally lasts two hours. Small boys are given 
something to write, a Latin exercise for instance. The 
older boys do what they please. 

In addition to corporal punishment we have practically 
the same range of penalties in our public schools, and in 
some at least the impositions are unfortunately on a far 
more Uberal scale than in the French schools. There is still 
a tendency to set far too long impositions, which take up a 
good deal too much of the boy's spare time, encourage 
scribbling, and even cheating in the shape of showing up 
less than the number of lines imposed. If long sentences 
make habitual criminals, long impositions certainly make 
habitual idlers. A boy who gets deep into his master's 
debt in the way of impositions speedily loses hope and 
confidence in himself, and becomes resigned and indifferent. 
From thence he passes by easy stages to the state of the 
hardened sinner. The master, finding his one remedy fails, 
lets him slide, and the boy's future as an intellectual non- 
valeur is largely assured. 

Apart from the fact that the punishment should always 
fit the crime, it is curious that the weak master who sets a 
heavy imposition for a peccadillo however shght robs him- 
self of the effect of cumulative punishments ; he not only 
plays his best card but the whole pack straight away. 
Many headmasters keep a keen eye on the imposition book, 
and thereby manage to prevent impositions from becoming 
either too big or too numerous. As regards corporal punish- 
ment, in most schools the right to administer it is confined 
to the headmaster. So long as the English public-school boy 
is what he is and his attitude towards caning is what it is, 
it will take a good deal to persuade the average English 
parent of the middle classes who has been through the miU 
himself that caning is wrong or that its moral effects do not 
considerably outweigh its moral disadvantages. 

In fact, the average boy, if offered a long imposition or 
instant liquidation by the cane, in nine cases out of ten 
prefers to be dealt with summarily. He recognizes he has 
done wrong, that amends have to be made for his wrong- 
doing, and knows if he submits to it with fortitude few wiU 


think the " licking " itself disgraceful, and most will feel 
that his offence, however grave, has been largely purged. 
Therefore, as Mr. Skrine ^ aptly says, he thinks no shame of 
it, knowing his dignity is safe (italics are mine). Again, 
there is an age in the English boy, which lasts from twelve 
to fourteen, well known to the schoolboys as the " cheeky 
age," and due no doubt to physiological changes that take 
place at that age, changes which are still more marked in 
the animal world. The lion cub, skittish and harmless as 
a kitten, turns into a wild beast, and the playful calf becomes 
a dangerous bull. 

Happily the crisis in the case of human beings ends with 
the entrance into the age of reason. Doubtless, under a 
regime of repression this stage of development is less marked 
than with us. But as long as our boys are brought up as 
they are in a bracing, though by no means Spartan, atmo- 
sphere, the budding energy in the boy is sure to burst out 
into irrepressible, not to say irresponsible, self-assertiveness, 
often in spite of the boy's own endeavour to check it. 
C'est plus fort que lui. And the rod seems to supply the 
necessary recall to realities which the struggling reason of 
that age is not strong enough to effect. 

^ See Pastor Agnorum, p. 57. 


(i) Day Boys and Boarders 

The French boy has generally a carnet de correspondance 
in which he is supposed to write down every day the amount 
of his home work, and in which the professor, if he so desires, 
can enter the pupil's marks and his own observations on 
the pupil's behaviour. Parents are required to sign the 
book morning and evening, or at least once a day. Occasion- 
ally the pupil relieves his parents of the task, though it is 
more than doubtful if they have given him the requisite 
power of attorney. 

The relations between the headmaster and the families 
of the day boys are, as we have seen, often very sUght. The 
relations between the family and the class teachers are still 
less. Very frequently the family does not know the pro- 
fessor. They are indifferent or do not wish to trouble 
him. The parents largely reserve to themselves their 
educational rights, only delegating to the headmaster 
the right of instruction. Perhaps political questions are 
not altogether without influence on this strange parti- 
tion of functions. Be that as it may, the underlying idea 
seems to be that the parent commits his son daily to the 
charge of the headmaster with the imphed understanding 
that he must produce him at the end of the day safe and 

This habeas corpus notion is no mere figment. As we 
have seen, until recently the headmaster himself, and now 
the State, which has under certain conditions assumed his 
responsibility, are required financially to guarantee the 
parent against any accidents which may happen to the 
boy on the school premises, no matter how much the boy 


himself may be to blame.^ No wonder that the average 
parent looks on the day school as a kind of high-class stores 
where the requisite kinds of knowledge are bought and sold 
or as a sort of intellectual restaurant A prixfixe where, at so 
much a term, the pupil may consume as much as he can. 
There is httle idea of the school as a workshop in which the 
boy of to-day is to be fashioned and forged into the citizen 
of to-morrow. 

The fault, no doubt, in part hes with the French mothers. 
To begin with, they are far more often than in England the 
business member of the family, or at least a partner whose 
advice is always hstened and often deferred to by the 
husband. They have a much greater voice in the bringing 
up of the children. While the French father is merely the 
" guv'nor," it is they who really rule the menage. They are 
above aU the confidantes and advisers of their son in his 
various " escapades " and adventures, including even his 
love affairs. They intervene to protect him from the pater- 
nal anger, they act as his counsel for the defence with the 
indignant froviseur. The tie between mother and son is 
extraordinarily close and deep. 

But if their affection for their offspring is very great, it is 
seldom without a touch of egotism. They have the greatest 
difficulty in persuading themselves of the need of loosening 
the apron-string, so necessary as their boy grows up.^ 
Often their son is an only child, and they succumb to the 
very great temptation of spoiUng him. For fear of possible 
accidents they adopt a thousand precautions which cannot 
fail to hamper his development as a man. They forget man- 
liness can only be taught by men, that education consists in 
the skilful and gradual relaxation of parental authority, in 
the slow passage from a state of nature, in which the parent's 
bidding is accepted without being understood, to a state of 
reason in which behind the bidding the child has been 
trained to see the reason which has dictated it. 

^ See p. 24. 

2 Note. — (1909.) Cf. Le Poussin (Mother's Darling), now being 
given at the Od6on. The whole play is an elaborate satire on the 
mother who will not allow her boy to grow up. 


In a word, the son passes from under the patriarchal and 
monarchical regime to that of a republic, in which the 
parent only occupies a higher place in the hierarchy than 
himself.! French education is still very largely based on 
authority. Thus when the young man leaves home to 
become a student, or enters the regiment, he suddenly 
finds himself emancipated, and like the newly enfran- 
chised slave he does not always know how to make a 
good use of his liberty. How can he, when he has had no 
prehminary lessons in self-dependence, self-control, and the 
sense of responsibility ? The following passage from L' Edu- 
cation presente of Pere Didon is very much to the point : 

" One of the chief obstacles to a sturdy bringing up of the 
young men of this country, I venture to say, is their mothers. 
Mothers are the bottomless reservoirs of the terrible forces 
of emotion. Why do they not apply them to rouse the vital 
energies of their sons ? Why do they concentrate them on 
their children, through imagining in their motherly simpU- 
city all the better to guard and preserve them by their 
tenderness ? Such divine and exuberant forces are thus 
neutralized and brought to naught. But if the flood- 
gates which hold them back were one day raised by 
French mothers, the country would speedily see the dawn 
of the day of national revenge, the dayspring of great 

" Instead of everlastingly keeping watch over their 
children, let them inspire them with courage ; instead of 
tenderly smothering their sons with kisses, let them compel 
them to live ; instead of seeking after, while keeping them 
at their side, a selfish gentleness which saps their energies, 
let them endeavour to make them a force whose sphere of 
influence they will increase a hundredfold. In place of 

1 The boy goes through the same gradual apprenticeship of liberty 
while at school. Mr. Benson (The Schoolmaster, p. 87) demands that 
" as the boys get older it is important to remember that there should 
be an increase of respectfulness imported into the manner of a school- 
master and that they should be addressed as equals." He then goes 
on to point out that all discipline should be explained to the elder 
boys, who deeply value being taken into the master's confidence in 
such questions. 


separating themselves from the daughters, whom they 
readily send from home, let the latter be the ones that they 
keep, and since at any price they desire to brood like a hen 
o'er their offspring, let the latter be the ones that they brood 
over ; but for heaven's sake let them cease to treat their 
sons as vestal virgins." ^ 

The relation between the headmaster and the parents of 
pupils is equally formal. While socially the lower middle 
class are proud of their boys being at a lycee or a college, 
they take little or no interest in the welfare of the college 
at large. 

Someone has said that the successful headmaster or head- 
mistress in England is a person who either fawns or tramples 
on parents. The epigram, like many another, contains an 
element of truth, but there are plenty of headmasters who 
manage to steer a successful course between these two 
extremes. In any case, in comparison with France, the 
connection between the home and the school, whether day 
or boarding, is undoubtedly more real than across the 
Channel. Certainly in the day schools the intercourse 
between the two parties has shown a distinct tendency to 
grow during the last twenty years, thanks very probably 
to the example of the girls' schools, which, in this as in 
several other matters, have given a friendly lead to boys' 

The general run of headmasters in day schools are keenly 
aUve to the importance of interesting the parents in the 
proper supervision of the pupils' home work by methods 
similar to those which obtain in French schools. Such 

1 Note. — (1913.) M. Alfred de Tarde, the brilliant polemical co- 
writer on education under the name of Agathon, tells me the younger 
generation are full of desire for adventure and action, less desirous of 
entering the poorly paid Government ofi&ces, and more ready to take 
up lucrative employment in commerce and business. This is borne 
out in part by the diminished number of candidates for the teaching 
profession. The new movement is most evident among the sons of 
the upper middle class. There is, in fact, a sort of national r^veil 
of the historic French qualities, due, no doubt, in part to the immense 
success of the national sport, aviation, which has revealed to the 
French nation the dormant fund of daring and resourcefulness in the 
national character. The innate virtue has once more become self- 


methods are all the more necessary in this country as the 
average EngUsh parent, though improving in this respect, 
is probably not so impressed with the need of home work 
being properly done as the French parent, who is a firm 
believer in the value of knowledge and keenly anxious that 
his child should obtain value for money. The system which 
has been already described,^ of making the form master 
directly responsible for the boys' work and conduct, 
naturally forges an additional Unk between parents and the 

Again, while French parents seem indisposed to part with 
any fraction of the f atria or materna potesias, English 
parents appear more than ever inchned to recognize the 
headmaster, or even in a boarding school the house master, 
as a foster-parent, to whose moral as weU as educational 
control they are quite willing to commit their child, and with 
some parents there is a distinct tendency to assign to this 
scholastic godfather not only an undue share of respon- 
sibiUty but also of blame for the shortcomings of their 
offspring. It was no doubt such excessive delegation that 
prompted a headmaster of wide experience to remark, when 
asked what he thought of parents in general, that in his 
opinion the majority ought not to be parents at all. He 
had evidently come across a large percentage who had been 
tempted to shuffle off more of their parental duties upon him 
than the school in the most hberal spirit could venture to 
undertake. Naturally the danger, such as it is, is mainly 
confined to boarding schools. 

In any case the head of a big public school, or his pro- 
consuls the house masters, keep up an active correspondence 
with the parents, who not only take an interest in their boy 
as a pupil at the school, but also feel a certain pride and 
satisfaction in the school itself, which constantly betrays 
itself whenever they talk on the subject. They look on it, 
in fact, as a sort of company or corporation in which 
they are interested over and above the mere stake they 
hold in it. 

If they are themselves old boys, then their conversation 
'■ See p. 46 above. 


takes a more enthusiastic turn. They speak of the school 
as a former home, a dulce domum for which they have still 
the greatest and most profound affection, and of which they 
can never forget they are ancient alumni. The prize day 
or school cricket match is attended by them not merely for 
the sake of seeing their boy among the prize winners or in 
the school team, but also in order that for an hour or two 
they may wander through its courts and pla3dng fields and 
recall the happy hours they once spent within its precincts, 
or meet around the well-known cricket pitch the comrades 
and cronies of bygone years.^ 

In day schools the headmaster possesses further oppor- 
tunities for getting into touch with the parents over and 
above the ordinary school relations.^ Not being constantly 
on the move like the French proviseur, who rarely stops long 
enough in a place to get to know the local people, the 
English headmaster and his wife not infrequently take an 
active part in the social and literary life of the town, and 
thus have many opportunities of coming into friendly 
contact with the parents when off duty. Anyone who 
knows France wiU readily grant that the social Hfe in 
England is on a far wider scale. EngUsh people entertain 
far more extensively, and society in this country is not cut 
up into watertight compartments by reUgious and political 
differences. In such informal meetings parents learn to 
know and appreciate the headmaster as a man and not 
merely as an official. Some few headmasters go still further 
and estabhsh regular parents' meetings, at which questions 
of common interest are discussed.* 

* This continuity between past and present which is largely lacking 
in French schools is summed up in a phrase of M. Ribot, " Nos lycies 
n'ont pas d'histoire." What feeling there is is represented by a sort 
of scholar's affection for the ancient seat of learning from which he 
was reared. Such scholarly patriotism is to be found among anciens 
dUves of Henry IV and other lycSes famous for learning. 

" Compare M. Ribot, R. E., p. 12, speaking of the schools : 

" Ce sont des lieux de passage od des hommes . . . trop souvent 
inconnus de la ville qu'ils habitant, remplissent momentaniment des 
fonctions r6gl6es par des instructions venues de Paris," 

^ In this connection the Parents' National Education Union 
(founder Miss Mason) may be mentioned as a social agency that 
attempts to bring the two parties into closer touch. 


(ii) Hostels 

In the French boarding school the pupils are aU herded 
together, whatever their numbers, in one single building. 
There are, it is true, a number of pensions in the big towns, 
often under reUgious control, which send their boarders to 
the lyc&e. Such a boarding house is Fenelon,^ in Paris, the 
boys of which attend Condorcet. There exists, however, 
no organic connection between these institutions and the 
lyc6e or college. The vast majority of colleges, as we have 
seen, have boarding houses ^ which the principal conducts 
at his own risk. But otherwise there is no system of 
boarders being taken by the other masters of the staff which 
is so common in England. Apart from official difficulties, 
the truth is that the fee charged in the ordinary boarding 
school, and especially in the religious schools, is often so 
low that there is little inducement for the ordinary professor 
to go in for licensed victuaUing on a large scale .^ 

In England, the hostel and the house system are the main- 
stay of the public schools. Instead of boarders being 
crowded together into one huge barrack, they are spHt up 
among different hostels and houses, which generally con- 
sist of separate buildings containing on an average about 
thirty to forty boys. Both hostels and houses are in nearly 
all cases managed by teaching members of the staff, the 
difference being that the term " hostel " is generally appUed 
to establishments which are run to the pecuniary profit of 
the school or the headmaster, while the term " house " 
denotes that the estabUshment is conducted as a private 
speculation at the master's own risk. 

In the latter case the house is partly filled by the master 

^ For more details on these pensions see Coubertin, L' Education 
anglaise en France, pp. 76 and 77, and for the sombre side of the life, 
as far as the headmaster is concerned, cf . Monsieur le Principal, by 
Jean VioUis (Paris, Calmann-L6vy, 1908). 

' Les colUges h la charge du principal: see p. 13. 

3 Note. — (1909.) The French parent looks so closely into the 
boarding fees that the raising of the pension by so small a sum as £2 
a year has, according to the Rapport au Sinat of M. Maurice-Faure. 
affected the entry in several lycies. 


himself, who speedily establishes a connection, and partly 
by the headmaster, who distributes the overflow from his 
own house among his colleagues. Being places of consider- 
able profit, the houses are much sought after. Vacancies 
are generally filled up by the headmaster by seniority from 
among the existing members of the staff. The greater 
number of assistant masters are probably cehbates, not by 
vocation or preference but for economic reasons. Promotion 
to a headmastership or a house-mastership offers an opportu- 
nity for matrimony of which the average master gladly avails 
himself. The establishment itself is generally the gainer. 

The presence of a lady about the house makes its influence 
felt in many ways. It tends to remove a certain brusquerie 
and bluntness with which the English boy is at times re- 
proached, and adds a touch of home life which is not without 
its value. Some enthusiasts would hke further to convert 
the boarding house into a sort of glorified family circle, and 
for this purpose have not hesitated to introduce under a due 
precaution co-education in order to supply to something like 
an adequate extent the home atmosphere. But there are 
a good many old-fashioned persons who look on the compara- 
tive isolation of the school from home life as by no means a 
defect but a necessary complement to it. 

They realize how in no small degree the school acts as a 
training for that larger Ufe of intellectual and physical 
activity and of citizenship which awaits the scholar at the 
end of his career, and in which the qualities most required, 
the sense of responsibility and independence, are not always 
the virtues the most cultivated in the home circle.^ Boys 
need hardening, as steel needs tempering, though this by 
no means imphes the employment of Spartan methods. 
We have developed two distinct ideas of education in 

1 On the function of the school as providing a preparation and 
initiation into social life, compare the masterly paper by Dr. W. T. 
Harris read at the fortieth annual meeting of the National Educa- 
tional Association (United States of America) in igoi, and published 
in the Journal of Proceedings and A ddresses of the fortieth annual 
meeting of the Association (Winona, Minn.), " Isolation in the 
School : how it helps and how it hinders." Dr. Harris is, of course, 
speaking mainly of day schools, but his contention applies equally 
to boarding schools. 


England, the boarding and the day school. Possibly the 
best type of school is that which combines the two elements.^ 

(iii) The Religious Question 

Each lycee or college d'internes has its chaplain or chap- 
lains,^ Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. Their position is 
satisfactory ; they are quite independent, and could be very 
influential, but in general they are regarded by the authori- 
ties with a suspicious eye. This makes them in turn afraid 
of appearing too zealous, and their energies therefore are 
mainly engrossed by their work outside the school. As far 
as my information goes, they do not appear to get hold of 
the bulk of the boys. This is probably one reason among 
others why the authorities have felt it necessary to introduce 
moral instruction into the secondary schools. It makes its 
appearance in all of the three divisions. In the preparatory 
elementary division it forms part of the lessons in French, 
history, and geography, and consists of short lessons or 
stories followed by a causerie on their contents. In a word, 
the teacher is expected to improve the occasion when he sees 
the opportunity. 

The subject reappears again in the last two years of the 
first cycle. It is laid down that the teaching should be 
given where possible by the French master, who thus finds 
himself converted into a lay director of consciences. The 
subjects dealt with in the fourth class consist of various 
kindred virtues and vices grouped under the headings of 
sincerity, courage, honesty, goodness, moral dehcacy, and 
self-education of the individual. Thus, under the education 
of self we find the sense of moral dignity as contrasted with 
the conventional sense of honour, the government of self, 

' Note. — (1909.) In spite of one or two interesting experiments, 
we are still very far from trying co-education on a big scale, and it 
must be added that the more thoughtful among the leading teachers 
in women's education appear to be against it. 

^ NoTB. — (1909.) Since the separation of Church and State, the 
existing aumdniers (chaplains) are maintained till their death or 
retirement. Their place is then taken by a priest nominated by the 
bishop. If the latter refuses to act, the children are sent to mass on 


firmness of character and unselfishness, the inward authority 
of the conscience and the respect of rules, the man of duty. 

In the third class the course is composed of " readings, 
stories, conversations of a methodical kind suitable to render 
intelligible the value of the aim of mankind and of society." 
The headings deal with soUdarity, justice and social fra- 
ternity, the family, the professions, the nation, the State 
and its laws, humanity, individual liberty, and social order. 
These, however, are the very dry bones of the subject. 
Through the kindness of M. Darlu, inspecteur-general, I was 
able to be present at several lessons on the subject. Mention 
has been made of the precociousness of the pupils, and their 
ability to make a psychological analysis. 

The teachers ^ were careful to render the instruction con- 
crete by appealing to the books the class had been lately 
reading. The inspector-general made it still more practical 
by bringing it down to the level of daily life, from which he 
cited numerous apposite examples. On one occasion he 
dwelt with almost national complacence on the fact that 
hypocrisy is not a French faihng, and eUcited from the 
pupils that the chief French defect was on the contrary 
almost exactly the reverse, a weakness for bragging of and 
exaggerating one's vices — a point which the writers on 
France do not always remember, when they accept state- 
ments by French writers as sober and uncoloured presen- 
tations of the truth. 

The pupils had notebooks in which to enter the resume 
given by the teacher. The inspector-general did not hesi- 
tate to declare that the notebook should be specially looked 
after and cared for, that they, the pupils, should surround 
it with almost pious attentions [entourer de soins presque 
pieux). He seemed to regard it in fact as a kind of lay 

1 Note. — (1909.) The principle of giving the instruction in the 
classes mentioned is now finally established, and apparently gives 
good results when the lesson is taken by the French teacher in the 
class, who not only knows the pupils better than any other, but has 
also a good idea of their mental attainment and can illustrate his 
teaching from literature, or from the life of the class. In some cases, 
however, the teaching, for motives of economy, is entrusted to the 
professor in philosophy, and in such the work is not always so 

B.E. H 


breviary. Most of the pupils in this particular class heard 
him gladly, though one or two showed signs of inattention. 
The person least impressed by the lesson seemed to be the 
■proviseur who happened to be present. Perhaps he was still 
sceptical about the new departure. 

But whether successful or not the experiment is extremely 
significant of the growing sense of the need of doing some- 
thing for the moral and civic education of the young and of 
bridging the moral isolation in which teachers and taught 
stand to each other. It must not be thought that the 
introduction of la morale in these classes is a mere interlude 
in the school course which is subsequently dropped out. 
The whole subject comes up again and is studied in a far 
more systematic and detailed fashion when the class of 
philosophy is reached, which it must not be forgotten is the 
Erklarungsjahr par excellence of the school course, explaining 
to the pupil the raison d'etre of his previous studies and pro- 
viding him with definite principles and ideals for his future 
life as an intelligent being and as a citizen in a free State. 

Quite a third of the course is concerned with la morale 
proper, and the latest addition to the rubric deals with the 
question of alcoholism. As one who owes a great debt to 
his study of philosophy in France, the present writer feels 
it difficult to speak too highly of the benefits received from 
such a course, not the least important of which is the co- 
ordination of self. He cannot help feehng, however, that 
such a philosophy, invaluable as it is to the pupils for whom 
it is meant, should lay more stress on the supreme value of 
the will. Le cceur est frincipe et fin, le cerveau n'est que 
moyen. As it is, the course has a tendency rather to pro- 
duce intelligent beings than masterful men of action.^ 

English people will have no doubt great difficulty in 
understanding how morality can be taught apart from 
religion, though there is little doubt that much of the so- 
called undenominational teaching is half-way on the road to 
it. With us morality is either a matter of religious sanction 
or of unconscious tradition, or of both combined. The 

^ See p. 214, "The True Inwardness of Moral Instruction in 


school chapel supplies the former, but a good deal of the 
moral tone that pervades a pubhc school is " immanent 
morality," indwelling in the place itself. As good air is as 
important as meals and climate, the makers of the English 
pubhc schools have reaUzed that the school atmosphere is 
as important as the spiritual food provided in the shape of 
rehgious instruction given in the chapel or the class-room. 

As a matter of fact, the actual amount of dogma taught 
is often comparatively small, as a great deal of the actual 
rehgious teaching is given by laymen. While the large 
boarding schools are nearly all nominally Church of England, 
and as a rule under clerical headmasters, the spirit of the 
place is generally so Uberal that many of the schools are 
frequented by the sons of Nonconformists and Jews ; for 
the latter religious faciUties are provided, otherwise they 
take their full share in the life of the school. In fact, while 
the Broad Church party have greatly diminished within the 
Church itself owing to the tendency of the latter to split up 
into High Church and Evangehcal, it is probably the Broad 
Church traditions that are stiU the most powerful in the 
pubhc school. 

At all events, until recently we have never had the 
rehgious question seriously raised in our secondary schools.^ 
The Royal Commission on Secondary Education ^ thus 
described the situation in 1895 : " With regard to rehgious 
instruction in schools, it has long been the steady aim of 
educational legislation in England to remove all just causes 
of offence or friction, and to secure, as far as possible, that 
differences of rehgious behef shall not unduly restrict the 
diffusion of educational benefits. . . . There has also been 
during the last half-century a marked growth of good sense 
and good feehng in such matters. In English secondary 
education ' the religious difficulty ' is now extremely rare. 
Evidence supphed by the actual working of the schools, 
and derived from all parts of the country, abundantly 

^ Cf. Coubertin, L'jSducation anglaise en France (p. 114) : "La 
religion n'esi pas une legon h apprendre, c'esi une aimospMre <J 

2 Vol. i. pp. 74-75, 


proves this. At the same time it would be unwarrantable 
to affirm that there is no latent uneasiness. . . . Perhaps 
that very feehng is not without its value as a partial safe- 
guard against the danger which it apprehends." 

The Education Act of 1902 has, however, introduced 
certain limitations into the hitherto existing state of affairs, 
which was so hopelessly illogical in strict theory, yet has 
worked so admirably in practice. Already the Technical 
Instruction Act of 1889 has provided that no student in a 
rate-aided school receiving technical instruction should be 
obliged to attend any religious observance or teaching. 
This principle was under the new Act extended to pupils in 
all aided schools, and thus included not only a very large 
number of secondary schools but also the pupil teachers in 
day centre^ which are now placed under the rubric of 
secondary education.^ 

An important change which is worthy of note is the 
gradual decline of the monopoly of the clerical headmaster. 
Until recently the headship in our big public schools was 
only open to those who were actually in Orders or who were 
prepared to take them. Meanwhile the supply of teaching 
clergymen is growing every year less and less. It became 
clear by the law of averages alone that the overwhelming 
majority of lay masters must of necessity contain better 
men than the diminishing number of clerical masters could 
supply, even counting in those who were willing to enter the 
Church if appointed to a headmastership. 

Such a condition of things was not fair to the schools, 

which have a right to be as efficiently staffed as possible, let 

alone the grievance of the able layman whose conscientious 

scruples prevent him from taking Orders. The matter now 

appears to be slowly righting itself. Quite recently lajmien 

have been appointed to the principalship of some of the most 

important public schools, with the result that the reUgious 

duties of the office have been relegated to a school chaplain, 

who roughly corresponds to the French aumdnier. 

' Note. — (igog.) Some interesting experiments in moral instruc- 
tion are now being given in some of our secondary schools, in London 
notably in the William Ellis School (Gospel Oak), and the Northern 
Polytechnic Secondary School. 


(i) School Games 

The effort that has been made to introduce English games, 
most of which, strange to say, had their origin in France,^ has 
partially succeeded. The movement began, however, out- 
side the school, and the founders of the principal clubs, the 
Racing Club and the Stade Fran^ais, looked on athletics 
mainly as a means of distraction, as a pastime in the strict 
sense of the word.^ It was not till about 1883 that pubhc 

* Note. — (1913.) The master of the Charterhouse after a visit to 
France in 1637 could not help commenting, in no complimentary 
spirit it is true, on the prevalence of such games as tennis in France, 
where he says, " It is more common than throughout the rest of 
Christendom ; the country is sown with tennis grounds, they are more 
numerous than churches." " The French," he continues, " are born 
with a racquet in their hand, women play, children play, workmen 
play." " There are," he declares, " more tennis players in France 
than there are drunkards in England." It was even found necessary 
to pass regulations with a view to restricting the vocabulary of the 
players. Thus one of 1592 laid down : " Gentlemen who wish to 
play tennis must play to recreate the body and to divert the mind 
without either swearing or blaspheming, under a penalty of five sols 
for each offence." 

"Note. — (191 3.) It would appear, according to my friend M. 
Boutroux, that before 1870 games of all kinds were exceedingly 
popular in the schools. They took place in the playgrounds and 
were entirely run by the boys themselves, as were the games in 
England at a similar period. They included les barres, la balls au 
camp (a sort of rounders), la balle au mur (fives ?), le jeu de vise (a 
sort of hide-and-seek), le cheval fondu (a very rough game), le saut 
de moutons. Marbles were also in favour, and each season had its 
particular games. Accidents were not uncommon, and even loss 
of life was known. The games had an immense effect on school- 
boy honour. Any boy caught cheating was liable to undergo ordeals 
of Indian severity. It is noteworthy that the chief athletes were 
held in high honour by their peers. All this, within the State 
schools at least, seems to have disappeared after the war. The 
causes probably were the rush to work under the device " Education 


opinion, frightened by over-pressure in the schools, turned 
for a remedy to physical exercise as one of the best means 
of recreation. The idea of this discipUnary value of games 
as a training of character has been very slow in making its 

The school athletic associations have had a hard struggle 
for existence, and in most schools only a very small per- 
centage of the pupils play games. Thus at one of the big 
lyc&es out of 2,000 pupils only some eighty belonged to the 
school association. The principal reasons of the slow 
progress of the movement are, first, the fear of accidents, 
which has already been aUuded to. The school authorities 
are naturally but little eager to increase the extent of their 
responsibilities or those of the State. The second reason is 
the lack of playing fields. The majority of the Paris lycees 
and those in other cities are built in the middle of the town. 
Pupils are obhged to go outside for their games, a consider- 
able amount of time is lost in coming and going, and grounds 
to play on are by no means easy to find. 

Another reason is the indifference and even hostihty of 
the parents ; apart from the fear of accidents, they dread 
the waste of time on the part of their children. The exa- 
minations for public posts are now so severe that they look 
on the time given to play as so much time lost to work. 
Thus a vigorous writer of a polemical tract on the subject, 
who prefers to guard his anonymity, says : 

" The chief, the unique preoccupation of the good father 
of a family is that his son should enter a Government school. 
If he is deceived in these hopes, at once he hustles him into 

exalteth a nation," the coming of intellectualism, the semi-democra- 
tization of the lycies, the screwing up of examinations, the growing 
popularity of the Government service, and most of all the responsi- 
bility of the proviseurs for accidents, which no doubt led to the total 
prohibition of rough games in the playground. These well-authenti- 
cated facts seem to have escaped the notice of French writers on the 
subject — another striking instance of the completeness of the break 
with tradition in France. 

1 The greatest credit in the matter is probably due to M. Pierre 
Coubertin, who, in addition to his two books on the subject — L' Edu- 
cation en Angleterre and L' Education anglaise en France — was one of 
the principal founders of the League for the Propagation of Physical 
Exerciss in Education, of which Jules Simon was the president. 


a Government office. . . . Why should this wide-awake 
father make his son into a man of action, since the son is 
destined to the most regular, the least interrupted, the least 
manly of existences ? Why should this dyspeptic and 
apoplectic father make his son into a healthy and robust 
man, since he is fated in his turn to become dyspeptic and 
apoplectic through a sedentary Ufe ? . . . In truth, why 
should this father of a family say to his son, ' Go and play 
football ; go and row ' ? Rather he will reply to this son 
of his the day that the latter, feeling the sources of Ufe 
bubbhng up within him, shall ask him for a jersey to play 
in or a pair of spiked shoes for running : ' Yes, certainly, 
these exercises have their utility, as far at least as health is 
concerned ; but you are already so old. 

" ' Reflect that you have hardly two or three years left 
for getting into the ficole Polytechnique or the ficole 
Normale. Take my advice, make use of your Thursday 
[whole holiday] to go over your Wednesday's lesson, and of 
your Sunday to prepare your work for Monday. Defer till 
later these English extravagances. You will have the time 
to take all that up when you have left the Government school 
and have got a berth.' Note that the father himself, who 
is perhaps favourable to the cause of athletics, is opposed to 
them on account of the programmes and examinations." ^ 

There is, however, still another reason for the comparative 
weakness of the school athletic associations. It is the 
drainage of their clientele by the big Paris clubs. These 
clubs, in their desire to swell their numbers, pursue the best 
players in the Association in a way which would do honour 
to the modern athletic impresario in England, the pro- 
fessional football manager. 

" The moment a good player reveals himself in a school team, or a 
promising runner appears, at once a club sends an ambassador. He 
is flattered, cajoled, almost forcibly introduced into the club. This 
disgraceful bargaining is subject to the rise and fall of the market, for 
a rival club makes equal efforts to carry off the future champion. The 
two parties bid against one another, and their bids take the shape of 
a place of honour in the first team, a seat on the committee, etc. 

1 See E.p.c.p., pp. 18 and 19. 


The highest bidder wins the day. . . . Even the small fry which help 
to make up the number are also the subject of a lively competition. 
" In favour of schoolboys the entrance fee, comparatively high, is 
suppressed. The monthly subscription is lowered by half. . . . 
What pupil out of a 4th form will resist the temptation of hearing 
a well-known athlete call him ' my dear pal,' of finding a member of 
the committee amiably shaking hands with him ? And the school- 
boy enters the club, plays in the club team on the club ground, 
dresses in its pavilion, wears its colours, and regards with some dis- 
dain the last member of the school club going off to play on a ground 
half covered with trees, and putting on a pair of trousers over his 
flannels for lack of a dressing-room." ^ 

No doubt in Paris and elsewhere games have enormously 
increased, and their players who are stolen from the school 
team are not lost to athletics. But the point — and it is a 
very serious one — is that the good effect of games on the 
school life itself is lost. 

Yet the real discipline of games is by no means unknown 
in France, as may be seen from another quotation from 
the same writer : ^ 

" What we want to insist on is the function of games to teach 
courage, endurance, sticking together (solidariU), and loyalty, virtues 
that no programme of studies contains among the subjects to be 
taught [this, as we have seen, has been altered, but does not vitally 
affect the argument], and which no professor ' sells ' to his pupils 
along with history and Greek. What we should like to establish 
clearly is that games are the school for life. What is the good in 
actual life to be able to exhibit gilt-edged prizes as proofs of learning 
if one is cowardly, weak, selfish, and disloyal ? . . . The worst 
danger of excessive intellectualism is not so much to impoverish the 
individual or to paralyse one part of him in order unduly to develop 
another as to give a wrong bias to the heart and to rob it of its most 
fruitful feelings, of those which make the individual into a social 

" As for ourselves, we declare in all sincerity that of the heavy 
baggage of knowledge amassed at the lycle, the only knowledge of 
everyday practical use has been that which we acquired in our 
athletic society. We do not speak of the immediate results on our 
physique of the practice of games but of the following acquisitions. 
We were the founders of our society. We saw what difficulties one 

'■ E.p.c.p., p. II. 'Ibid. pp. 28 and 29. 


has to meet in order to form an association ; how numerous, diverse, 
and contradictory are the interests and passions involved, with what 
prudence the leader must act, and, desirous of possessing our own 
independence, we have learnt to respect that of others. 

" All the lessons of our professors of history have been only able 
to teach us to write a good composition on self-government fit to win 
a prize at a general pubUc examination ... in our school associa- 
tion we have practised ourselves this self-same self-government, we 
have tasted its delights, and we no longer desire any other. 

" As for comradeship, which is the true school virtue and the first 
germ of that great social virtue, solidarity, virtue which the day boy 
ignores and which the boarder practises in a tyrannical and vicious 
manner, one learns it better in a school association than in a league 
of revolt against the spying usher, the professor, and the authorities. 
He is a good comrade who, in a football match, when fagged out or 
even injured (which is really in itself an inestimable blessing) has con- 
tinued to play all the same in order to assure the victory of his fellows, 
he is a good comrade who, having sprained his foot in a cross-country 
race, continues his course limping in order not to place his team last." 

The writer of the above paragraphs appears to have under- 
stood so thoroughly the value of games from the English 
point of view that there seems little need of expatiating 
further on this, the strong point in English education. It 
is only necessary to add that while in the big public schools 
the cult of games is universal, in some of the schools in large 
towns, owing to the lack of proper facilities, the school clubs 
are not so strong as they might be, and the esprit de corps 
which is such a marked feature of the big public school is 
comparatively weak. Nor must it be forgotten that all 
virtues have their attendant vices, and it can hardly be 
denied that in some cases the cult of games has been pushed 
to such excess that prowess on the playing-fields stands far 
higher in the mind of the rank and file of the school than 
pre-eminence in the class-room.^ 

1 NoTE.-^(i9i3.) On the subject of games. Dr. Mathieu, dealing, 
in 1911-12, with the official reports on the subject (see p. 27, note), 
says that the data given are often rather vague. 27 lycies have 
tennis grounds, 41 playing-fields (in some cases provided by the old 
boys), football is played in 33 schools, shooting is practised in 21. 
7 lycies have bicycle societies, 11 have " country-houses " for the 
amusement and " aeration " of the pupils, several have parks. The 
regulation school walk, he regrets to note, has not yet died out. 


This transvaluation of values has certainly been rendered 
more thorough by the appointment as masters of men for 
their athletic rather than for their intellectual attainments. 
Furthermore, their presence in enlarged numbers in the 
teachers' common room has undoubtedly helped to foster 
the indifference of the average assistant master to the 
scientific side of his profession. The forte of the average 
athletic master is athleticism, not teaching, and teaching 
problems therefore only too naturally bore him, especially 
as his real sphere is often rather in the playground than in 
the class-room. His own triumphs in the playing-fields are 
only too Ukely to give him a false perspective of fife, and 
make him blind to the necessity of sterUng hard work in 
school. Of course a good athlete who plays hard, works his 
boys hard, and takes a keen interest in teaching, is the beau 
ideal of a master, but such pent-aihletes of the scholastic 
palcBstra are comparatively rare. 

But the cult of athletics among the members of the staff 
has not only proved an obstacle, a non-conductor to the 
growth of a scientific interest in the art of teaching, it has 
also led to a certain neglect of intellectual topics, which 
cannot help having its effect on the boys themselves. 
When masters not only with the boys but also among them- 
selves come down to the level of the boys' conversation, 
how can the boys be expected to rise to anything higher ? 
A river cannot mount unaided above its source. Yet some- 
thing urgently wants doing to raise the level of the average 
pubhc-school boy's interest above mere cricket and football 
" shop," and to give him if possible more intellectual ideas. 
Mr. Benson does not mince matters when he sajre : 

" We send out from our public schools year after year many boys 
who hate knowledge and think books dreary, who are perfectly self- 
satisfied and entirely ignorant, and, what is worse, not ignorant in a 
wholesome and humble manner, but arrogantly and contemptuously 
ignorant — not merely satisfied to be so, but thinking it ridiculous and 
almost unmanly that a young man should be anything else ! " ^ 

It is clear the boys of themselves will never be able to 
change their ideals ; the mot d'ordre, the example, must 
* See Benson, The Schoolmaster, p. 65. 


come from the masters themselves, but it must be no mere 
"lip-service" to ideals they do not really reverence. A 
great deal of the talk about games in France has come to 
nothing, because the speakers have not really the root of 
the matter in them. It is true the influence of the home in 
England is often hardly on the side of culture. 

Still the master's duty as the high-priest par excellence of 
culture is clear. If he only has a beUef in that which it is 
his bounden duty to teach and to practise, the necessary 
change will not be long in making itself felt. An intellectual 
revolution can hardly be so difficult to effect as a moral one. 
Where the elder Arnold succeeded, the followers of his son 
would not be likely to fail. The one thing needful is con- 
viction on the part of the teacher in the reality of his subject 
and the importance of his mission. There is no reason 
whatever why the cult of Hercules should exclude the 
worship of Minerva. 

The following passages ^ are a striking confirmation of 
the views advanced above : 

" It must be frankly admitted that the intellectual standard main- 
tained at the English public schools is low ; and, what is more serious, 
I do not see any evidence that it is tending to become higher. . . . 
I do not think that they (the masters) care about making them (the 
boys) intellectual ; intellectual life is left to take care of itself. . . . 
It seems to me that the Athenian ideal — that of strong intellectual 
capacity — is left out of sight altogether. ... I believe we have 
condescended far too much to the boy's ideal of life. ... So far 
removed is the intellectual ideal from the mind of the ordinary man 
that it is difficult even to write of it without being misunderstood. 
It is understood to be a kind of mixture of priggishness and pedantry ; 
it is confused with learning ; it is supposed that the intellectual man 
is the kind of man who always wants to talk about books. . , . The 
aim ought not to be to turn everyone into a literary personage. 
Literature is only one province of the intellectual life. . . . My 
idea of an intellectual person is one whose mind is alive to ideas. . . . 
My own belief is that a good many young boys have the germ of in- 
tellectual life in them, but that in many cases it dies a natural death 
from mere inanition. . . . The question of how to alter this is a 
di£5.cult one. ... I believe the only way is for the masters to be 

^ Benson, The Schoolmaster, p. 55 et seq. 


interested themselves. . . . Therefore I maintain that it is not an 
advisable thing so much as a positive duty for teachers to contrive 
some intellectual life for themselves, to live in the company of good 
books and big ideas. ... To omit intellectual enjoyment from our 
programme, to pass over one of the strongest of boyish faculties, 
seems to me the kind of mistake that will be regarded some years 
hence as both pitiable and ludicrous." 

(ii) Gymnastics 

A friend, writing on the subject of gymnastics, says : 
" They are in principle obligatory, and. therefore unpopular. 
Many pupils also are exempted from attending the gym- 
nasium. The pupils find the exercises monotonous, with 
the result that punishments are not unknown. This further 
tends to make the subject distasteful to the pupil. It is 
only serious in the special class preparing for St. Cyr, etc." 
On the other hand, the championnat interscolaire has cer- 
tainly in some schools done a good deal to create interest 
in the subject. The championnat, which is held once a 
year, gives prizes and certificates not only for squads of 
pupils but also for the best work on the horizontal and 
parallel bars, for boxing (French and English), fencing, and 
la canne, which is a sort of singlestick without the basket-hilt 
to protect the knuckles. 

The present writer visited a certain number of classes on 
behalf of the Royal Commission on Physical Training.^ 
In some of them the exercises were well and smartly exe- 
cuted, but the dumbbells in use were often too heavy. The 
gymnastics generally were of the mihtary kind. Swedish 
exercises for the younger pupils seem unknown, though they 
have already been introduced with good results into the 
primary schools. Of physical training on scientific lines, 
apart from mere " acrobatics," little has so far been done 
in secondary schools, except in the Gironde, where Dr. 
Tissi6, of Bordeaux, has effected certain reforms. As far 

* See Report of the Royal Commission on Physical Training (Scot- 
land), vol. i. pp. 31, 32, vol. ii. pp. 397-405, reprinted in this 
volume, see p. 223, and the preface to M. Demeny's Les Bases scien- 
tifiques de I' Education physique. See also note, pp. 238-244, for 
subsequent developments. 


as one could learn, no attempt has been made so far in the 
State secondary schools to measure and weigh the pupils 
and record their growth. The question of school diet has 
not apparently been mooted either. Ventilation and 
scientific warming are attracting some attention. The 
cadet corps {bataillons scolaires), which came into fashion 
after the war of 1870, were abandoned as far back as 1890 
as a hopeless failure.^ * 

In many English schools, mostly boarding, gymnasiums 
have been built, and gymnastics have also been rendered 
compulsory. A high standard is often attained, as may be 
seen by the achievements of the various school teams at 
the pubhc schools competition at Aldershot. Drill is given 
in many schools, and in not a few it is also used as a method 
of punishment. But physical exercises without apparatus 
with a view to improving physique rather than to forming 
mere muscle or teaching certain athletic tricks are not very 
common in secondary schools. The movement in favour 
of creating cadet corps has received an enormous impetus 
from the Boer War. The pubUc school cadet corps are not 
only represented in great numbers at the shooting com- 
petitions at Bisley, they also take part in actual manoeuvres 
at Aldershot and elsewhere. 

1 See Report of the Royal Commission on Physical Training (Scot- 
land), vol. ii. p. 397. 

2 NoTB. — (1909.) The new military law for two years' service has 
introduced, however, a most important reform. According to the 
law no one can become a sous-officier or officier who, on enlistment, 
has not already obtained the dipldme de preparation militaire. These 
demands of the different branches necessarily vary, but the full list 
of subjects includes gymnastics, power to read the ordnance survey, 
shooting, drill, and riding. The recruit who has passed this examina- 
tion can become a brigadier after four months, sergeant after ten 
months, and officer (sub-lieutenant) after twelve months. The 
reform is enormously important, for two reasons. The advantages 
offered induce the best men to qualify for the various grades. The 
personnel of these grades is thus recruited after the most intelligent 
system. Moreover, the sons of the bourgeoisie, who as a rule detested 
their year of service in the ranks, are delighted under the new con- 
ditions with the life which permits them rapidly to rise and even 
become officers before they finish their last years. If conscription 
ever came to England, we might possibly, with advantage, consider 
the adoption of a somewhat similar system. 


If not overdone, the movement seems likely to be prolific 
in real good to the nation, not only in improving the 
physique of those concerned, but also in teaching them to 
hold a rifle and acquire a certain amount of mihtary training 
which is not likely to be entirely forgotten. The dangers 
of miUtarising the nation do not seem to be excessive, and 
volunteering, even to those who are against war on principle, 
must seem preferable to conscription, which in the opinion 
of our mihtary experts is the only alternative ^ to it for 
bringing up our defensive forces to the proper level. 

A certain amount of very useful work has been done by 
the Anthropometric Society in obtaining measurements of 
pupils aU over the country. In an increasing number of 
schools 2 a careful register and record are being kept of the 
pupils, who are weighed and measured at regular intervals. 
The question of school hours, the print of books, of Ught, 
ventilation, heating, sanitation, and school diet are more 
and more engaging the attention of experts.' In all these 
matters we are certainly ahead of France.* 

(iii) Opportunities for Intellectual Self- 

A great effort has been made during the last few years, 
largely by the professors themselves, to provide facUities 
for self-improvement on the part of the pupils. At present 
every lycee or college possesses a library which is nominally 
reserved for the professors, but the pupils may be authorized 
by the latter on their own responsibility to take out books. 

1 See Sir Evelyn Wood's speech at the opening of the Gresham 
School, Holt (reported in Times, October ist, 1903). 

" Note. — This is now the rule in the London schools and also in 
other parts of England. 

' See report of Committee of the British Association on the con- 
dition of health essential to the carrying on of the work of instrnction 
in schools. Presented to the Educational Science Section of the 
Association, September. 1903. (Reprinted in The School World, 
November, 1903.) 

• The difference seems likely to decrease. The first Congres 
d'Hygiene scolaire et de PSdagogje physiologique, organized by the 
Ligue des M^decins et des Families, was held at the Sorbonne, Novem- 
ber, 1903. Among other matters touched on in the presidential 


In addition certain schools have estabHshed class libraries 
which are constantly being added to both by presentations 
of books and by regular contributions on the part of the 
pupils. They contain not only books of reference but also 
reading books for home use. 

A large number of Enghsh schools possess school libraries. 
Very often in a big school there is a junior section. In some 
of the big towns a great deal has been done to create a close 
connection between the primary schools ^ and the public 
free libraries, which have opened special departments for 
school children. There is no reason why the movement 
should not be largely extended to day pupils in secondary 
schools. Many schools, especially boarding schools, have a 
common-room in which a certain number of daily and 
weekly papers are taken in by the boys themselves. Very 
often the higher forms use their own class-rooms for the 
purpose. The newspaper is the daily encyclopsedia, and 
the future citizen of the empire should be encouraged to get 
a grip of current questions for himself. 

The popularity of the cheaper comic papers, which some- 
times form too large an element of the stock-in-trade of these 
reading-rooms, is not such a pleasant feature. Apart from 
their jokes, which are harmless enough, they tend to en- 
courage scrappiness in reading, and that particular dis- 
cursive butterfly type of mind which finds an interest in a 
column of disconnected snippets. One cannot help feeling 
that this mental attitude, or rather mental instability, is 

address were the subject of the number of hours of work per day, 
school hygiene in general, and the question of school colonies. 

Note. — {1913.) The Third International Congress on School 
Hygiene, which was held in Paris in 1910, marks another step 
forward. See also the article in Hygiene scolaire, Oct. 1911, of Dr. 
Mathieu, who condemns some of the older buildings outright. The 
ventilation is still often defective. The lighting and heating have 
much improved, but the school furniture is often old-fashioned. 
The dormitories have been improved, and cubicles substituted in 
some cases. Shower-baths have been introduced everywhere, but 
the lavatories still leave much to be desired. 

1 See Report on the Connection between the Public Library and the 
Public Elementary School, published in vol. 2 of Special Reports on 
Educational Subjects, Board of Education. Also issued as separate 


due in part to the effect of examinations on the teaching of 
to-day. The necessity of answering a baker's dozen of 
questions in an hour and a half or two hours naturally leads 
to a taste for disjointed facts, for nothing can be studied 
A fond, and to a form of interest that moves by fits and 
starts and is never long-lived. 

One may probably class among the incentives to, if not 
among the opportunities for, self-development the number 
of special prizes offered for composition outside the regular 
course work in classics and English, both in prose and verse. 
These compositions, which are by definition the unaided 
work of the pupil, are one of the best ways of " extending " 
the pupil and of encouraging thorough and original work. 
They have not infrequently allowed a boy who has not 
otherwise distinguished himself in class to strike out for 
himself a line of his own and given him thereby the oppor- 
tunity without which the talent within him would never 
have been brought to light. It says much for the honom: 
of the English schoolboy that these compositions are nearly 
always his own unaided production. 

The French possess a somewhat similar method of en- 
couraging extra study in the concours general} in which all 
the best scholars in the French schools throughout the 
country are examined in all the subjects of the programme 
according to their classes, and prizes and honourable 

1 The examination has now been aboUshed. As it included a 
yearly examination for picked boys from the third up to the first, and 
the philosophy classes, it was doubtless too great a strain, but it was 
none the less an excellent method for selecting the boys who went on 
to the ficole Normale. Some critics see in its abolition a certain 
tendency towards levelling down things which is apparently making 
itself felt in some circles in France to-day. It is suggested that it 
would not be impossible to revive the good side of it by re-establishing 
it in conjunction with the two examinations for the bdccalauriat, by 
giving prizes for the best candidates in the written work in the two 
parts, and putting on a few extra papers for certain subjects, now 
taken orally, which naturally only those who were specially strong 
in these papers would take in prefcTence to the viva-voce. — (1913.) 
The concours gSniral will probably be re-estabhshed shortly. The 
necessary funds for its re-establishment have already been voted by 
the Chamber of Deputies, though not by the Senate. It will, how- 
ever, be confined in all likeUhood to four or five subjects, and be 
open only to boys in the top classes. 


mention are awarded.^ No doubt the examination acts 
as a splendid, if sometimes excessive, incentive to work 
among the better boys, and produces surprises like the 
special compositions in England. But the preparation 
for such an examination has less of the voluntary char- 
acter about it, and leads rather to extra coaching than 
to absolutely original work and research on the part of 
the pupil,* 

(iv) School Societies 

School societies, apart from the athletic associations, 
scarcely exist in French schools. From time to time a lyc&e 
will organize an evening's entertainment, consisting of 
acting, recitations, etc., but the efforts made are sporadic. 
The performance over, the temporary committee dissolves, 
and the lycee becomes once more a conglomeration of 
individuals. This is sincerely to be regretted. The vast 
amount of talent that such an evening reveals makes one 
wonder why some sort of permanent society cannot be 
constituted more or less on the lines of English school 

Many schools in England have a debating society in which 
the destinies of the empire and of humanity in general are 
made or unmade at fortnightly or monthly intervals during 
the winter. Masters not infrequently take part in it, and 
its effects on the whole are excellent. The youthful advo- 
cate of " retaliation " or the aboUtion of capital punishment 
accepts his r6le with a most becoming seriousness. In 
working up his case he not only learns how to consult and 
handle original authorities ; he also goes through the ex- 
cellent training of having to think out what he wants to say 
and put it into intelligent language. In a word he learns 
to speak, a thing he rarely does inside the school, where 

1 The competitions include pupils of the third class. 

^ For a good description of the concours glniral from a schoolboy's 
point of view, see Vne Annie d& Collige & Paris, by Andr6 Laurie. 
(Pascal Grousset.) 


verbal brevity is only held in higher honour than verbal 

The procedure is moulded on that of the methods of 
Parliament, and the experience which the budding chairman 
of the meeting derives from his management of his school- 
fellows is no doubt of the highest value. In fact, the society 
is one of the ways of teaching self-government, and not the 
least valuable. The youngest members quickly understand 
the need of order and the necessity of allowing each side to 
state their opinions, however unpalatable some of them may 
be to the majority. If the school history of the present 
members of Parliament were traced, it would probably be 
found that a large proportion of them delivered their maiden 
speech in the school debating society. 

Here is a point our French friends might well copy, not 
as an aid to oratory, in which they already excel, but as a 
discipline towards listening to both sides of the question. 
Apart from the unwritten procedure which governs their 
debates, nearly all their societies contain a rule that all 
religious questions are debarred. In France it might be 
advisable to add " and poUtical " to the rubric. 

The debating societies have not infrequently a Uterary 
section attached to them in wMch readings from Shake- 
speare and other standard authors take place, and before 
which the school poet and the school essajdst read their 
earUest contributions to literature. In some instances a 
sort of golden book is kept, in which the most worthy of 
these lucubrations are inserted on the vote of the majority. 
In many schools theatricals take place at least once a year, 
in addition to the recitations which are a standing dish at 
every speech day. Sometimes scenes are given from 
Shakespeare, out of some play the pupils are studying — ^a 
feature that adds enormously to their appreciation of the 
play; often it is Sheridan who is drawn upon. Here, 
again, the theatrically minded members of the staff lend 
their aid and coach the budding Roscius or act as stage- 

Moreover, many schools have also photographic and 
scientific societies, which, under the leadership of the science 


master or the photographic enthusiast on the staff, make 
excursions in the neighbourhood and photograph its scenery, 
or study its fauna or flora, its geological or archaeological 
remains. They have also their indoor meetings, and an 
account of their proceedings or researches appears in the 
school magazine, a publication which is to be found in the 
vast majority of secondary schools. 

The magazine serves not merely as a record of sports, 
games, matches, concerts, outings, prize givings, departures, 
new arrivals, and old boys' successes ; it contains as well 
a certain number of original contributions, together with 
the inevitable editorial, in which the pUce de resistance, the 
chou and the clou, is the everlasting wail of the editor at 
the penury of contributions. The advent of the school 
" mag " is one of the excitements of term, and the first 
appearance of one's name in print, even if it is only for a 
third prize in the 100 yards under 12, is a thrilling event 
which has probably for the person in question but few 
parallels in life. Here again our French friends might copy 
with advantage. Their school record would certainly never 
suffer from any dearth of literary contributions.^ 

(v) School Surroundings — Social Life — Manners — 
Code of Honour 

To understand the social life of the pupil it is necessary 
to get a clear idea of the milieu in which as a day boy he 
passes the greater part of his day, or as a boarder he lives 
entirely. If before the Revolution the school resembled 
a cloister, the alterations made by Napoleon converted it 
into a barrack. As Pere Didon has well said, in L' Education 
pr&sente : ^ 

' Note. — (1909.) Certain lycles possess " Old Boys' Clubs." The 
majority do little more than have an annual dinner, but in some cases 
they attempt to find pupils places in the business world and elsewhere. 
Some of these societies have been recognized as being d'utiliU publigue. 
The majority of old boys' clubs in England exist for social and 
athletic reasons. 

' Pp. 318, 319. 


" Napoleon I wanted soldiers : all the schools became barracks,* 
all the pupils conscripts — living under the eye of overseers [sur- 
veillants] who had all the roughness of sergeants and corporals, and 
keeping step to the martial roll of the drum. [N.B. — The drum is 
still used in the French lycie for announcing the beginning and end 
of lessons.] . . . With the same powerful hand Napoleon at the 
same time organised, mobilised, and got together another army not 
less compact and skilfully grouped to defend public and social order : 
the army of functionaries. There was no longer room, not the least 
room, left for private initiative." * 

Other influences which followed had their effect on the 
schools, first what may be caUed the Uterary rtgime, and 
lately the growing claims of science ; but their influences, 
as Pere Didon has remarked, have rather been successively 
superposed than successively exclusive one of the other. 
The military State education for which Napoleon intended 
the remodelled lycie to provide has largely lost its raison 
d'etre. Yet no new ideals have adequately taken its place. 
The former soul of the institution is dead, or rather the 
transmigration of the modern spirit into the deserted tene- 
ment is yet but half accompUshed. Yet so perfect is the 
machinery that it still continues to function as heretofore. 

Still the signs of a quickening spirit are not to be over- 
looked. The Parhamentary Commission has emphasized 
the fact that the proviseur must be something more than a 
mere fly-wheel in the administrative machine, he must also 
be a living and moral force in the household over which he 
presides, in which he must not merely be chief in financial 
and administrative matters, but also have some degree of 
influence and control, not only over his staff but over the 
pupils. In this way only can responsibility be fixed, unity 
effected, and the Germanic idea realized of an institution 
being not a mere inanimate thing endowed with a fictitious 

* Cf. Demolins, A quoi tient la Supirioriti des Anglo-Saxons, p. 7. 
Cf. M. le Docteur Hogg, L'HygUne scolaire dans les jStablissements 
d' Enseignement secondaire de la Grande-Bretagne, p. ig. " The small 
French boy ... in a college is a number. He wears a uniforA, he 
marches in rank and silently on his way to the class-room, the study, 
the refectory ; all his movements, all his acts are commanded, even 
if their rhythm is not given by the rolling drum or the pealing bell." 

» Cf. Demolins, A quoi tient la Supirioriti des Anglo-Saxons, passim. 


civil personality, but a trae and living organism whose 
component parts are living persons. 

Over-delimitation leads to undue simplification. To 
obtain a superficial symmetry one is obliged to eliminate 
what is really vital. The divisions between proviseur and 
professeur, between professeur and surveillant are un- 
doubtedly an administrative convenience, but they have 
cut the life-strings of French education, and isolated the 
pupil from the most precious influences. What has kept 
French education alive has been the intellectual enthusiasm 
of the professor for his own particular subject and for 
culture as a whole. He has never fallen into the German 
faihng of becoming a specialist pure and simple or a specialist 
with merely encyclopaedic attainments. In a word he has 
never confused culture with encyclopsedism, much less has 
he sacrificed it to specialism. In this he has had an admir- 
able influence over the Slite of his pupils. 

But these ideals, precious as they are, which have done 
so much for the intellectual side of French education, can 
hardly be said to make for complete living. One cannot 
help finding them one-sided and insufficient in the light of 
modern thought, with its growing stress on will-culture, on 
self-government, on initiative and activity. As M. Duhamel 
points out,^ even the Commission failed to make sufficient 
investigation into the means most suitable for forming the 
characters of the pupils, in accustoming them to the ideas 
of responsibility, liberty, and action. We may, therefore, 
conclude that these elements are still far too scantily re- 
presented among the moral and social influences which 
surround the pupil's existence. 

The material factors in his life are also unpropitious. 
The .lyc&e far too often preserves the birth-marks of its 
military origin. An English writer in the Globe * describes 
the lycee he attended as a boy as 

" A large barrack-like building in the centre of the big town, sand- 
wiched in between a church and a tall block of houses, lying between 
a street the chief channel of traffic and a lane that acts as a sort of 
backwater for the overflow crowd from the larger thoroughfare ; such 

' See Comment ilever nos Fils, p. 2. * June 27th, 1898. 


was the position of my lycie. As I looked on that dingy mass of 
bricks and mortar I could not help thinking of the great English 
school I had left, standing up in the midst of its green playing fields. 
We entered. Within were two narrow courts, one for the bigger and 
the other for the smaller fellows, where the games flourished in a sickly 
fashion. Around on three sides lay the class-rooms and on the fourth 
the gymnasium. The whole had rather a prison-like air, and I 
realised I was for the moment confined to one of those scholastic 
casernes that Napoleon determined the lycH should be." ' 

It must not be supposed that the average lycie is ill- 
lighted and badly ventilated. On the contrary, the more 
recently constructed lycies, on which the Government have 
lavished many millions of francs, are models in this respect.* 

Still, under these conditions it is not surprising to find 
the life of the ordinary schoolboy, whether day or boarder, 
depicted in gloomy colours. The polemical writer of the 
tract on physical culture thus describes the situation : ' 

" When the drum has beaten the lycien enters the gate of the lycie 
with the same air as the soldier passes through the iron gates of the 
military quarters. As the soldier calls the barracks a gaol, so the 
lycien calls his lycie. Thus the day boy experiences twice a day the 
feeling of the boarder who goes out on Sundays : that of the soldier 
on leave." 

Speaking of the boarder's Hfe, P6re Didon dilates on 

" That long period of ten years, bounded on every side by a strict 
discipline, with its monotonous days, its ever parallel hours of work 
and play, regular as the hours of a clock, interspersed with rewards 
and punishments, that prolonged absence from the family — lessened 
as it is, but never sufficiently to the Uking of the pupil, by the annual 
holidays and exeats — those courts with their iron bars and prison- 

' Matthew Arnold [A French Eton, p. 321) spoke of the " courts . . . 
looking to an ex-schoolboy from any of the great English schools 
hopelessly prison-like." 

' Such as Janson-de-Sailly, Lakanal, Louis-le-Grand, etc. See 
Dr. Hogg, L'Hygiine scolaire dans les Etablissements d'Enseignemeni 
secondaire de la Grande-Bretagne. In less than six years (1880-1885) 
the Government spent on buildings and repairs more than ;^4,ooo,ooo 
(110,866,665 frs. 66 centimes, to be exact). 

' It is curious to note that the attempt to move the lycies out into 
the suburbs has not been a success so far as tested by actual results. 
Parents seem to prefer the proximity of the school to fresh air for 
their children. 


like walls, bereft of the poetry of silent cloisters, invaded by the 
gloomy sadness of barracks and gaols, that enlistment in a sort of 
miniature army in which one has nothing to do but obey [armde toute 
passive] : it is all this that fills boys with loathing. On reading these 
pages they will find perhaps that on almost all these points they are 
right, and that without doubt the future will modify from top to 
bottom that external organisation of school life which is so de- 
pressing " (pp. vi, vii). 

One of the most remarkable features common to English 
schools which is lacking in the ordinary lycie is the absence 
of any general reunion in the morning for prayers or for 
receiving the orders for the day. It is strange that the 
French, with their facility for reaUzing the possibiUty of the 
spectacular and their talent for and dehght in well-ordered 
display,^ have never discovered the profound effect that 
such a gathering of the classes has on the mind of the small 
boy on seeing all at once the great army of which he, though 
he be but the youngest conscript, is nevertheless a member. 
Nothing helps better to impress upon him the sense of 
esprit de corps than his daily parade. 

He sees the head boys of the school, the prefects, armed 
with an authority and prestige that makes them appear to 
him as heroes and demi-gods ; their almost, to him, super- 
human size appals him, till he realizes that his place will be 
one day where they are standing now. He hears read out 
the names of those who have brought honour and lustre to 
the school, and his heart swells at the thought that perhaps 
he too one day will be cited in the order of the day as 
having deserved well of the community, and the thought 
itself becomes the father of the wish that in due time brings 
about its accompUshment. These are sentiments that 
never come to the average French day boy. He never sees 
the whole school together except at prize-givings. Day by 
day he goes straight from his home into his class-room, unless 
perhaps he spends some five minutes in the playground eH 

^ Note. — (1909.) " II est vrai que chei nous les sentiments nationaux 
prennent facilement la forme d'une manifestation, d'une reprisentaiion, 
car il y adu thidtral en nous." — " Les Cahiers de F61ix Pecaut," Revue 
pidagogique, November, 1908. 


He gets to know his twenty or thirty class-mates more or 
less, he forms a few acquaintances with other boys in the 
playground, in the interval or before school. But he does 
not even know the vast bulk of the school by sight, and 
scarcely half a dozen of his acquaintances ripen to friend- 
ship. Only if he joins the small group who form the 
association scolaire does he become initiated into the larger 
freemasonry of perfect comradeship. " This camaraderie," ^ 
says the anonymous writer quoted above, " is strong and 
lasting. In our case, and the fact possesses in itself docu- 
mentary value, of all the young fellows we have known at 
the lycee, the comrades whom we still have are all without 
exception members of our school association." 

The same author adds : "Of our school career we retain 
many sorrowful recollections, and a single pleasant one over 
which our mind sometimes lingers, our school association. 
As for the image of the lycee, as it plunges deeper into the 
mists of the past, it assumes a more gloomy and depressing 
aspect. Never have we returned to look once more on that 
building which, inasmuch as we were confined in it, remains 
always in our eyes a prison [boUe]." M. Duhamel also 
writes : " How few French pupils leave school with the con- 
viction of having spent happy days there ! " * 

One cannot help feeling that some of these criticisms are 
slightly overdrawn. The truth is the French are not averse 
to the habit of dire du mal de soi-meme. Again, the French- 
man, while inclined to make light of his difficulties while 
they last, takes his revenge afterwards in the pictures he 
draws, or rather overdraws, of them. Moreover, the writers 
quoted above are all reformers, and one of the first rules for 
attracting attention is to crier haul. 

Judging by my youthful comrades at the lycee, if they did 
not regard it as a Paradiso they scarcely found it such a 
Purgatorio as these writers would have us believe. Those 
who wish to see a more roseate view of French school Ufe 
should read Une Annie de ColUge A Paris, which gives an 
excellent notion of the interior of a French school, a little 

1 E.p. c.i>. See p. 30. 

' Comment ilever nos Fits, p. 277. 


idealized perhaps in some directions, but certainly no more 
exaggerated than the extracts quoted above. 

As one who has seen a good many specimens of the French 
bay at close quarters and has Uved on intimate terms with 
him and his family, I am surprised at the wonderful possi- 
bilities in his character, and incline to attribute the majority 
of his faults to the defects in his bringing up. No one can 
fail to be struck with the quickness and sureness of his 
intelligence. He is naturally poUte,^ obliging in the small 
tilings of life, affable, and cheerful. He possesses to the full 
that appreciation of Ufe which is the mark of his race. For 
him the question is not whether Ufe is worth living, much 
less whether it is a bore, but how he can best get most out 
of it in the way of pleasure and amusement. 

As art to the Greeks was not synonymous with mere 
monetary outlay, so the French boy does not confound 
pleasure and expense. He is therefore generally in good 
spirits, and if he is rather fond of la blague, a curious ad^ 
mixture of conceited exaggeration and intentional hum- 
bugging, are our boys always devoid of swagger or of trying 
to " green " a " new chum " ? Again, is not this inflated 
manner of talking when applied to the authorities a way of 
taking his revenge on the despotic rSgime under which he 
fancies he groans and which he thus hopes to temper with 
his epigrams ? That he is a frondeur at times cannot be 
denied, but here again it is no doubt because he feels that 
such an attitude is the only one by which he can maintain 
his independence in the presence of an authority more 
intent on imposing itself than on getting itself accepted 
(sentie pluiot que consentie). 

If he is rather lacking in endurance,* can one blame him, 

1 Matthew Arnold, A French Eton, pp. 358-359 : " I had been 
struck with the good manners and the natural politeness they showed, 
quite down to the Uttle boys, when tried by the unusual incident of 
a stranger and a foreigner in the schoolroom : I am sure in England 
there would have been much less rising and bowing and much more 
staring and giggling." 

* I remember a very remarkable case. A certain young fellow of 
about eighteen had taken up running. Being a novice, he was often 
allowed the longest start. Once he was passed by an opponent he 
had the greatest difficulty in not giving up. One day I well re- 


when one sees how everything conspires to keep him de- 
pendent on his parents ? Our boys of sixteen and seventeen 
have often a regular allowance on which they are expected 
to clothe themselves and defray their out-of-pocket ex- 
penses. Occasionally deficits occur which result in enforced 
contributions from the parents, but the system of making 
a boy manage his own income and balance his own budget 
works on the whole very well. The French boy, as far as 
one can learn, has no such financial liberty while at school. 
As regards the code of honour which prevails amongst 
French schools, the present writer has been fortunate 
enough to receive a statement {see Appendix, p. 143 below) 
from a friend who has had experience of schools both as a 
pupil and a teacher. The document has also been seen by 
another friend of still wider experience, who finds nothing 
in it to add to or modify. 

To describe the hfe of the EngUsh boy at school is often 
— at least as far as the boarder is concerned — to describe 
the happiest years of his whole hfe. It begins in his pre- 
paratory school, in which hfe is made too easy, if an3^hing, 
for him. It continues on through the pubUc school which 
he enters at the age of thirteen or fourteen. But probably 
the best period of all comes with the years from sixteen to 
eighteen or nineteen, when he begins to be someone in the 
school, is made a house or school monitor, gets into the sixth 
form, and plays for the school at cricket or football. The 
present is so bright and so absorbing that he scarcely thinks 
of the future at all. If he is conscious of it at all in his mind 
it is only as of a vague and not unpleasing contingency. 

Every year sees him clothed with wider authority cmd 
prestige. The healthy open-air hfe, the pleasurable sen- 
sation of growth, even if they rarely rise above the level of 
subconsciousness, form a sohd foundation to the joys of 
his existence. His milieu is in sympathy with him, and he 
with his milieu. If hfe means not merely a preparation 

member he had promised his trainer he would not give in to the habit. 
He did, however, and on returning to the pavilion exclaimed, almost 
in tears, " C est plus fort que moi." The trainer, who had a very wide 
experience, informed me it was by no means an isolated case. 


for each successive stage but also the living out of each 
stage as if it were an end in itself, then as regards the second 
ideal the EngUsh educator may be held to have come nearer 
the mark than any other modern educator. 

Boyhood is certainly not sacrificed. The severest critics 
of the system can only say that it is unduly prolonged, and 
that while we make in many ways the transition to manhood 
easier than elsewhere, we neglect the intellectual side too 
much and defer till too late the idea that a choice of career 
is imperative on all ; we do not sufficiently insist that a 
career should not merely be a sort of pis alter, a kind of 
refuge for the destitute, a corvee imposed on us by the stern 
necessity of having to earn our daily bread, but a calling, a 
vocation, a hfe-work in the highest sense. Gray no doubt 
was right in the main when, watching the boys at their 
games, he wrote, " Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be 
wise," but there is a point at which ignorance unduly pro- 
longed leads to a rude awakening. 

The portals of every profession are getting every day 
more crowded, and entrance and subsequent success depend 
more and more on early preparation, not specialization, 
but self-preparation, self-dedication, if the word is not too 
strong, to the career one intends to follow. The day of the 
amateur in all professions is slowly passing away, and it is 
more and more being reaUzed by the thoughtful that educa- 
tion, in order to prevent the multipUcation of non-valeurs 
and waste-products, must more and more undertake the 
task of organizing the selection, not so much by constructing 
an elaborate system of examinations, sieves for sifting out 
the unfit, as by adding to its duties that of impressing on 
the young the need of choosing a profession and taking, if 
possible, an interest in it while still at school.'- 

With all the insistence which our education lays on the 
cult of activity and the cultivation of the will, it seems 

^ Cf. for the same idea M. Hanotaux, Du Choix d'une CarrUre, p. 1 1 : 
" Pas de forces perdues, telle doit Hre la pensie constante d'une sociiU 
et d'un gouvernement." The writer in question is so anxious that 
boys should take up a career, he would clear the majority of them 
out of the schools at fifteen. Cf. also p. 43, " The Professor's Duty 
in the Matter." — (1909.) Cf. School World, September, 1908. 


somehow to have forgotten that these pure sciences need 
also to be taught in an apphed fashion to be really fruitftd. 
We turn out hundreds, blest with good intentions and strong 
in potential energy, but we neglect to teach the application 
of these quahties to the tests of daily life. Vis consili expers 
mole ruit sua. The State receives batph after batch of well- 
affected citizens who have, however, Been but ill trained in 
one of the most important branches of citizenship, that of 
adding to its general productivity by being an efiBicient 
worker. We have to add to the catalogue of virtues taught 
in school the virtue of the producer.^ 

No doubt the day boy who passes his time half at home 
and half at school lives in a more varied atmosphere, but 
none the less there is scarcely a secondary school in the 
country to which the influence of the public school tradition 
does not extend. If it was not in the school originally, it 
has been brought there by the members of the staff, who, 
being old pubhc-school boys, have acted Uke missionaries 
in sowing the good seed through the length and breadth 
of the land. What is the tradition ? A resume of the 
works of Thomas Arnold and Edward Thring, and of their 
numerous disciples, with readings in Tom Brown, would 
alone give an adequate idea of its many-sided variety.* 

But if one desired to sum up the dominant character of 
its spirit, apart from the rehgious basis on which its founders 

' Note. — (1909.) The question of vocational education is rapidly 
becoming one of the most burning questions of the day, especially in 
respect to the after-careers of the scholars in trade and industry. 
Cf. Continuation Schools in England and Elsewhere, edited by M. E. 
Sadler (Manchester : The University Press). In London steps are 
being taken not only in the so-called higher elementary schools, but 
also outside, through the formation of joint committees of employers 
and trade unions in the different trades, in order to organize better 
the selection of future careers and callings among the pupils. This 
movement cannot fail to have, in the long run, the most profound 
effect on the curriculum and destiny of the so-called lower secondary 
schools. — (1913.) The subject formed one of the principal topics for 
discussion at the educational section of the British Association of 
this year. 

* Reference should also be made to the works of Henry Newbolt, 
the Poet Laureate of the public schools, especially his two poems 
entitled "Clifton Chapel " and " Vitai Lampada," with its refrain of 
" Play up, play up, and play the game." 


placed it, one must, strangely enough, have recourse to 
our French neighbours, who, in this as in so many other 
matters, have done its thinking for Europe. To them we 
owe the coinage of the two phrases noblesse oblige and esprit 
de corps. The former, Norman and aristocratic in origin, 
is an epitome of all the virtues that formed the stock-in- 
trade of the ancient school of chivalry and mediseval knight- 
hood ; the latter, more in sympathy with the Anglo-Saxon 
spirit, embodies the old civic idea of a living corporation 
and the modern conception of organic oneness. 

In these two phrases all moral and civic instruction seems 
to be comprised, the one lajdng stress on the obligation of 
the individual to himself and other individuals, the other 
on his duties to his fellow-citizens and to the State. No 
doubt to Thring and Arnold the idea of school was not 
merely that of a republic of free aristocrats, but also of a 
veritable civitas Dei. Just as the mediaeval doctors wove 
into the fabric of their religious belief many of the doctrines 
they found in those pre-Christian doctors of the Church, 
Aristotle and Plato, so the leaders of the educational 
renaissance of the nineteenth century found much of their 
inspiration in the classical and knightly traditions of the 
past in their desire to give an education not only of a 
Christian but of a gentleman, to make their schools in the 
widest sense schools of manners. 

In studying the manners of the Enghsh public-school boy 
a foreigner would probably be struck by his frankness, 
independence, absence of swagger or affectation, and easy 
assurance, consisting of a large dose of self-satisfaction, 
probably well grounded and tinged with a cheerful disregard 
of or indifference to the opinions of strangers, not unmixed 
with contempt when they were not of the same way of 
thinking as himself. On the other hand, he would note a 
curious readiness to swear by everything enunciated by 
those who were the bell-wethers of public opinion within 
the school itself, and would realize that the Englishman's 
preference for men rather than measures goes down deep 
into the national character. 

A closer acquaintance would probably show that he had 


a regard for truth, and a keen sense of honour, that he could 
keep his temper, that he had pluck and endurance, and did 
not boast about what he had done, if he did not rather ape 
humiUty in pretending to know nothing about it ; that he 
was loyal, honest and trustworthy. His extremely limited 
vocabulary of English undefiled would astonish our foreign 
friend, who would be further bewildered by his flow of 
slang, nor would the amazement of the critic diminish on 
learning that this very slang was regarded as part and 
parcel of the school Uf e, and any attempt of the authorities 
to put it down would involve a language question to which 
even Bohemia could offer no parallel. 

In fact, our critic would speedily discover that the English 
boy is intensely and violently conservative, that procedure 
is his principal guide in Ufe, and precedent its chief illumina- 
tion, that Mrs. Grundy's reign in the social world is nothing 
to the cast-iron rigime which rules within the precincts of 
Harchester, that innovation can only come when Brown 
Primus, the head of the school, or Jones Major, the captain 
of the eleven, decides to innovate, and neither, they all 
know, will ever innovate rashly. Our critic will also prob- 
ably wonder at the narrow sphere of interests in which the 
pupil lives, and while approving of the zest he gets out of 
life, and the excellent terms on which he generally lives with 
those in authority, he will rate less highly his general 
ignorance of Uterature and art, and pity his contemptuous 
attitude towards them. 

More remarkable still will seem to our critic his absorbing 
interest in games, so much so that the former may perhaps 
ironically ask whether the schools themselves are not really 
gymnasiums in the hteral sense of the word, whose aim is 
to produce a race of professional athletes, boating men, and 
" sportsmen " generally. He would be surprised to learn 
that while in France the majority of yormg Frenchmen 
dream from their earliest years of obtaining a snug berth 
under the Government for the rest of their natural hves, the 
English boy is often so light-hearted that he has not seriously 
considered the future at all, but trusts to luck " for some- 
thing to turn up." 


Our critic will probably look with disapproval on the 
orgies that sometimes take place in the school tuck-shop, 
and be not unamused to learn on remembering the " butter " 
towers of his own cathedrals, for which mediaeval indul- 
gences had furnished the necessary funds, that modern 
gluttony had been utiUzed towards meeting the cost of 
substantial additions to the fives-courts and other athletic 
desiderata of the school. 

In reUgion our critic would discover that the pupil as a 
rule belonged to the Church of England as by law esta- 
blished, and that the numerous problems which engaged 
the mind of the philosophical youth of eighteen abroad 
rarely troubled the head of one whose piety, hke that of his 
race, was mainly of a practical nature. He would find that 
in some schools the vices secrets were by no means unknown, 
and that conspiracies of silence made them difficult to 
discover. He would also learn on talking over the matter 
quietly with the headmaster that matters were probably 
better than they were twenty years ago,'- and that the mot 
d' or ire of those in authority was : " Pensons-y tovjours, 
n'en parlons jamais." 



II y a lieu, ce me semble, d'^tablir une division trds nette entre les 
deux genres externe et interne. R^unis en classe, quatre ou cinq 
heures chaque jour, ils sont ensuite s6par6s et ne peuvent communi- 
quer entre eux. Les influences qu'ils subissent sont fort difidrentes 
et leurs origines ne sont poinj identiques. 

L'externe vit clans sa famille. Il'en spouse gSnSralement les id£es, 
et le niveau de sa morality variera suivant le ton plus ou moins 61ev6, 
les sentiments et la mentali1% de ses parents. II n'est en contact avec 
ses camarades que pendant des heures braves chaque jour : en classe, 
il est soumis k Taction morale du professeur, action trop courte, trop 
intermittente et pas assez intime pour avoir grand effet, (en mettant 

* Cf. Benson, The Schoolmaster, 149-160, and Skrine, Pastor Ag- 
norum, pp. 198-201, where the whole question is discussed in a 
practical manner. 


i part, bien entendu, des exceptions rares, mais remarquables) . II 
cause avec ses amis pendant quelques minutes k peine avant la classe ; 
il accompagne un condisciple avant de rentrer chez lui, et c'est tout. 
La formation mentale de I'externe est done, en somme, isol6e ou 
fragmeutaire. Le type externe n'est pas uniforme. 

L'616ve externe est cependant assez sensible au bon renom de son 
lyc6e, surtont k Paris oil il existe plusieurs lyc6es qui se disputent les 
prix du Concours G6n6ral. Dans les villes de province oil le lyc6e 
est unique et I'emporte beaucoup sur les 6tablissements libres, ce 
sentiment est naturellement trfes faible. L'esprit de camaraderie 
est, chez I'externe, pen d6velopp6 en raison mSme de sa vie isoI6e. 
Le jeune externe est gfinferalement trop choy6 dans sa famille : ses 
qualit^s viriles sont, par suite, trfes peu marquees, sauf chez celni qui 
pratique les exercices physiques . Ce dernier type tend ^ se rfipandre : 
les associations scolaires sportives augmentent en nombre et en 

Chez les bons 616ves, il y a une rivaUt6 ardente pour les places de 
composition et les prix de fin d'ann^e. Parfois, ce dfeir trfes vif de 
triompher dans les compositions pousse I'enfant ou le jeune homme 
It user de moyens ilUcites, k copier sa composition. Cette faute paralt 
plus fr^quente chez I'externe que chez I'inteme. Le code d'bonneur 
qui la r^prouve avec Anergic est moin^ respects par les elfeves qui ne 
vivent pas en commun. L'externe, plus eflf6min6, se bat rarement 
avec un camarade. Les combats, en gdn^ral, ne sont pas r£gl6s, ont 
lieu sans preparation, sans seconds. Les 61Sves externes ont presque 
toujours de meilleures maniSres que les internes : leur contact 
journalier avec leurs mferes, leurs soeurs, expUque ce fait. Chez les 
grands, les tentations des grandes villes amSnent d'assez bonne heure 
un rel^chement dans leurs moeurs. Le jeu aux courses est une des 
plaies qui s6vit avec le plus d'intensitS. 

Chez I'inteme se retrouvent les quaUt^s et les dSfauts inhfirents k 
tons les hommes qui vivent en coUectivitfe exclusivement masculines. 
II y a beaucoup d'analogie entre le pensionnaire au lyc6e et le soldat 
k la caserne. Tous deux ont la mSme franchise un peu brutale, la 
mSme galtfi exub^rante et un peu grossifere. L'esprit de camara- 
derie, par I'effet ce cette vie en commun, est plus intense parmi les 
internes que parmi leurs camarades externes. La dfenonciation d'un 
camarade est considfirfie par eux comme une faute particulifiremeut 
grave et punie avec s6v6rit6 par des brimades diverses, surtout par 
la " Quarantaine." 

Dans les lyc6es fran9ais aucune intimitfi n'existe entre les maltres 
d'6tudes, le censeur et le proviseur d'une part, et la masse des 616ves 
d'autre part. Le r61e des 6ducateurs semblant etre r6duit k I'appli- 
cation des rfiglements disciplinaires, il rfigne une sorte d'etat de 


guerre latent entre radministration et les ^ISves. Dans cette lutte, 
les 616ves internes sont toujours 6troitement unis, et ils aiment mieux 
Stre tons punis que de laisser chatier le camarade coupable d'une 
faute commise dans rintfirfet (bien ou mal entendu) de tons. Dans 
certains cas, ils forcent un coupable t se dSnoncer lui-m@me, mais ils 
ne le dfinoncent pas. II existe done chez eux un veritable code 
d'honneur dont les lois de la camaraderie sont la base. Dans les 
associations telles que la "taupe," (candidats k Polytechnique), la 
" Corniche" (candidats k St. Cyr), ces lois de la camaraderie sont 
observ^es avec plus de rigueur encore. 

Un dfifaut assez rfipandu chez les internes est la tournure d'esprit 
que Ton appelle la fanfaronnade du vice. Les lendemains de congS, 
I'inteme aime, en gSnfiral, 6tonner ses camarades par des rficits souvent 
imaginaires des debauches qu'il a pu commettre, Le dimanche soir, 
beaucoup de "grands" afiectent d'Stre gris en rentrant. L'interne 
est souvent assez courageux ; issu d'une famille habitant la cam- 
pagne, il connait les animaux, son temperament est robuste. II a, 
en revanche, moins de finesse d'esprit et moins de d^licatesse que 
I'exteme citadin. Les brimades individueUes sont rares, et toujours 
un 616ve faible, maltrait6 de ses camarades, trouvera un defenseur. 
Un 616ve n'est, on pent le dire en thSse g6n6rale, maltrait6 par ses 
condisciples que lorsqu'il s'est montr^ mauvais camarade et pen 

II est presque certain que, an point de vue du mensonge, la masse 
des externes est d'un niveau moins 61ev6 que I'ensemble des pension- 
naires. L'interne est un pen plus sincfere que I'exteme, pr6cis6ment 
parce qu'il est plus viril. 

Les batailles ne sont pas rares chez les internes. Le combat est 
plus r6gl6 ; souvent mdme, il est stipul6 que les coups de pied seront 
laiss^s de c6t6 ; des seconds aident parfois les combattants ; la 
galerie de spectateurs veille jalousement k ce que la lutte soit rfe- 
gulifere. Le combat est violent. L'intervention d'un maltre en 
amSne d'ordinaire la terminaison. 

Les vices secrets, point rares malheureusement, sont presque 
affich^s par les jeunes internes. A partir de 15 ans {k pen pr6s) 
l'interne ne conviendra point qu'il s'y livre et mentira en le niant ; 
mais il fera profession ouverte, en revanche, d'avoir des relations avec 
des femmes les jours de sortie. 

C. Veillet-Lavall^e, 

Note. — (1913.) For the changes on the moral question that are 
taking place among the younger generation see Les jeunes Gens 
d'aujourd'hui, pp. 63-64. 


(i) The Chorus of Critics— Pere Didon 

The critics of French secondary education have been 
numerous, and their points of criticism have greatly varied. 
Some have laid hold of the fact that the school is too 
essentially a nursery of ofificialdom ; others who have seen 
deeper have seen that the /o«s et origo mali is the Napoleonic 
constitution of the lycie, which stUl persists, though its 
raison d'etre'has gone. Others, again, have emphasized the 
fact that extraneous influences, such as the desire of every 
parent to get his son a place under Government, have 
powerfully aided and abetted ideals inherent in the original 
constitution of the lycSe. Yet another school of critics, 
fastening on the overcrowded state of the hberal professions, 
the comparative neglect of agriculture and commerce, the 
growing number of dSclass&s, and the need of settlers for the 
new colonial empire, have blamed the schools for fostering 
antiquated ideas and for lack of sympathy with the principal 
wants of to-day. 

Many have turned their eyes abroad to see if there was 
anything to be learnt from foreign nations ; a few have 
looked towards Germany, but the majority have turned 
towards England. Each has found there the particular 
remedy he desired. One might indeed say of many of them, 
not on prend son bien oil on le trouve, but on trouve son bien 
oil on veut le trouver. The critics of overwork find in the 
English games an antidote and recreation ; the partisans 
of colonization find in them an excellent means of making 
men of muscle, strong and sturdy in the physical sense of 
the word. The more educated see in them not merely an 
instrument of physical education but also a moral instru- 


ment of the first value. To some of these reformers 
games would appear to be an all-sufficient panacea. 

Others would go further, and break down the party wall 
between education cind instruction by interesting the pro- 
viseur and professor in the larger sphere of these duties, and 
by abolishing the fatal distinction between repMitmr and 
professor. At the same time they would reduce the hours 
of work, and modernize the curricula. The more extreme 
would revolutionize the programmes from top to bottom 
and sweep away the university in the process. The great 
reform which has been accompUshed in the Government 
schools, and which has been treated of elsewhere, has mainly 
dealt with the reform of the curricula ; moral education 
and hygiene have not, as M. Duhamel says, been absolutely 
sacrificed, but they occupy a comparatively minor position 
in the Commission's recommendations. 

At the side of and even in advance of this great official 
reform a certain number of attempts have been made to 
tackle the problem by members of the enseignement lihre 
and by private individuals anxious to put into practice 
their theories of reform. One of the first and certainly 
greatest reformers who submitted his theories to the test 
of experience was the late PSre Didon, head ^ of the ficole 
Albert le Grand at Arcueil, and founder of the schools of 
Laplace and Lacordaire. 

Pere Didon was not only an educational reformer, he was 
also a personahty in the rehgious world. The favourite 
disciple of Lacordaire, he is admirably described in the words 
that the latter apphed to himself as " a fervent Catholic 
and an impenitent Liberal." To his abilities as a thinker 
and organizer he added the rare gift of being an orator 
of the first rank. He was therefore able to give full value 
and expression to his message. Unhappily cut off by a 
sudden stroke while still in the fullest possession of all his 
powers, he left behind him no regular treatise on education. 

Fortunately he had pubUshed a year or two before a 
collection of addresses, entitled L' Education presente, from 
which we have already had occasion to quote, delivered for 
* He was prieur. 


the most part at prize-givings, which were the occasions he 
usually selected for the dissemination of his doctrines. 
They have naturally no very close connection with one 
another. It is possible their author was not altogether 
displeased with the result. In his horror of the abuse of 
systems in France he had, curiously enough, a somewhat 
strange disUke of system. Yet these disjecta membra 
contain enough and more than enough to show what an 
admirable educator in the highest sense of the word was 
lost to France by his premature death. 
The preface to the book gives the keynote of his purpose. 

" In the midst of the difficulties and dangers in which the present 
generation is living is it not one of our most imperative duties to go 
to the young, to live with them, to instruct them, to make them moral 
beings, to prepare them for their future place in the world, to inspire 
them with the new spirit which desires to make itself master of their 
souls as yet untouched, in order to make them the docile instruments 
of its new creations ? " 

Thence he passes straight away to the impeachment of 
the actual system of education. 

" Is French education in touch with the social, economic, political, 
democratic, scientific, intellectual or religious world of to-day 
{milieu), that is at present a prey to every form of struggle, every 
form of activity, and condemned to a perpetual state of flux ? No. 

" Does it aim at forming beings who are physically strong ? No. 

' ' At forming determined and courageous characters, who are their 
own masters and have no fear of compromising themselves ? No. 

" At forming intelligent and cultivated characters ? Perhaps. 

" At forming pliant and supple characters, consciences that are 
weak and complacent ? I fear so. 

" Well-balanced minds which see rightly and clearly ? No. 

" Souls whose dauntless and well-reasoned faith is beyond the 
reach of an unbelief that masquerades as the loftiest wisdom and 
scientific infallibility ? No. 

" Citizens whose valiant patriotism the soul of the country will find 
ever ready to respond to her cry for assistance ? No. 

' ' Men of action, in short, who know how to make up their minds 
by themselves, how to decide for themselves, how to take action them- 
selves, only count on themselves, convinced that after God the 
victory in every conflict falls to the most enduring, to the most per- 
sistent, that is to say the most worthy ? No." 


He points out that 

" The new spirit of the times enjoins work up to and including the 
severest toil, demands a will capable of being its own master, full of 
enterprise, trained for the conflict, strong even to the limits of en- 
durance. It desires an upright and well-balanced intelligence. . . . 
It requires a well-trained body ... an incorruptible conscience, a 
dauntless character ; a heart passionately attached to justice ; a 
nature enamoured of all that is ideally beautiful, a patriotism that 
hungers after the greatness, the expansion, the glory and prosperity 
of the country." 

What then is wanted to give free play to these principles ? 

" A less restricted and passive regime, allowing room for the spon- 
taneous action of character and temperament, multiplying the 
occasions for initiative, and giving free play to the responsibilities 
of each individual ; a manly rSgime which not only demands a passive 
obedience under outward discipline, but a freedom of action and 
unconstrained confidence in chiefs whose highest aim is to make 
themselves beloved ; a rigime adapted to the preparation for life, 
and to the proper use of liberty. . . . Such a rigime seems desirous 
of breaking with the ancient method of education in general." * 

The year after the pubUcation of L'£ducation presents 
Pere Didon came to England, and there he found in our 
large pubUc schools the confirmation of what he was trying 
to do in his own country, and the realization and completion 
of many of his dreams. What struck him most was the 
admirable system of self-government among the boys them- 

' In justice to P6re Didon's Catholic predecessors in the same field, 
one must mention the name of Dupanloup. Here is what P6caut (a 
witness certainly above suspicion) says of the seminary at Orleans : 
"II n'y a pas Id, un sysUme, des reglements : il y a mieux : c'est un 
organisme vivant, une &me partout ripandue, et des organes approprUs, 
des moyens riguUers d' action ; ily a une doctrine morale cachee, une vue 
d'ensemble suv la nature humaine, sur sa valeur et sa destinie, sur la 
direction a imprimer d, la vie, etc. : et, pour traduire et rialiser cet esprit, 
pour en f aire une habitude mentale des Slaves, ily a des institutions, des 
reunions et des allocutions quotidiennes ou hebdomadaires. II y a, 
enfin, dans cette vie de I'internat, autre chose que des itudes, des lefons, 
une discipline (quitdble, desjeux : ily a un rayon, ily a des ivdnements, 
des Amotions, des incitations, bref tout un regime de vie morale qui im- 
prime une marque sur les caract^res, qui laisse de longs souvenirs, qui 
contribue & determiner la direction definitive de la volenti de I'enfant en 
mSme temps qu'il lui adoucit les anndes de cldture." {Revue pida- 
gogique, July 1909 : " Les Lettres de P^caut a Greard.") 


selves, coupled with the excellent relations that prevailed 
between boys and masters. He was never tired of sajdng 
that these schools were the finest possible nurseries for 
future rulers and governors, and that he who learnt to rule 
at school was fit to rule the Indies afterwards. Of the 
many foreign visitors to EngUsh schools he was the first to 
realize to the full what he, in fact, had already more or less 
realized at home, the educational possibilities of athletics. 

The immense power of tradition in moulding the life of 
the school impressed him deeply ; the devotion of the staff 
to the school, and the pride of the old boys for the ancient 
and religious foundation in which they had been reared, 
seemed to him very precious auxiliaries in knitting together 
all who were or had been in contact with the schools. He 
loved to trace the influence of the great rehgious founders 
which still lingered round many of the schools and had 
maintained those traditions of pubUc spirit and of serving 
the State which date back from the time when the great 
Churchmen were also the leading Ministers of State. 

More especially was he struck with the boundless influence 
of the school milieu on the bringing up of the boys. He 
dilated on the value of space, of light and air as essential 
not only to health but also to the development of that un- 
conscious sense of freedom and unconstraint which is the 
best aid to fostering that inner freedom of self-control. He 
dreamt of creating a school on some woody dechyity near 
the banks of the Seine, a sort of combined Eton and Harrow 
La Montague (as he loved to call it), which should be the 
very antithesis of the ordinary French school and should 
be the reaUzation of all he had thought out on the subject. 
To him as to Thring " the mighty wall " had an irresistible 

Like Thring, he was above all the apostle of Ufe. Any 
idea of the mechanical in education was hateful to him. 
He was never tired of inveighing against the breeding of 
tame officials or the manufacture of machine-made human 
automata. In one eloquent passage in L' Education prisente 
he speaks of the garden nursery as the boarding house of 
flowers, and of the boarding house as the garden nm^ery 


of men. Above all he insisted on every boy selecting while 
still at school a definite career.^ Thring declared that every 
boy could be made to take an interest in something. P6re 
Didon went still further, and in his horror of waste-products 
determined that every pupil who left his school should leave 
it not only fully armed for the battle of life but with a com- 
mission in his pockets. At one of the prize-givings at 
Albert le Grand he was able to make the proud boeist that 
of forty boys who were leaving at the end of the term there 
was not one who had not got something definite to do. 

Unhappily his sudden death shortly after his return from 
England did not permit him to realize in bricks and mortar 
the last great dream of his Hfe. But in Albert le Grand,^ at 
Laplace and Lacordaire, he had already put his educational 
theories to the test of practice with considerable success. 
A certain autonomy reigtjed in the school which was not 
noticeable elsewhere. One could not help being struck by 
the greater manliness and independence of the boys — among 
whom he had already introduced a certain amount of 
independence, especially in connection with the management 
of the games. Altogether the school was in an exceedingly 
flourishing state, and there is no knowing to what a pitch 
of success he would have brought it had his hfe been spared. 

What the ultimate fate of the school may be one cannot 
pretend to predict, but his influence, his written work must 
remain to be read and digested even by those who were not 
in all things in agreement with him. It is well known that 
he took copious notes of his visit to Enghsh schools. It 
would be worth while for the chiefs of his order, who in 
these matters are his spiritual heirs, seriously to consider if 
these impressions are not in a sufficiently advanced state 
to be given to the world. Their publication would not 
only give a fuller and finer idea of one who was a glory to 
their order, and a notable figure in his own country, it 
would also help to forward the cause of true education. 

' See L'^ducation prisente, p. 344. 

*NoTE. — (1909.) The school has now passed into lay hands, at 
least in name. But his doctrines of life being essentially active, 
together with those of M. Bergson, are widely held by many young 
men of to-day of 19-25. See Lesjeunes Gens d'aujourd'hui passim. 


(ii) M. Demolins and his Imitators 

In 1896 M. Demolins, a well-known French writer and 
economist of the school of Leplay, attended the Edinburgh 
summer meeting. He met there the principal of an English 
private school in which a certain number of novel experi- 
ments were being tried. The result of the acquaintance 
was a volume on the causes of Anglo-Saxon superiority. 
The book at once attracted a certain amount of attention 
in Frcince. An educationed campaign was going on at the 
time. The author was taken up by Jules Lemaitre and 
others who were anxious to reform the existing rigime. 
From that moment the success of the book was assured. 
M. Demohns became the man of the hour, and not only the 
French but the European Press gave a wide publicity to 
the real or supposed causes of Anglo-Saxon superiority. 

Leaving out of account the philosophical theories on 
which the book is based, and which happily need neither 
confirmation nor refutation here, an analysis of its contents 
reveals that, while it is full of a good many striking assertions 
about Enghsh education which can only be classed as 
doubtful, it nevertheless contains a certain jmioimt of 
verites a ripandre, as the French say. The title of the first 
chapter poses the main question straight away. " Does the 
French system breed men ? " " Ask," says the author, 
" any hundred young Frenchmen on leaving school for what 
professions they are preparing ; three-fourths will reply to 
you that they are candidates for official posts." This 
excessive competition is the direct cause of the present 
terrible overpressure in the schools and of the wrong bias 
given to the education of the general run of bojre, which is 
certainly not the best for them, because an education that 
trains of&cials "can train for httle else and is especicdly ill- 
adapted to form men." 

After pointing out the weak spots in the German system, 
that some reformers seem incHned to copy, M. Demohns 
arrives at the Enghsh system. Here the principal of the 
school which he describes in detail was careful to tell him 


that the school is in many ways quite original, yet the 
heading of the chapter runs, " Does the English System form 
Men ? " In the next chapter M. Demolins asks, How do 
these EngUsh people act towards their children ? The 
following hst will show at once the shrewdness of the 
author and the dangers of insufficient generahzation. 

1. " The parents do not consider their children as belong- 

ing to them, as a species of goods and chattels, as a 
simple continuation of their own personaUty, as a 
sort of survival of themselves. On the contrary, 
they regard them as beings who ought soon to 
become independent of them." 
Instead of coddling them they try to hasten on the neces- 
sary emancipation. Which parent, the French or the 
English, is the less selfish reaUy ? 

2. " The parents treat their offspring from the outset and 

always as grown-up persons, as (fistinct personalities." 
Here is the same truth as in i, but in an exaggerated form. 

3. " The parents in education look to future needs, to 

the new needs of hfe, and not to the conditions of a 
past age." 
Can we really say that EngUsh education is more up-to- 
date than the French ? 

4. " The parents have a sovereign regard not only as we 

for health (and yet do we not sacrifice it to study, to 
examinations, to Uving in towns, etc. ?), but they 
have a sovereign regard for strength, for full develop- 
ment, and also as far as possible for the development 
of physical energy." 

5. " The parents very early in hfe train their children in 

the practice of everyday hfe. They let them go out 
alone, send them on errands, etc." 

6. " The parents generally have their children taught a 

This is at least a great exaggeration, though the technical 
schools have done something for the lower middle class. 
But, then, have not the French technical schools ? 


7. " Parents anticipate their children in the knowledge 

of all useful novelties." 
True : we are certainly a fact-loving nation, as our news- 
papers testify, but the parental Mr. Barlow who gets up 
subjects for his children is a much rarer creature than 
M. Demolins fancies. Again, as far as one's own experience 
goes, the French home has certainly a far more civilizing 
influence than the EngUsh, in which hterature and art are 
rarely discussed. 

8. " In appearance they make little use of their authority 

in dealing with their children." 
This means they are less autocratic, which is probably true. 

9. " The children are aware that their parents do not 

imdertake to find them a place." 

This is, of course, largely true. 

The typical young Englishmen are therefore " strong in 
thew and sinew, habituated to reaUty, in contact with 
material facts, always treated as men, trained to rely on 
themselves, and, regarding life as a combat ^ (which is 
eminently Christian), face the difficulties of life in all the 
vigour of their superabundant youth." 

According to M. Demolins, the moral action which implies 
the sacrifice of self is insufficient to bring about social 
improvement ; the moral action which is recdly efficacious 
is that which consists in self-conquest, and this is best learnt 
in a society in which man is obliged to rely on himself. 
One sees that M. Demolins is an individualist, and his 
gospel is the gospel of self-help. 

By the phenomenal success of his book M. DemoUns 
suddenly found himself acclaimed as an educational expert. 
He took up the rSle thus attributed to him seriously, and his 
succeeding volume, L' Education nouvelle, which is largely 
based on a study of the system in vogue at Bedales, he 
worked out as a complete theory of education. 

Being a man of action, he did not let the matter rest, but, 
encouraged by the crowd of letters which poured in to him 

' Cf. Le P6re Didon, V Education prisente, p. 25 : " Nous sotnmes 
nis combatants." 


from every quarter of France, concurrently with the writing 
of his book he took steps to give a practical illustration of 
his theories. He formed a company which purchased the 
chateau of Les Roches, together with its domain of some 
sixty acres, about two miles outside Verneuil, which is two 
hours by train from Paris on the Granville line. L'Sducaiion 
nouvelle was not merely an educational treatise, it was 
meant to be above aU a prospectus of the new school, ex- 
plaining its raison d'etre, its aims, and the manner in which 
they were to be realized. 

M. Demolins begins the volume by pointing out the lack 
of friendly relations between the French pupil and those 
in authority, whether frofesseurs or repMiteurs. He con- 
demns the divorce made between the two functions of the 
teacher, dilates on the general evil effects of the regime of 
distrust which pervades the boarding school, criticizes 
adversely the crowding together of vast masses of boys, and 
deplores the mistaken pohcy of planting big boarding schools 
in the middle of towns instead of in the middle of the 
country. Having placed his son in an Enghsh school, M. 
Demolins appreciates the value of the offices of professor 
and repeiiteur being held by one and the same person. 

He dilates on the advantages of the life in common of 
boys and masters, of small classes in which individual 
attention is possible. He points out the bad side of the 
speciaUst professor, his difficulty in coming down to the 
level of the young, his lack of influence owing to his lack 
of power to arouse interest. He praises the open-air life of 
the English school, which renders thereby a love of nature 
possible. In emphasizing the merits of the monitorial 
system he relates how the thing that most struck his son 
at the school was that one never lied. It was hot necessary, 
because one was not spied on. 

He next passes to the programme he proposes for his new 
school. Greek and Latin he gives up for the great majority 
of the boys, only keeping them for those who take up a 
literary career after the age of thirteen. On the contrary, 
far greater prominence are given to English and German, 
which have at the start eight hours a week instead of one 


and a half as in the old official programme. In postponing 
classics M. Demolins may fairly boast of having anticipated 
the new official programme. With the time thus saved 
from classics, the mother tongue, history and geography, 
and science and drawing come in for a larger share of 

Up to thirteen the programme is the same for aU boys ; 
differentiation takes place at that age, and the progranune 
is divided up into four courses, letters, science, agriculture 
and colonization, industry and commerce. The difficulties 
of learning Latin late are to be got over by the free use of 
translations. Modern languages are to be taught on the 
direct method. All pupils have to spend at least three 
months abroad, either in England or Germany, in certain 
carefully selected schools. No doubt they will not only 
acquire a good grip of the foreign language, but also a tinge 
of that celebrated Anglo-Saxonism. 

Mathematics are to be taught in a practical manner. The 
mornings will be taken up with this head-work. In the 
afternoons the pupils will have either games or practical 
work. The latter will consist of gardening and agricultural 
work, or wood and iron work, or visits to farms, factories, 
natural history excursions, surveying and drawing out 
plans. The evenings are devoted to artistic occupations or 
social recreation. Each evening has its particular occupa- 
tion ; beginning with Monday evening, there are readings 
in the hves of great men, etc., recitations and acting, wood- 
carving, modelling, dancing, concerts, music and singing, 
lectures and magic-lantern shows. Sunday evening is 
devoted to moral and social instruction, Sunday morning 
to reUgious instruction and to attending church, an aumdnier 
and a pastern being attached to the school. A short account 
of the school shows that it is furnished and equipped 
according to the latest requirements of hygiene. 

The school appears to have been a success from the very 
first. It opened in 1899 with eighty pupils, the maximum 
it could take. A large number of these pupils had already 
spent several months in England and Germany. A visit 
to the school towards the end of the first term proved a 


very interesting experience. Thanks to their prehminary 
sojourn in England, the great majority of the pupils had 
already fallen into the ways of the English masters on the 
staff, on whom the chief weight of running the school on 
EngUsh Unes naturally fell. A regular monitorial system 
had been estabhshed, and a start had been made with the 
manual and out-of-door work which was to be one of the 
features of the new school. 

The day of my visit the last school run of the term took 
place. The pupils were each of them timed separately 
with a view to improving each on his own time. The 
course was some three miles in length, and many had 
already succeeded in covering the entire distance without 
stopping, a matter which had rather been an exception at 
the outset, owing to 'the lack of endurance. The French 
and Enghsh members of the staff were on good terms, 
though it was clear that they belonged to very different 
regimes. M. Demohns had very wisely placed his school 
not merely outside Paris but also at some distance from it, 
in order to prevent the school being overrun by the parents. 

Unluckily he had reckoned without the telephone, and 
anxious mothers, separated for the first time in their Uves 
from their offspring, were not slow to find out and appreciate 
this useful method of communication. Conversation and 
even weeping by telephone became so common that drastic 
measures had to be taken and telephonic intercourse re- 
stricted to certain definite days and hours. In a similar 
fashion the visits of the parents to the school had to be 
regulated. The school has rapidly been increasing in 
numbers. House after house has been built, till the number 
of houses amounts to six and the pupils number 180. To 
judge by the pictures in the prospectus the school has put 
into practice many of the interesting reforms sketched out 
in L'Education nouvelle?- 

The hours of work, however, seem very short in com- 
parison with those in the State schools, which may well be 
excessive, but which are more or less necessary for the 

' Note. — (1909.) M. Demolins died last year, but his school still 
continues to flourish. — (i 913.) It now contains 1 80 pupils. 


passing of the baccalaurSat. If the school through superior 
teaching is able to turn out the average number of bacheUers, 
its success is secured. Otherwise, considering the fact that 
the baccalaurSat is the entrance to aU professions and to the 
Civil Service, the great majority of parents will send their 
children elsewhere, preferring rather not to endanger their 
future prospects in life, even if they possibly endanger 
their health. 

It seems all too possible that M. Demohns, in his move- 
ment in favour of games and hygiene and in reaction against 
excessive intellectualism, has gone too far. As long as the 
entrance to a career depends on passing an examination, 
the examination has got to be passed. Besides — as we 
have seen in the English schools — one can easily lower the 
intellectual side of the school below safety point. Again, 
it is significant that the proportion of foreigners on the new 
staff has greatly decreased, and that two EngUsh masters 
who acted as pioneers in the new school have left and set 
up a school for themselves at Liancourt, in Oise, of which 
one hears excellent accounts. 

This school, which is called " L'ficole de I'lle de France," 
is about an hour by train from Paris. It occupies the former 
Chateau of Liancourt, which is situated in the midst of a 
magnificent park, surrounded by gardens, woods, and a 
farm. The size of the property is about 600 acres. The 
farm allows of pupils studying agriculture. Two foreign 
languages are taught low down in the school, which also 
prepares for the haccalaureat. Out of school hours the 
greatest liberty is allowed to pupils. 

The discipline is largely in the hands of the senior boys, 
who act as captains. ReUgious instruction and religious 
facihties of worship are provided for Catholic and Protestant. 
Games and manual work are obligatory. Every day the 
pupils have at least three hours in the open air. They are 
" hardened " by the use of cold water and the practice of 
open windows. A large lake provides the opportunity for 
swimming and skating. Every pupil has to pass an ex- 
amination on entrance. The examination is not only 
intellectual but physical and moral. The pupils pass a 


preparatory period in England or Germany from three 
months to a year in duration. No exeats are allowed. 

Among various points of interest in the prospectus, one 
notes the wise decision to maintain the ordinary school 
hours while lessening the amount of work to be done out of 
school. The rdles of professor and surveillant are exercised 
by one and the same person. Several ladies on the staff 
act as housekeepers and teach in the lower classes, and add 
a family element to the establishment. Great efforts are 
made to develop the will, initiative, the sentiment of inde- 
pendence and of personal dignity in the pupils. These, it 
is recognized, can only be obtained by the system of perfect 
confidence between teachers and taught, who collaborate 
themselves in the matter of keeping order. 

Evidently the aim of the school is to impress on the head 
boys the sense of responsibility. The confidence placed in 
the pupils is not bUnd, hence the need of discipline combined 
with ever-ready S5anpathy for the pupils. The true idea 
of the school is that it is really and truly the apprenticesliip 
to society. The system of prizes is avoided as dangerous 
and tending to undue individualism. The description of 
subjects and the method of teaching contain many excellent 
hints. Although the school is hardly two years old, it 
contains already seventy-five pupils. ^ ^ 

(iii) M. DUHAMEL 

The foundation of Les Roches was in part a protest against 
the existing educational system, the opening of a mons sacer 

1 Note. — (1913.) It now contains 104 pupils. 

' Note. — (1909.) It is worth noting that a certain section of the 
Protestant community are dissatisfied with the present state of 
the primary schools, where in some cases the so-called neutrality of the 
school has given way to a more militant attitude towards religion. 
They are seriously talking of founding a certain number of schools of 
their own, and particularly of enlarging a small secondary school in 
the east of France which, attached to an elementary school, has 
hitherto served as a source of recruitment for the pastorate. They 
propose to use it for the training of future teachers, and also for the 
education of ordinary pupils. 


which definitely broke with the Capitoline University. The 
third reformer, M. Duhamel, is less intransigeani. Here is 
his profession of faith : 

" The founders of the College de Normandie . . . are trying an 
educational reform without any covert idea of hostility to the official 
education, but also with a frankly acknowledged desire to create in 
the light of day a new school system which will show the elements of 
decay in the old system and will gradually bring about its trans- 
formation. They openly claim to pertain to the university through 
its high standard of instruction and its literary and philosophical 
spirit, they dissociate themselves from it in all matters concerning 
the formation of the moral and physical man. . . . [The present 
enterprise] is not a work of discord or faction, but a courteous and 
unselfish struggle for the best in which all honest folk can take a 
part." 1 

He then passes to the question as to why a new type of 
school is necessary. The report of the Parliamentary Com- 
mission of Inquiry dealt too exclusively with pedagogical 
and financial questions, to the comparative neglect of those 
dealing with health and moral education. But while the 
instructional side may be improved and modified, the edu- 
cational needs practically to be recreated. The chief things 
wanting to-day are men of will and sound physique as well 
as of well-educated minds. 

He next proceeds to a diagnosis of the actual results of 
French education as it is. The general effects of a boarding- 
school Ufe are bad. The pupil 

" has had an unhappy time. For years, one has glared upon him, 
shut him up in a cloister, condemned him to silence, has only ap- 
proached him with extreme reserve. He has only seen Ufe from one 
side, the saddest, that of the silent boarding-school system." 

When hberty arrives, he abuses it. His will too is weak. 
He has a great lack of energy. The seat of these evils lies 
in the system itself, which is based on distrust or suspicion. 
Hence a regime of incessant invigilation and close confine- 
ment within four walls. This distrust to which he has been 
subjected the pupil in his turn carries out with him into his 
after-life. To remedy this evil, confidence should begin at 

' Comment (lever nos Fits, p. v. 


school. It is intact one of the four corner-stones of educa- 
tion, the others being love of the pupil, patience with him 
and the Ufe in common with him. Liberal studies are not in 
themselves a liberal education in the wide sense of the word. 
The aim of the school is not merely to produce good 
HtMrafeurs and good officials, the supreme interest of France 
is to breed a numerous and healthy race. The teaching 
methods in France are good enough. There is no need of 
going outside to seek others. What defects there are are 
due to the overcrowded state of the programmes. In 
matters of health it is otherwise. Not five per cent, of 
boarding pupils could answer the following questions in the 
afi&rmative : 

1. Are the windows of your dormitory opened day and 
night the whole year through ? 

2. Do you exercise sufficiently every day the most 
important muscles of your arm, your chest, your abdomen, 
and your legs ? 

3. Do you take a cold or tepid bath every day or even 
three times a week ? 

4. Are your clothes fairly loose at the neck, at the hips, 
roimd the waist ? 

5. Do you carefully clean your teeth, your nose, and your 
ears ? 

6. Have you an idea of the laws which govern the health 
of your body and your physical well-being ? 

The ordinary rule in most of the schools appears to be a 
complete bath once a term and a footbath once a month. 
The parents are in this matter far from being without blame. 
They do not Uft a finger to alter the present state of things, 
and yet overwork (ten to twelve hours a day), badly venti- 
lated rooms, overcrowding, insufficient food, and insufficient 
sleep are playing havoc with the boys. ^ The health statistics 
prove it. The educated class, consisting of those who have 

^ Note. — (1913.) For more recent improvements see Dr. Mathieu's 
article in HygUne scolaire (Oct. 191 1), summarized in notes on pages 
27, 121. 

B.E. L 


taken a B.A., furnishes 11.5 per cent, less recruits than the 
other classes (and yet these B.A.'s are almost exclusively 
taken from the well-to-do classes). 

Consumption is rampant in the schools. Of thirty-three 
rip^iteurs who have died during the last four years, sixteen, 
or 49 per cent., were victims to consumption. Health is 
therefore to be a strong point at the new school. There are, 
according to M. Duhamel, two periods in the scholar's hfe, 
the one terminating roughly at thirteen, and the other 
beginning about that date. Each period will receive the 
teaching appropriate to it at the new school. 

But the essential aim in education is the formation of 
character.^ The means to this end are an apprenticeship 
in the responsibiUty framed on the EngUsh monitorial 
system and fortified by the disciphne that comes from 
games. To render the life in common real, there will be 
in each house a house master who wiU share the hfe and 
meals of the pupils. The principal of the new college will 
be no mere administrator, he will be master, nay, headmaster 
in the fullest English sense of the word. 

Of the professors, some will become house masters and 
receive a sort of capitation fee on the pupils in their houses, 
in order to stimulate interest and emulation ; the others wiU 
live either near or in the school itself, but all will take an 
active interest in the school life. AU will receive a living 
wage and be able to quaUfy for pensions. Even the relations 
between the principal and the professors are laid down. He 
will supervise the teaching, but will not play the spy on 
them. Masters' meetings will be frequent. Candidates 
for the post of teacher will have to give evidence not only of 
intellectual but of physical and moral quahties. Some 
knowledge of pedagogics will be expected. 

An old cMteau in Normandy, some 530 feet above the 
sea, situated in a weU-wooded park, and approached by a 
magnificent avenue 500 yards in length, the whole property 
amounting to nearly 300 acres, has been selected as the seat 
of the school. The school has its own fruit, butter, and eggs. 

1 " Savoir est pen de chose ; vouloir, agir, voild ce qui importe." — 
M, Hanotaux, Du Choix d'une Cavrihe, p. 6. 


The situation near Clares, the station where the lines of 
Dieppe and Rouen and Havre and Amiens intercept one 
another, places it in direct communication with all the prin- 
cipal towns in the north of France. The chdieau itself 
forms the headmaster's house ; the class-rooms are attached ; 
anything like a collection of barracks wDl be avoided. 
The houses where the pupils hve are scattered over the 
park. These embody the latest improvements in school 
construction and hygiene, as the detailed plans given in the 
book show. 

The religious teaching will be undenominational, the 
ministers of the various reUgious denominations will have 
free access to the school, and on Sunday the Cathohc boys 
go to mass in the village chapel, and facihties for worship 
will be found for the others. Every morning and evening 
there will be a short moral reading by the headmaster or 
house master. 

The question of dress is next considered. Masters will 
wear their gowns in school. Pupils will have a regular 
dress but not a uniform, and mufti will be allowed in 
the holidays. Prefects will have a badge, and each house 
its own colour. 

The school wiU begin with very few boys. It is all- 
important to form a moral centre at the outset. New boys 
are requested to make a preUminary stay in England. 
Classics will be kept for an SUte. In modern languages the 
direct method is followed. A debating society will be 
started, and the school will have its own songs. The 
question of fresh air, ventilation, feeding and dress are care- 
fully discussed. Every pupil will be weighed and measured 
at the beginning and end of each term. The hours of work 
and play are very carefully arranged. In addition to games 
there will be Swedish exercises. Great stress is laid on 
manual work as a means of discipUne, of health and educa- 
tion, as well as a valuable form of recreation. The vices 
secrets will be carefully guarded against. Their physio- 
logical causes will not be ignored any more than their 

The remainder of the book is given up to a comparison 


between the methods of study and standard of attainment 
in England and France, in which the palm is awarded to 
France. Hence M. Duhamel concludes that there is no 
good in rejecting what is good in French education, more 
especially as the object in view is not to produce pale and 
ineffectual imitations of EngUsh boys but strong and 
energetic French men. As he well says : 

" Our reform is essentially French. It is not a question of chang- 
ing the national temperament of our children, nor, in a word, to make 
English men of them, but to develop in them the national quaUties 
of their race, which are real and only require an appropriate 
culture to spring into life. ' Franfais je suis ' is the motto we 
have chosen." 

Comment elever nos Fits appeared in 1901. In 1902 the 
College de Normandie opened its doors to seven pupils, and 
a much larger number had to be refused for lack of accom- 
modation. A visit paid to the school in June, 1902, showed 
that an excellent beginning had been made, and that the 
extensive programme we have given above was being realized 
in all its details. The governing body happened to be 
giving a sort of informal house-warming on the day of my 
arrival. Among the guests — a matter which will speak 
volumes to the ordinary French mind — ^was no less a 
person than the Director of Secondary Education, M. Rabier. 
A long conversation with him showed how entirely in 
sympathy he was with the aims of the school. 

In September, 1903, the school contained forty pupils 
with ten professors. A new house had just been opened 
and another had just been projected. The principle of 
gradually enlarging the school is being strictly adhered to. 
A recent visit to the school produced a very pleasant im- 
pression. The new buildings are excellent from every 
point of view. The relations between the boys and masters 
are very pleasant. There has been no attempt to Anghcize 
the boys, but none the less there are abundant signs that 
the ideals of manhness, frankness, and good-comradeship 
are held high in honour in the school. The numerous 
reforms outhned in Comment Uever nos Fits have not been 
allowed to remain as a mere profession of faith, but have 


already been largely realized in practice. The standard 
of work seems to be quite up to that of the lyc&e. Yet 
in spite of the hard work the boys have a healthy look. 
According to all appearances the school has a brilliant 
prospect before it.^ 

Some 200 years ago ^ the amval in England of those early 
&migr&s, the Huguenots, set up a strong reflex current in 
EngUsh ideas which resulted in the influence of Locke 
extending to France and materially aiding thereby in the 
creation of a work which has had the most profound influence 
on the minds of French educators — the Emile of Rousseau. 
Within the last ten years a similar inflow of Enghsh educa- 
tional ideas has been estabUshed, and he would be a bold 
man who would dare to say that the work and writing of 
the three reformers Didon, Demolins, and Duhamel may 
not in their turn have as profound an effect on French 

It is to be hoped that this anxiety to learn and readiness 
to adopt what is good elsewhere will not be confined to one 
side of the Channel, and that we in England may exhibit 
an increased wilUngness to imitate our French neighbours 
in those matters in which we have no little to learn from 
them, such as the proper study of the mother tongue and 
the working out of proper curricula for our schools. As 

^ Note. — (1909.) A third house has now been built, and a fourth is 
under way. There are now sixty-three boys [eighty-two — 1913], and 
a large crowd are awaiting admission. The school has done brilliantly 
in the examinations, and all promises a fair future. No doubt this 
school, as well as those of Liancourt and Les Roches, at present cater 
only for a limited class of wealthy parents. But just as the public 
schools of England have suggested the erection of less expensive 
boarding schools, it does not seem beyond the reach of probability 
that once these schools have justified their existence they should 
give rise to the creation in their turn of boarding schools that should 
suit parents of more moderate means. — (1913.) A society has just 
been formed under M. Paul Desjardins, Directeur de I'Union pour 
la V6rit6, to found a school or schools on the lines of the College de 
Normandie, but with fees which are more within the reach of the 
average bourgeois. 

' See /.-/. Rousseau and the Cosmopolitan Spirit in Literature, by 
M.J Texte (translated by W. Mathews ; London, Duckworth). 


the French have shown signs of desiring to learn something 
of the moral ideas in English education, we shall be equally 
well advised to inquire into what they have to teach us in 
those intellectual aims which are and have ever been the 
vivida vis of the French system.^ 

1 NoTB. — (1909.) Cf. M. Jules Gautier, the Director of Secondary 
Education in France, in a remarkable address delivered at the Franco- 
British Exhibition, October 22nd, 1908 : " Je crois, Mesdames et 
Messieurs, que deux pays comme la France et I'Angleterre peuvent 
singulUrement s'aider dans une ceuvre de ce genre, si elles veulent unir 
leurs efforts, et si elles veulent prendre chacune chez V autre ce qu'ily a de 
grand et de ban pour I'appliquer it I' Education de la jeunesse et A, I'amS- 
lioration de I'humaniti. Nous vous avons dSjd, emprunti beaucoup de 
choses, notamment tout ce qui concerne le diveloppement de I' Education 
physique, car vous avez su avant nous accorder au corps V attention qu'il 
mirite, parce que ce n'est que dans le corps solide qu'existe un esprit sain. 
Dans le domaine de Education intellectuelle et morale je suis venu ici 
vous exposer que nous avons fait, afin que, s'il y a quelque chose de bon 
vous puissiez en profiler, I'adapter a votre ginie national." (The 
Progress of Secondary Education in France. A lecture by M. Jules 
Gautier. London ; Routledge.) 


ENQufeiE suR l'Enseignement Secondaire. (No. 866. Chambre 
des D^putfis. SeptiSme Legislature. Session de 1899 et No. 
1 196. Session Extraordinaire de 1899.) 

6 vols. Paris. Imprimerie de la Chambre des D6put6s. 
RiBOT (Alexandre) — La R6forme de I'Enseignement secondaire. 
Par Alexandre Ribot, Depute, President de la Commission de 
I'Enseignement. (Quoted as R. E.) 

Paris. Armand Colin. 1900. 
Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1900 A Paris. Rap- 
ports du Jury International. (Ministfere du Commerce, de 
rindustrie, des Postes et des T6l6graphes.) 
(a) Introduction G6n6rale. Premidre Partie — Instruction pub- 

lique. Par MM. Louis Liard et Ch. V. Langlois. 1903. 
(6) Groupe I. Education et Enseignement — Classes 2 S. 4. 
(Classe 2, Enseignement secondaire. Par M. Henry Lemonnier. 
1902.) Paris. Imprimerie Nationale. 1902-1903. 

MiNiSTtiRE DE ^'Instruction Pdblique et des Beaux-Arts. Re- 
cueil de Rfeglements relatifs ci I'Enseignement secondaire. 

Paris. Imprimerie Nationale. 1900. 
Budget G^n^ral de l'Exercice, 1904. Rapport fait au nom de la 
Commission du Budget charg6e d'examiner le Projet de Loi 
portant fixation du Budget General de l'Exercice, 1904. (Minis- 
tfere de I'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts — Service de 
rinstruction Publique.) Par M. Simyan. 

Paris. Imprimerie de la Chambre des Deputes. 1904. 
Budget G^n^.rai. de l'Exercice, 1908. Rapport No. 1237. 
Chambre des D6put&, Neuvifeme Legislature. Session de 1907. 
Rapport fait au nom de la Commission du Budget charg^e d'ex- 
aminer le Projet de Loi portant fixation du Budget G6n6ral de 
l'Exercice, 1908. (MinistSre de I'Instruction Publique, des 
Beaux- Arts et des Cultes.) (i'« Section — Instruction Pub- 
lique.) Par M. Steeg, Depute. (Quoted as Rapport Steeg.) 
Paris. Imprimerie de la Chambre des Deputes. 1907. 
Budget G^n^ralde l'Exercice, 1909. Rapport No. 320. S^nat. 
Annee 1908. Session Extraordinaire. Rapport fait au nom 
de la Commission des Finances, charg^e d'examiner le Projet de 
Loi, adopts par la Chambre des D6put6s, portant fixation du 
Budget General de l'Exercice, 1909. (Ministfere de I'Instruction 


PubliqueetdesBeaux-Arts.) (Service del'InstructionPublique.) 
Par M. Maurice-Faure. (Quoted as Rapport Maurice-Faure.) 

Paris. P. Mouillot. 1908. 

GOBRON (L.) — ^Legislation et Jurisprudence de I'Enseignement public 
et de I'Enseignement priv6 en France. 2""= Edition. 
Paris. Soci6t6 du Recueil J. B. Sirey, etc. (L. Larose.) 1900. 

Rabier (E.) — Instruction publique. Enseignement secondaire. 
Avec la Collaboration de M. Jules Gautier, De Galembert, etc. 
(Repertoire du Droit Administratif.) 

Paris. Paul Dupont. 1903. 

WisSEMANS (A.) — Code de I'Enseignement secondaire. Documents 
concemant le personnel des Lyc^es et Colleges de Gar9ons. 

Paris. Hachette. 1906. 

Programme des Examens du nouveau Baccalaur6at de I'Enseigne- 
ment secondaire. Paris. Delalain. [1904.] 

Instructions concernant les Programmes de I'Enseignement 
secondaire (garfonsetjeunesfiUes). Paris. Delagrave. 

Plan D'fouDES et Programmes d'Enseignement dans les Lycees 
et Colleges de Garfons. (ArrStes du 31 Mai, 1902, des 27, 28 
Juillet, et 8 Septembre, 1905, 6 Janvier, 26, 30 JuiUet, et 5 Aofit, 
1909.) Paris. Delalain. 1910. 

Guillemin (E.) — Comptabilite des Lyctes nationaux de Gar9ons 
d'aprSs les documents officiels. Paris. Delalain. 1905. 

Bourgeois (fimile) — La Libert^ de I'Enseignement. Histoire et 
Doctrine. Paris. Edouard Cornely. 1902. 

Coubertin (Pierre de) — L'fiducation en Angleterre. Colleges et 

Universites. Paris. Hachette. 1888. 

Coubertin (Pierre de) — L'fiducation anglaise en France. 

Paris. Hachette. 1889. 
Demolins (Edmond) — L'fiducation Nouvelle. L'ficole des Roches. . 

Paris. Firmin-Didot. [1898.] 
Demolins (Edmond) — A quoi tient la Superiority des Anglo-Saxons. 

Paris. Firmin-Didot. n.d. 
Demolins (Edmond) — A-t-on InterSt k s'emparer du Pouvoir. 

Paris. Firmin-Didot. n.d. 
Didon (Le PSre) — L'Education pr&ente. Paris. Plon. 1898. 
DuHAMEL (Joseph) — Le College de Normandie. Comment eiever nos 
Fils ? Paris. Charpentier et Fasquelle. 1901. 

£coLE DE l'Ile de FRANCE k LiANCOURT (Oise). (Prospectus.) 

Paris. Imprimerie A. Benoit. n.d. 
fcoLE DES Roches. (Prospectus.) Paris. Firmin-Didot. n.d. 
Fouill:6e (A.) — Les fitudes classiques et la Democratie. 

Paris. Armand Colin. 1898. 
Arnold (Matthew) — A French Eton, or Middle-Class Education and 
the State, to which is added Schools and Universities in France. 

London. Macmillan, 1892. 


Gautier (Jules) — ^The Progress of Secondary Education in France 
since the Time of Napoleon I. A Lecture delivered in the 
Congress Hall of the Franco-British Exhibition, October 22, 
1908. London. Routledge. 1908. 

Hanotaux (Gabriel) — Du Choix d'une Carrifere. Par Gabriel 
Hanotaux, de 1' Academic fran^aise. 

Paris. E. Flammarion. J. Tallandier. 1902. 

KiRKMAN (F. B.) — The Position of Teachers in the State Secondary 
Schools for Boys in France. (Board of Education. Special 
Reports on Educational Subjects, Vol. 2, No. 24.) (Quoted as 
Report Kirkman.) London. Wyman & Sons. 1898. 

Lacombe (Paul) — Esquisse d'un Enseignement base sur la Psycho- 
logie de I'Enfant. Par Paul Lacombe, Inspecteur-G^n^ral des 
Bibliothfeques et des Archives. Paris. Armand CoUn. 1899. 

Le Roux (Hugues) — ^Nos Fils, que feront-ils ? 

Paris. Calmann-Levy. 1898. 

Agathon — Les jeunes Gens d'aujourd'hui, Le Gout de I'Action, etc. 
3feme Edition. Paris. Plou-Nourrit. 

Texte (J.) — J. -J. Rousseau and the Cosmopolitan Spirit in Literature. 
(Translated by W. Mathews.) London. Duckworth. 

United States Bureau of Education. Report of the Commis- 
sioner, 1902, Vol. I, 1905, Vol. I, 1906, Vol. I, 1907-8, Vol. I. 
(Chapter on Education in France.) 

Washington. Government Printing Ofitce. 1903-1908. 

Laurie (Andr^) — Une Ann^e de College k Paris. (Pascal Grousset.) 
(English Edition, Macmillan.) 

VioLLis (Jean) — M. le Principal.' Paris. Calmann-L6vy. 1908. 

La Revue Internationale db l'Enseignement. (a) Janvier, 
1898 ; (6) F6vrier, 1899. 

Paris. Librairie G6n6rale de Droit et de Jurisprudence. 

A propos des Associations Scolaires. £tude p^dagogique sur la 
Culture physique. (Quoted as E. p. c. p.) 

Poitiers : Imprimerie Blois et Roy, 7 Rue Victor Hugo. 


Premier CongrSs (Novembre, 1903). Deuxifeme Congrfes (Juin, 
1905). Rapports et Communications. 2 vols. 

Paris. Masson. 1904 and 1906. 

Demeny (G.) — Les Bases scienti&ques de Tfiducation physique. 
BibUothfeque Scientifique Internationale. 

Paris F61ix Alcan. 1902. 

Hogg (Walter Douglas) — L'Hygifene scolaire dans les fitabUssements 
d'Enseignement secondaire de la Grande Bretagne. Rapport 
adresse S, M. le Ministre de I'Instruction Publique, des Beaux- 
Arts et des Cultes par Walter Douglas Hogg, docteur en m^decine 
de la Faculty de Paris. Paris. Armand CoUn. 1892. 


L'HYGii:NE scoLAiRE. Bulletin trimestriel de la Ligue frangaise 
pour I'Hygifene scolaire. 

Paris. Masson et Cie. Octobre, 1908, Juillet, Octobre, 
1911, Janvier, Juillet, 1912. 

Royal Commission on Secondary Education. Report of the 
Commissioners, Vol. I. (Cd. 7862.) 

London. Wyman & Sons. 1895. 

Board of Education. A Return of the Pupils in Public and Private 
Secondary and other Schools (not being Public Elementary or 
Technical Schools) in England (excluding Monmouthshire), and 
of the Teaching Staff in such Schools, on ist June, 1897. (Cd. 
8634.) London. Wyman & Sons. 1898. 

General Reports on Higher Education, with Appendices, for the 

Year 1902. (Cd. 1738.) London. Wyman & Sons. 1902. 

Regulations for Secondary Schools (from ist August, 1903, to 31st 

July, 1904). (Cd. 1668 and later issues.) (Issued annually.) 

London. Wyman & Sons. 1903 and onwards. 

Consultative Committee. Proposals for a System of School 

Certificates. [London.] 1904. 

Board of Education Act, 1899 (62 & 63 Vict., ch. 33). 

London. Wyman & Sons. 1899. 
Education Act, 1902 (2 Edw. VII., ch. 42). 

London. Wyman & Sons. 1902. 
Endowed Schools (Masters) Act, 1908 (8 Edw. VII., ch. 39). 

London. Wyman & Sons. 1908. 
Intermediate Education Board for Ireland. Report of the 

Temporary Inspectors, 1903. 
Balfour (Graham) — The Educational Systems of Great Britain and 

Ireland. 2nd Edition. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1903. 
CouLTON (G. G.) — Public Schools and the Public Needs. Suggestions 
for the Reform of our Teaching Methods in the Light of Modem 

London. Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. 1901. 
Hughes (R. E.) — The Making of Citizens. A Study in Comparative 
Education. (The Contemporary Science Series.) 

London. The Walter Scott Publishing Co. 1902. 
Magnus (Laurie) — -National Education. Essays towards a Con- 
structive Policy. Edited by Laurie Magnus. 

London. Murray. 1901. 

Sadler (M. E.)— Report on Secondary and Higher Education. (City 
of Sheffield Education Committee.) 

London. Eyre & Spottiswoode. 1903. 
ScoTT (R. P.) — " What is Secondary Education ? " and other Short 
Essays by Writers of Practical Experience on Various Aspects 
of the Problem of Organisation. Edited, with Preface, by 
R. P. Scott. London. Rivingtons. 1899. 

Tarver (J. C.) — Some Observations of a Foster Parent. 

Westminster. Constable. 1897. 


Tarver (J. C.) — Debateable Claims : Essays on Secondary Edu- 
cation. Westminster. Constable. 1898. 

Wilkinson (Spencer) — The Nation's Need. Chapters on Education. 
Edited by Spencer Wilkinson. 

Westminster. Constable. 1903. 

Barnett (P. A.) — Teaching and Organisation, with Special Refer- 
ence to Secondary Schools. A manual of practice, edited by 
P. A. Barnett. London. Longmans. 1897. 

Barnett (P. A.) — Common Sense in Education and Teaching. 

London. Longmans. 1899. 

Benson (A. C.) The Schoolmaster. London. Murray. 1902. 

CooKSON (Christopher) — Essays in Secondary Education. By various 
Contributors. Edited by Christopher Cookson. 

Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1898. 

FiNDLAY (J. J.) — Principles of Class Teaching. 

London. Macmillan. 1902. 

London County Councii,. Report of a Conference on the Teaching 
of English in London Elementary Schools. 

London. P. S. King. 1909. 

Ogle (John J.) — Special Report on the Connection between the 
Public Library and the PubUc Elementary School. (Board of 
Education Snecial Reports on Educational Subjects. Vol. 2, 
No. 15.) (Cd. 8943.) 

Loudon. Wyman & Sons. 1898. (Also issued as a 
separate reprint.) 

Royal Geographical Society. Syllabuses of Instruction in Geo- 
graphy. I. In Elementary Schools. II. In Higher Schools. 
London. Royal Geographical Society, i Saville Row, W. 
Welton (J.) — The Logical Bases of Education. 

London. Macmillan. 1899. 

Fitch (Sir Joshua) — ^Thomas and Matthew Arnold and their Influence 
on English Education. (The Great Educators.) 

London. Heinemann. 1897. 

Haig Brown (Harold E.) — William Haig Brown of Charterhouse. 
A short Biographical Memoir written by some of his pupils, and 
edited by his son, Harold E. Haig Brown. 

London. Macmillan. 1908. 
Hughes (Tom) — Tom Brown's School-days. 

London. Macmillan. 1856. 
MacCunn (John) — The Making of Character. 

Cambridge. University Press, igoo. 
Parkin (George R.) — Edward Thring, Headmaster of Uppingham 
School. Life, Diary, and Letters. 

London, Macmillan. 1898. 
Skrine (J. H.) — A Memory of Edward Thring. 

London. Macmillan. 1889. 


Skrine (J. H.) — Pastor Agnorum : A Schoolmaster's After- thoughts. 

London. Longmans. 1902. 

Stanley (A. P.) — The Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold. 
2 Vols. London. T. Fellowes. 1868. 

Storr (F.)— Life and Remains of Rev. R. H. Quick. Edited by 
F. Storr. Cambridge. University Press. 1899. 

BouTMY (fimile) — Essai d'un Psychologic politique du Peuple 
anglais au XIX''"= Sidcle. Par fimile Boutmy, Membre de 
rinstitut. Paris. Armand Colin. 1901. 

Creighton (M.) — Thoughts on Education, Speeches and Sermons. 
Edited by Louise Creighton. London. Longmans. ' 1902. 

Darroch (A.) — Herbart and the Herbartian Theory of Education. 
A Criticism. London. Longmans. 1903. 

Laurie {S. S.) — Studies in the History of Educational Opinion from 
the Renaissance. Cambridge. University Press. 1903. 

National Educational Association (U.S.A.) — Journal of Proceed- 
ings and Addresses of the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the 
National Educational Association, held at Detroit, Michigan, 
July 8th to I2th, 1901. (Paper by W. T. Harris, on Isolation 
in the School — How it helps and how it hinders.) 

[Winona, Minn. Published by the Association.] 1901. 

Spencer (Herbert) — Education : Intellectual, Moral, and Physical. 
London. WiUiams & Norgate. 1861. 

Woods (Alice) — Co-Education. A Series of Essays by various 
authors. Edited by AUce Woods. 

London. Longmans. 1903. 

Royal Commission on Physical Training (Scotland), Report of 
the. 2 vols. (Cd. 1507 and 1508.) 

Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. London: W5Tnan & Sons. 

Brath (S. de) and F. Beatty. Over-pressure. 

London. G. Philip & Son. 1899 

Dukes (Clement) — The Essentials of School Diet. 

London. Rivingtons. 1899. 
Schmidt (F. A.) and Eustace H. Miles. The Training of the Body 
for Games, Athletics, and other Forms of Exercise, and for 
Health, Growth, and Development. 

London. Swan Sonnenschein. 1901. 
The Journal OF Education. October, 1903 ; February, December, 

1908. London. W. Rice. 

Modern Language Teaching. February, March, and April, 1909. 

London. A. & C. Black. 

The Practical Teacher. December, 1902. 

London. Nelson & Sons. 

School, January-May, 1904 ; February and March, 1906. 

London. Murray. 
The School World. November, 1903. London. Macmillan. 


The modem conception of a university in France dates 
from the Revolution. In place of the old Sorbonne, verit- 
able Bastille of scholasticism, the new University was 
conceived as a kind of laboratory and clearing-house in 
which every form of knowledge was to be pursued or dis- 
pensed. Yet in spite of the multipUcity of the subjects, 
unity was to be secured by the natural connection between 
the different branches and the common aims and ideals of 
the teachers themselves. Unfortunately the Revolution 
failed to reaUze the grandiose ideas of Talleyrand and Con- 
dorcet. With the exception of the Institute, the only estab- 
lishments it created were the so-called. " special schools," 
limited to the study of a single science or group of subjects, 
such^as, for instance, the school of mathematics, the school 
of medicine, the school of Oriental languages, etc. To these 
the Consulate added the schools of law and altered the title 
of many of these schools into that of " faculties." It 
further increased the number of faculties by adding those 
of letters and of science. 

The reseEirch side of university work was ignored, the 
faculties were mere examination machines for turning out 
professional men. The only university was the University 
of France^.which, though made a corporate body by 
Napoleon^ was above all things an^ institution for the 
propagation\of an official education most favourable to 
Imperialism. To this university all the different faculties 
in the different towns were subordinated. But here all 
connection ended. Although often existing three and four 
together in the same town, they were completely strangers 


to one another, having no unity or even relationship with 
one another, almost entirely devoid of the necessary re- 
sources, not merely for original investigation, but also for 
their ordinary worjk. 

The evils arising from such an excessive centralization 
combined with the practical isolation of the local faculties 
were certain to make themselves felt in the long run. 
" Paris," wrote Guizot in his Mimoires, " morally attracts 
and absorbs France." For this, in his eyes, the only remedy 
was the creation of a few large provincial universities. Re- 
cognizing the impossibility of creating seventeen complete 
and fuUy equipped universities, he proposed to Umit their 
number to four. Unhappily he was in advance of his time. 
The second Republic reduced the status of the university 
itself from that of a corporation to a mere branch of the 
central Government. 

The most enlightened Education Minister of the Empire, 
Victor Duruy, seeing the impossibiUty of reforming the 
faculties, determined to establish alongside of them a 
scientific institution called the ficole des Hautes fitudes, 
which reminds one, though its scope was wider, of the Royal 
College of Science, inasmuch as the savants who formed the 
personnel were chosen on their merits alone, and no question 
was made as to whether they were members or not of the 
university. The school had no fixed qucirters, but any 
professor of ability in the Sorbonne, the College de France, 
the Museum of Natural History, or in any laboratory, was 
pressed into the service of this new corps of learned and 
scientific teachers. The effect of the opening of this 
" opposition shop " was most beneficial on higher education 
throughout the whole of the country. 

Nevertheless the general condition of higher education 
was, in the words of M. Liard, " very lamentable, and what 
was most lamentable of all was not the insufficiency of the 
buildings, the poverty-stricken state of the laboratories, 
collections and libraries, or the dearth of resources, but the 
almost absolute misconception of their real functions by 
the professors of those faculties which ought to have been 
above all the instruments of scientific progress and of the 


propagation of scientific methods. With a few exceptions, 
in the faculty of letters the teaching was above all rhetorical 
and fashionable, in that of science it was nearly everywhere 
limited to the mere popularization of discoveries. The 
highest work of university education, the training and for- 
mation of the man of science, was almost unknown. The 
admirable savants of the time were self-taught persons 
without a university degree." 

Such was the state of things when the disaster of 1870 
occurred. With the conclusion of peace, savants and 
patriots joined forces in favour of a radical reform of the 
university system. It was felt that inefficiency in higher 
education had been one of the causes of national defeat. 

The most competent judges were agreed that the essential 
defect in university education was the multiplicity and 
isolation of the faculties. The remedy in their eyes was 
the concentration of the faculties of the different orders into 
a limited number of " powerful centres of study, science and 
intellectual progress." Jules Simon affirmed the necessity 
of " having a certain number of intellectual capitals in 
which are to be found united aU the necessary resources for 
the complete development of the young." Again, according 
to M. Laboulaye, universities were the one thing needful. 
" Let them cease to scatter over the surface of France 
faculties the isolation of which condemned them to sterility." 

Sofiie of the strongest arguments in favour of reform came 
from the men of science of the day. It was pointed out that 
the duty of the universities was not merely to distribute 
the existing stores of knowledge, but also to lead in the van 
of discovery. " Close the laboratories and libraries," said 
Bertholet, " stop original investigation, and we shall return 
to scholasticism." Insistence was also laid on the extreme 
value of scientific discovery as a factor in the industrial 
struggle between the different nations, while at the same 
time the impdrtance of introducing the scientific spirit into 
the- mental life of a people only too often swayed by sudden 
emotions was strongly emphasized. 

But the advocates of university reform had a very serious 
difficulty to encounter at the outset. Alongside of the 


faculties there already existed the big scientific establish- 
ments Uke the College de France, the Museum of Natural 
History, and the professional schools, such as the ficole 
Polytechnique and the ficole Normale, in which the flower 
of mihtary engineers and university professors were being 
trained. All these bodies were bitterly hostile to incor- 
poration. Fortunately they were all situated in Paris, 
where in reality there was room both for themselves and 
the university. The main problem after aU was the 
creation of provincial universities. 

Here the difficulties were far more real and pressing. To 
begin with, many of the existing professors in the faculties 
were by no means in sympathy with the reformers. For 
them the function of the faculties was to turn out lawyers, 
magistrates, doctors, pharmaceutical chemists (the calling 
of chemist in France ranks as a liberal profession), not to 
conduct original research. Did not the College de France 
and the Museum of Natural History exist specially for these 
purposes ? The answer was one, which has since been given 
in higher technical education in England and elsewhere, 
that science should be the centre of professional training. 
Practice without science was pure empiricism, and em- 
piricism was out of date. 

Claude Bernard had already converted medicine into 
an experimental science, and the historical method had 
wrought a similar transformation in the study of law. 
Whether the faculties remained isolated or not, they would 
henceforth have to adopt scientific methods. Naturally 
every student could not be turned into a man of science, but 
every one had a right to know the scientific truths on which 
his professional education was based, while the small elite 
of the really talented students should have the opportunity 
of engaging in scientific investigation. In the case of these 
exception£d students the method of working in common 
with their masters had hitherto been largely neglected. 
Yet its importance in working out a discovery to its fullest 
extent is not only beneficial to aU parties, but often of the 
highest importance to the country at large. 

Another objection urged by the opponents of reform was 


that a university by definition implies the concentration of 
subjects, whereas modern science on the contrary is fissi- 
psirous by nature, ever splitting up into new branches and 
specialities. To this it was easily answered that one of the 
chief dangers of the day was excessive specialization, and 
that the, university is therefore the best antidote, as its 
chief function' is to co-ordinate knowledge and make it 
a general object of culture. Warned by the excessive 
specialism that is rampant in German universities, the 
French have taken for their motto, " SpeciaUzation sub- 
ordinated to a general culture." 

In 1883 Jules Ferry brought the question within the 
sphere of practical politics by a circular addressed to the 
faculties ; after speaking of the efforts he had made to 
develop in higher education the sentiment of responsi- 
biUty and the habit of self-government, he went on to 
say : 

" We shall have obtained a great result if we are able to 
constitute one day universities uniting within themselves 
the most varied kinds of teaching, in order mutually to 
assist one another, managing their own affairs, convinced 
of their duties and of their merits, inspiring themselves 
with ideas Suitable to each part of France, with such variety 
as the unity of the country allows, rivals of adjoining uni- 
versities, associating in these rivalries the interest of their 
own prosperity with the desire of the big towns to excel 
their neighbours and to acquire particular merit and 

In conclusion he invited the faculties to give their opinions 
on his suggestion. These were, in the main, favourable. 
It was left, however, to his successor, M. Ren6 Goblet, to • 
take the first official steps. It was evident to all that the 
new universities could not be constituted after some ideal 
plan, but would naturally have to be built up out of the 
existing faculties. To group the latter in collective wholes, 
effacing all distinction between them, would have proved 
too drastic a measure. The best way of building up a 
university was to begin by strengthening and not by weaken- 
ing the faculties. This was done by restoring to them the 

B.E, M 


persotmalite civile which had lapsed, and recognizing their 
capability to receive and hold property. 

At the same time another decree, without giving them the 
absolute right to frame a budget, allowed them the right to 
expend all subventions, to which no conditions had been 
attached by the parties making them, whether departments, 
communes, or private individuals, on the creation of new 
courses of instruction, on laboratories and Ubraries, and on 
scholarships. To regulate this expenditure a council was 
created called the Conseil Gen6ral des Facultes. This 
council, established for purely financial reasons, was destined 
to become the real nucleus in the development of the uni- 

As M. Liard has weU said, " the decree of 28th December, 
1885, was truly the provisional charter of the universities 
before the universities." Linking together the faculties of 
a single town, the Council not only dealt with the functions 
for which it was first created ; it was soon allowed, under 
certain conditions, to draw up the programmes of courses 
and lectures, to exercise certain disciplinary powers, to 
make financial proposals to the Minister, and to engage in 
a multiplicity of tasks which fall to the lot of an ordinary 
university to perform. In 1889 the separate faculties re- 
ceived the right to frame budgets of their own. At the 
same time those grants were directly paid to them which the 
Ministry previously had itself expended on buildings and 
equipment. So far the Government had only proceeded 
by way of decrees, a method which is not unknown in 
England, and corresponds roughly to an Order in Council, 
but in 1890 the moment seemed to have come for legal 
enactment, and M. L6on Bourgeois, the then Minister of 
Public Instruction, brought forward a Bill to settle the 
whole subject once for aU. 

Nothing gives a better idea of the enormous sacrifices 
made by the Repubhc for the sake of higher education than 
the preamble of the Bill, which ran as follows : 

" The Repubhc has understood that university education 
is in the highest degree necessary ; that if primary educa- 
tion is, according to the phrase of one of our predecessors. 


the canalization by which knowledge is distributed to the-^ 
very lowest strata of democracy, university education is* 
the source where it collects and whence it flows. It has' 
understood that a particular dignity and utility are attached^ 
to this grade of education, that in it especially are formed 
and trained the men who are capable of conceiving general' 
ideas, by the power and novelty of which the real influence * 
of nations is measured to-day. Therefore it has liberally i 
given to it the necessary miUions which had been perv 
sistently refused by former administrations. 

" In the last 15 years it has renewed the buildings of the 

" It has supplied almost entirely their equipment, their 
laboratories, their libraries. 

" It has enlarged and increased the scope and range of 
their teaehing. 

" It has more than doubled their budget. 

" It has improved the position of the personnel and en- 
dowed their teaching with the requisite resources. 

" It 'has created two categories of student, formerly un- 
known- in France, students in science and in letters. 

" It has introduced more science into those courses in 
which the preoccupations of professional studies predomi- 
nated, and it has imposed a professional task on those orders 
of faculties which were without it. 

" It has restored to the faculties the personnalife civile, a 
right which a suspicious regime had denied they possessed. 

•" It has rendered relationship possible between them by 
giving them a common function to fulfil. 

" It has given fuU Kberty to science and theory. 

" It has favoured the coming together of students as well 
as that of teachers. 

" In conclusion it has seen the number of its students rise 
from 9,000 to more than 16,000, foreigners returning to its 
schools, and frequenting them in greater numbers than in 
any other country in Europe." 

The Bill itself proposed to create universities in the fullest 
sense of the word out of the existing groups of faculties in 
the seven largest towns. Unfortunately local influences 


proved too strong ; the other ten towns possessing two 
or more faculties demanded equaUty of treatment. The 
former adversaries of the project joined forces with them, 
and in the end the Government was obliged to withdraw 
the BiU. 

Beaten on the question of estabUshing local universities 
of the fuUy equipped type, the reformers took once more 
the line of least resistance, and in 1893 an Act was passed 
investing with the ■personnalite civile the groups of faculties 
formed by the union of several faculties and represented 
by the Conseil General. This was followed in 1896 by an 
Act introduced by M. Poincare, which converted these groups 
of faculties into universities. The idea of full and complete 
universities, which had been the underl5dng conception of 
the Bill of 1890, was abandoned, and wherever an academy 
existed, even if it had but two faculties, its place was taken 
by a university. As M. Liard well says, " it was a choice 
between having too many universities or of having none." 
To provide funds, the tuition fees, which had hitherto gone 
to the Treasury, were handed over to the new bodies. The 
examination fees, however, were still retained by the 

The law contained but four clauses. The first decided 
that the groups of faculties should take the name of uni- 
versities. The second decided that the ConseU General 
should receive the title of University Council. The third 
enlarged the discipUnary powers of the new council. The 
fourth dealt with 'the financial arrangement mentioned 
above, the new funds provided being " earmarked " for 
certain definite purposes, such as expenditure on labora- 
tories, etc. Certain other financial rearrangements were 
made, with the result that the extra cost to the State came 
to about £15,000 a year. The existing personnel was 
paid, as before, by the State, and the regular grant, variable 
year by year, for buildings and equipment was hkewise 
continued. By the law of 1899 the universities were allowed 
to establish " degrees of a purely scientific kind." This 
was largely done to encourage the attendance of foreigners, 
while the proviso that they conferred no rights or privileges 


safeguarded the State from incurring any responsibilities 
vis-d-vis their recipients. 

The preamble of the Bill of 1890, quoted above, gives 
an adequate summary of the progress made from 1870 up to 
the university year 1888-89. More detailed information 
of the progress since that date is to be found in the Statistique 
de I'Enseignemeni supSrieur, which brings up the record to 
the university year 1897-98 (the last year available). The 
following are some of the principal items of interest. Though 
the French imiversities have not, with very rare exceptions, 
found any benefactors on the scale of the Rockefellers and 
Carnegies, the list of benefactions pubhshed in full shows 
that the power of the new universities, revived in 1875, 
to receive donations and legacies has not remained un- 

The University of Paris has received such lump sums as 
£210,000, Montpellier such as £60,000, while several have 
received donations of £4,000 or less. In 1889 the annual 
grant from the State amounted to about £456,284. In 1898 
it was more than £523,640, showing an increase of £67,000 
odd over the grant of ten years before, which itself was more 
than double the grant under the Empire. Though the 
universities received the above sums in hard cash, the actual 
cost to the State was less, as one must deduct from it the 
fees for degrees, which, as has been already stated, go into 
the coffers of the State. These amounted to 5,135,162 
francs in 1898, or, roughly, £205,406. The net expenditure, 
therefore, of the State was about £318,000. 

The departments and municipalities make contributions 
to nearly all the universities, their contributions being 
"earmarked," as a rule, for specific purposes. They 
practically support all the medical schools, whether situate 
at the seat of the university itself or within its area of con- 
trol, the only exceptions being Paris and Bordeaux, which 
also receive a State subvention. The contributions of the 
departments and municipaUties to the budgets of the uni- 
versity and faculties amount to about 68,000 francs and 
132,000 francs respectively ; their contributions to the 
medical schools unsupported by the Government, and to 


the so-called preparatory classes in letters and science, 
amount to about 135,500 francs and 882,000 francs re- 

The total income of the universities, including these 
medical schools, but excluding the College de France, the 
Museum, and the various special schools, amounts to about 
14,142,000 francs for the universities, and 1,582,858 francs 
for the medical and preparatory schools, in all a grand total 
of about 15,725,000 francs. Towards this total the State 
contributes 13,096,664 francs, the departments about 
203,000 francs, and the municipalities about 1,014,000 
francs ; the rest is made up of students' fees, legacies, and 
contributions by societies and private persons. As, how- 
ever, the towns receive from university sources the sum of 
421,837 francs, their net contribution is only about 593,000 
francs, or roughly about £23,720. 

Since 1888-89 ^^^ number of students has risen in a re- 
markable fashion, though no doubt this increase is due in 
part to the law which grants two years' exemption from 
military service to those who have passed certain examina- 
tions. In 1888-89, ^^^ number of students was about 
16,000, in 1898 the total had risen to 28,782, of whom 871 
were women, and no less than 1,784 of foreign nationahty. 
All the faculties show an increase in the number of students 
during the same period, but those in science (a school which 
did not exist before the RepubUc) show the greatest increase. 
Their numbers have risen in the last ten years from 1,187 
to 3,424. 

The baccalaureai shows the same remarkable increase. 
Certain changes in the examination do not permit of a com- 
parison being drawn with any year earlier than 1892-93. 
In that year there were 25,612 candidates for the different 
sections of the examination, of whom 11,518 passed. In 
1897-98 there were 36,922 candidates, of whom 16,688 
passed. The other establishments of university rank, the 
College de France, the Museum of Natural History, the ficole 
Normale Superieure, the ficole Pratique des Hautes fitudes, 
etc., all received an increased grant in 1898 in comparison 
with the last decennial account. 


The College de France, which is entirely devoted to re- 
search work, contains no less than forty-two chairs, and 
receives from the State nearly £21,000 a year. The Museum 
of Natural History, equally devoted to research, has a 
budget of more than £38,000. The school of Oriental lan- 
guages, which has no counterpart in England, though we 
have a far greater need of one, receives more than £6,000 
a year. The £cole des Chartes receives more than £3,000. 
The Ecole Pratique des Hautes fitudes receives more than 
£12,500, as well as more than £1,500 a year from the city 
of Paris. The majority of these institutions have enor- 
mously developed, if they have not been actually created, 
under the RepubUcan rSgime. 

One word must be said in conclusion for the free univer- 
sities founded in 1875, when the university monopoly in 
higher education was abohshed. At first permitted to 
grant degrees similar in name to those of the official world, 
they have since lost the right. In spite of this they have 
none the less continued to increase. In 1888-89 their 
students numbered 726, in 1897-98 they had increased to 
1,407. It is difficult to say what will be their fate under 
the present campaign to re-establish the monopoly of the 
State in education. 

The higher schools of art and technology being under 
more or less separate authorities do not figure here in the 
hst of higher education.^ The present regime has been 
equally liberal and equally successful in dealing with these 
important branches of national education. Whatever may 
be the final verdict of history on the Repubhc, its bitterest 
critics will never be able to contest the fact that only Prussia 
after Jena can compare in any way with the thoroughness 
and success with which it has reformed and revivified every 
branch of higher education. 

Principal works consulted : Ministere de ITnstruction 
Pubhque et des Beaux-Arts : (i) Statistique de I'Enseigne- 
ment superieur ; (2) Introduction a la Statistique de I'Enseigne- 

"^The schools of art are under a separate department in the 
Ministry of Public Instruction and Art. The higher schools of 
commerce and technology are under the Ministry of Commerce. 


ment supirieur, par M. L. Liard, Directeur de I'Enseignement 
Supdrieur. (Paris : Imprimerie Nationale, 1900.) (3) Ligis- 
lation et Jurisprudence de I'Instruction publique. Extrait 
du Repertoire du Droit administratif. Premiere partie, 
" Historique et Organisation g^nerale " ; Deuxidme partie, 
" Enseignement sup6rieur " ; Sixifeme partie, " Ecoles ne 
relevant du Minist^re de I'Instruction Publique." (Paris : 
P. Dupont, 1903.) 


In order to understand the problems of the French rural 
school, it would seem essentially necessary to look at them 
from the French point of view, especially if we are to 
appreciate the value of the solutions adopted. Now, to the 
French mind, a part of any system only finds its fuU and 
complete explanation in its relation to the whole. It is in 
harmony with this theory that the whole educational or- 
ganization of the country has been built up. Even when 
a new subject, has been introduced into the time-table of 
the primary school so apparently unconnected with the rest 
as the enseignement agricole (agricultural instruction), it has 
never been allowed to remain long in its isolation, but has 
been speedily woven into the fabric of the school curriculum. 
Or, to use another figure, if each new subject represents a 
new force, all the subjects are so converged that though the 
direction of the resultant or aim may be altered, the aim 
itself remains unimpaired. 

Hence, to hmit one's survey of rural education to what 
passes within the four walls of the village school, would 
seem to be as instructive as to present one's audience with 
an elephant's tooth, and leave them to imagine the jaw that 
suppUed it with driving power, not to mention the animal 
itself and its habits which have evolved it into its present 
condition. French primary education, in fact, is so highly \ 
centralized, so much of the energy manifest in the schoolss 
appears to come from the central power station, that it''^^ 
seems needful for anyone who wishes to comprehend any<' 
large section of it, to obtain a bird's-eye view of the whole -^ 

'Published in the Journal of the Society of Arts, Dec. 12th, 1902. 


Yet at the outset a word of warning is requisite. This 
centralization, however uniform it may appear in Blue- 
books and Government publications, depends for its ad- 
y^ ministration on the character of the ■personnel who run the 
C»-machine — the officials, the inspectors, and the teachers ; and 
how these naturally differ in energy, views, and aims need 
not be dilated on here. The mere fact of whether stress is 
laid on one part of the programme or another is bound to 
produce a certain decentralization that itself is aided by 
the nature of the programme, which is not so inelastic as 
is popularly supposed. 

{^ Another element of differentiation is introduced by the 

> racial differences between the inhabitants in the various 

Udepartments. Education in the Nord, with its affinities with 

^ Belgium, and education in Alpes-Maritimes, with its strong 

Itahan proclivities, are evidently working on very different 

materials. One must, therefore, not only enter a caveai 

against taking too uniform a view of French education, but 

one must also be careful oneself to guard against making 

too sweeping generalizations. 

The territorial character of the population, to which 
allusion has just been made, is, however, not merely an 
element in promoting decentrahzation, it is also an item to 
be taken into account when appraising the success or 
failure of the rural school. Who speaks of character, speaks 
of home, the rehgious influence, the social milieu — three 
powerful factors that can do much to help or hinder the 
school's endeavours. The two first-named forces reveal 
themselves in such questions as — Is the school popular with 
the parents ? and How does it shelve, solve, or sever the 
rehgious difficulty ? 

As for the influences that the social milieu exerts, their 
name is legion, for their area of recruitment is world-wide. 
Everywhere the centripetal force of the towns is growing. 
Which way, we ask, is the rural school pulling ? Then 
comes a whole plexus of problems. Is there a rural exodus, 
and, if so, are the causes higher wages in the towns, con- 
scription, the laws of inheritance, or alcoholism ? So that 
the last question we have to ask is this : In the midst of 


the general rural decay is the school a centre and a rall3dng 
point of all social reform, or is it merely content to interpret 
its duties in the narrow sense of instruction pure and simple ? 

The problem is a big one, but it has got to be faced if it 
is to be properly stated. After aU it is surely better to 
state factors imperfectly and superficially than conveniently 
to ignore them and set the school thereby in a false per- 
spective. The aim of the present paper therefore wiU be 
twofold : after a rapid sketch of the general machinery 
as far as it has reference to the rural school, to present as 
complete a view as time permits of the rural school itself, 
and, secondly, to give a rough idea of the conditions pre- 
vaihng in those parts of rural France with which the speaker 
is personally acquainted, in order to indicate the problems 
to which the rural school can even under the most favourable 
circumstances offer only a partial solution. 

En passant one hopes to bring out such points in French 
methods as seem worthy of imitation. But the two systems, 
French and EngUsh, are so difterent, there is nothing we 
can copy wholesale except it be the spirit of thoroughness 
which has animated French reformers. 

To understand the present highly developed condition of 
French primary education, a rapid sketch of its past history 
seems necessary. The only name that needs to be cited 
before the Revolution is that of Jean Baptiste de la Salle, 
the founder of the Christian Brothers, who in any history 
of the early beginnings of popular education must find a 
foremost place. Thanks to his teachings the monitorial 
system never took abiding root in France, being soon ousted 
by the so-called simultaneous methods of his followers. 
The Revolution did Uttle else than express a pious resolution 
in favour of a complete system of free, popular, and com- 
pulsory education. The three great names after the 
Revolution are Guizot, Duruy, and Jules Ferry. 

Guizot, who must be looked on as the founder of the 
system, began his reforms by a survey of the educational 
plant on the ground, a proceeding that might well be copied, 
especially as regards secondary education, by those who 
will have to carry out the provisions of the present Bill 


before Parliament. Compulsory education was not estab- 
lished by him, but each commune had to build a school 
and pay the teacher. He started also the building of girls' 
schools and normal schools, and the creation of an inspec- 
torate. The Loi Falloux, in 1850, divided primary schools 
into State and private schools, and recognized both. 

The rigime of Duruy is remarkable for the great extension 
given to evening classes, and to the founding of girls' 
schools, as weU as the estabUshment of the caisses des ecoles 
for helping the children of the poor who frequent the 

The Third Repubhc began setting its educational 
house in order by a vast building and furnishing scheme. 
Every commune was obliged to provide itself with or share 
in a State school ; every department was compelled to 
possess a couple of normal schools. State aid was freely 
given, and in all £34,000,000 were spent by central and 
local authorities, 35,145 schools were built or acquired, the 
total of normal schools was brought up to 163, and two 
higher normal schools for providing these schools with 
teachers were founded. Having put the buildings on a 
sound footing, the teaching profession was nexf raised to 
the level of a skilled calUng by compeUing all teachers in 
reUgious or lay schools to hold a certificat de capacite (or 
attainments certificate), while the State teachers were 
further obhged to possess a certificate of training (certificat 
d' aptitude pMagogique). 

Then came the triple reform of free, compulsory, and 
secularized education, with which the name of Jules Ferry 
will ever be connected. The latter cut the painter once for 
all between the pubhc and private school, between the State 
and the different cults. The teaching of la morale was 
substituted for denominational teaching, and in the State 
schools the religious teachers were either immediately or 
gradually replaced by laymen. The religious schools were 
left entirely free, the State only exercising a certain super- 
vision over the sanitation and text-books and professional 
status of the teachers. 

The result is that in 1897 the total number of children 


still under religious instruction was 1,603,451, of whom 
405,825 were still in State schools not yet laicized, against 
3,823,760 in the lay schools. This does not include the 
maternal schools. If these are reckoned in the figures are 
1,955,199, agednst 4,175,656. The great majority of the 
pupils over 6 in the religious schools are girls ; there are in 
all only 436,726 boys in these schools. Of the Association 
laws it is impossible to speak here, as it is at present doubtful 
as to what their precise effect on primary education will be. 

These reforms necessitated certain financial readjust- 
ments, the most important of which was the transference 
of the pajmient of the teacher from the locahty to the State. 
In thus abohshing the payment of salaries by locaUties the 
RepubHc seems to have solved a large number of grievances. 
Henceforth the teachers were grouped in classes in which 
promotion depends on merit and seniority. It is probable 
that our County Councils will, sooner or later, have to for- 
mulate a similar scheme. Now that the raison d'Ure of 
inequalities in salaries has gone, the inequalities will have 
to go. 

The Republic has also to its credit the re-estabUshment 
of the higher primary schools, which have been an immense 
benefit to town and country ; and lastly, the most recent 
improvement is the revival and enormous extension of even- 
ing classes. This has been largely a teachers' movement, 
and is an admirable instance of the striking enthusiasm 
and devotion that pervades their ranks. One might almost 
call them the Knights Templars of republican defence and 
popular education. The beneficial effect of these drastic and. 
thoroughgoing reforms on rural education is obvious, if 
we put on one side the vexed reUgious question. The 
country school buildings are not allowed to faU below a 
certain minimum of requirements. Salaries not being a 
matter of locality, the tiniest hamlet may, and often does, 
possess one of the best teachers of the department. 

And now to come to the actual machinery. We find the 
Minister has cognizance of all schools as far as the sanitation 
and staffing are concerned. There is in fact no free trade 
in teaching, nor can a school label itself with any high- 


sounding title it pleases ; all schools, public or private, 
must have the Government hall-mark. The fraudulent 
private school is an impossibility in France. Yet this does 
not mean that the neutral private school is disUked. On 
the contrary, the most thoughtful of French reformers are 
highly anxious to encourage private initiative in this 
direction — a matter our new authorities may well lay to 

The Ministry itself is divided up into three sections — 
University, Secondary, and Primary. The latter has the 
joint supervision of a few quasi- technical schools, but 
technology proper and commercial education are under the 
Ministry of Commerce. Agricultural schools are under the 
Ministry of Agriculture. Attached to the Ministry is a 
consultative committee ; six of its 57 members are elected 
by Primary officials and teachers. The Primary section of 
the Ministry keeps itself in touch with the actual state of 
education by means of eleven general inspectors. They 
act not only as the eyes and ears of the central authority, 
but also as its mouthpiece. Thus a year or two back it 
was decided to reorganize agricultural education, and one 
of the inspectors made a tour of aU the training colleges 
in order to give the right trend and direction to the teaching 
of the subject. 

Coming to the local authorities, the rector of the local 
university looks after the normal colleges in his district as 
well as the education side of the primary schools. In fact, 
one may look on him as a sort of lay bishop whose seminaries 
are the normal colleges, and who supervises the articles of 
faith and reUgion represented by the education taught in 
the primary schools. But his second in command, the 
academy inspector, being the man on the spot (there is one 
for each department), possesses reaUy more effective power. 
In administrative matters and in the selection of the 
personnel he is independent. While directly appointing 
the probationers, he also nominates the full teachers, while 
the prefect appoints them. Situated midway between the 
central authority and the schools, yet near enough to be in 
touch with both, he is evidently the pivot of the whole 


system ; not only does the efficiency of the schools depend 
largely on him, but scarcely less important are his diplo- 
matic duties in keeping the school in good odour with the 
local authorities, and getting them to help education over 
and above the legal minimum. 

The prefect, like the minister, has to assist him an ad- 
visory council of experts, called the conseil dSpariemental. 
The educational element is in an immense majority on it. 
In fact, it is practically an education committee with no 
direct financial powers, the money being raised by the 
conseil du departement (or county council), which has repre- 
sentatives on it. A comparison between the education 
committee under the Bill, and these bodies would be very 
instructive but would take us too far. 

Under the academy inspector come the inspectors who 
have each a district to look after. We should regard them 
rather as sub-inspectors. Originally largely recruited from 
among the teachers, they are now, owing to the increased 
severity of the examination, practically taken from the ranks 
of the professors in normal schools, the heads of which are 
also recruited by the same examination. The examination 
itself is extremely stiff, especially the practical portion, and 
no one who is not a past-master in pedagogics and practical 
knowledge of school work has a chance of passing. 

The mayor of the commune has various rights, including 
that of visiting all the schools in his commune. He is also 
supposed to summon the school attendance committees. 
The cantonal delegates are apparently meant to represent 
the popular and parental element. They may inspect the 
building, supervise the children's behaviour, but if present 
at the lessons given may not meddle with the teaching. The 
French have little beUef in the educational judgment of the 
local butcher, baker, and candlestick-maker. These " lay 
figures " in more senses than one have even less authority 
than Mr. Balfour's managers. In fact, they have so little 
that one inspector described them to me as the fifth wheel 
in the coach. 

The two principal things to note, as regards this appa- 
rently complicated machinery, are the smoothness with 


which it works — due to the clearness with which the 
function of each official is defined — and the enormous pre- 
ponderance given to expert as compared with popular 
management. What we have to learn from France, as far 
as one can judge, is not to destroy our capacity for self- 
government, but to strengthen if by fortif5dng it on the 
expert side. 

Clearness in function has led to clearness in finance. At 
present the State is the largest contributor ; the income and 
expenditure of certain taxes formerly handled by the depart- 
ment and commune are now part of the central budget. At 
present the State pays the teachers' salaries, the county 
council pays for the upkeep of the normal schools, and the 
parish pays for the cost and upkeep of the school buildings. 

A few figures may prove of interest. In 1897 the State 
spent about 5| million pounds, and the communes over 
2f millions. The normal schools have cost over 2 miUions. 
The percentage of the cost of building and furnishing has 
been 40 per cent, for the State, 4 per cent, for the depart- 
ment, and 56 per cent, for the commune. The EngUsh 
parish has, therefore, had more to pay than the French com- 
mune. The cost of a place in the State schools has been 
£12, against £14 12s. 8Jd. in English board schools. The 
total cost of education in France a year, including lay and 
reUgious schools, is put at iif millions, or, reckoning in 
interest on loafts, 14 miUions. 

The efficiency of the French State teacher may be judged 
by the following figures. Less than i-5th per cent, of the 
male teachers do not possess the brevet, and only 4J per cent, 
of the female teachers are without it ; 45 per cent, possess 
further the certificat d' aptitude. This can only be acquired 
after two years' work in the schools. The difficulty of 
winning it may be gauged by the fact that it generally takes 
teachers much longer to obtain it. I mj^elf came across a 
teacher who had taken eight years. 

Between 6- and 7-ioths of the present staff have passed 
through a training college. As regards the position of the 
State teacher in a village, it has, in some instances, been 
scarcely a bed of roses in places where a laicization has taken 


place. Cases are not unknown where teachers have been 
stoned and boycotted, while jehads against the lay school 
have been preached by the local clergy. Happily this phase 
seems to be passing away, and any attack on the State school 
even in a cathoUc district would probably be mal vu. 
Otherwise the rural teacher's position is probably from a 
social standpoint more comfortable than with us. To begin 
with he possesses that indefinite prestige that attaches to all 
Government officials. 

Again the contour lines of the local society are less abrupt 
in France. They do not rise in the terrace-like fashion as 
they do in England, with the labourers, farmers, parson, 
and squire, all more or less at different altitudes and eleva- 
tions, with no definite ledge for the unfortunate school- 
master to settle down on. At the present time there seems 
to be a growing shortage of teachers, as with us. This is 
being happily met in some departments by giving bonuses to 
those teachers who prepare pupils for the normal school 
examination. An idea has got abroad which, rightly or 
wrongly, asserts that the teachers are turning the children 
against the profession, though, curiously enough, they con- 
tinue to send in their own. 

The vast majority of normal students come from the 
primary schools. They are practically recruited from the 
department in which the college is situate. When they 
leave the college they desire to settle in their own depart- 
ment, and look on being sent to a neighbouring department 
as a sort of exile. 

One often hears the departments spoken of as merely geo- 
graphical expressions, yet it is evident that this homing 
instinct of the teacher is gradually giving each department 
its own educational physiognomy, and thus it is reserved for 
the primary teachers, whom an impartial philosopher might 
call the real children of the Revolution, to give life and 
personality to the administrative entities, into which their 
spiritual forefathers re-divided France more than a century 
ago. Curiously enough, while the teachers remain station- 
ary it is the inspectors who move from department to depart- 
ment in France. This is the exact contrary to us, where 

B.E. N 


inspectors are more or less stationary and teachers more or 
less on the move. This no doubt is largely due to the 
inequalities in local salaries. 

From a financial point of view the French teacher does 
not seem to be so well off as the Enghsh, though some of the 
EngUsh are worse paid than some of the French. The 
Enghsh certified master obtains on an average £127 2s. yd. 
The best French male teacher only receives in the country 
;^8o a year ; in the town he receives various extra allow- 
ances. On the other hand, he is always housed free of 
expense, which is not the case with his Enghsh confrere. 
Again, he can add to his income by being secretary to the 
parish council, or by running evening classes. Living is 
probably as dear in France as in England, but the style of 
living is distinctly more economical, as a comparison be- 
tween the salaries of French and Enghsh civil servants of 
the same grade would show. After 25 years' service the 
French teacher receives a pension, provided he is 55 years 
of age. 

The housing question does not appear to be a burning 
question in the country as far as the head teacher is con- 
cerned. The chief grievance seems to centre round a matter 
that has lately been agitating Parhament, the matter of 
whitewashing. Members of the parish coimcil, who only 
whitewash their own premises once in ten years, cannot be 
got to understand the necessity of such proceedings every 
other year for the school buildings. Assistant teachers, 
according to the law, have adequate accommodation, but in 
reality the two or three rooms they ought to have often 
shrink to a single room, and that sometimes without a fire- 
place. Ninety-five per cent, of the rural schools have 
gardens, not, as has been rashly asserted, for experimental 
purposes, but for the private use of the teachers. 

In the old days the teacher was the priest's man, and was 
obliged to sing, himself and his little ones, in the choir. 
To-day he is nominally his own master, but owing to his 
secretarial duties and his evening classes, he is probably as 
hard-worked as any man in the world. Yet the amount of 
grumbUng one heard was very small. One comes across 


everywhere signs of the missionary spirit which the desire to 
raise the country after 1870, and the militant reforms of 
Jules Ferry, have produced. A National Union of Teachers 
has just been started, and the late Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion, who rightly recognized in the teachers a sort of repub- 
lican army of occupation, gave it a hearty send-off. 

Other functionaries may change their political colours, 
but it wiU take many years to make the vast army of 
teachers untrue to their salt. They are to my mind the 
sheet-anchor of the Repubhc, and the chief visible, definite, 
concrete expression of the nobler side of the Revolution's 
aspirations. Their relations with the inspectors are gene- 
rally excellent. Their relations with the other grades of 
education are singularly distant. Still this has not been a 
defect in the past. It has enabled them to cut themselves 
adrift from a vast amount of scholasticism which pervades 
French secondary education, while social education and 
culture have penetrated so far into lower strata of French 
Ufe, that the primary teacher has not suffered as might be 
expected from his isolation from secondary education. 
Lately the need of closing up the republican ranks has been 
felt, and a teachers' guild, to include teachers of every grade, 
has been started. 

After the teacher, the school. AUusion has already been 
made to the law that every commune must have, or share 
in, a school of its own. So strong is local feeling that the 
united district comparatively common in England is rare 
in France. Only 2 per cent, of the communes have a 
school in common. One pig-headed commune with a school 
population of 5 insisted on building itself a school that cost 
£800. Such cases of obstinacy would be unheard of in 
England. The country is now covered with a complete net- 
work of State public schools. Out of 36,174 communes only 
47 have no school at all. Communes over 500 are legally 
obliged to have a separate school for girls, and even this 
provision has been very thoroughly carried out. The 
buildings generally are in a good state of repair. Of course, 
those built 70 or 80 years ago are less suitable than those 
erected 20 years ago. 


The school furniture is less satisfactory, but here improve- 
ments are being gradually made. An excellent idea is the 
distribution of large coloured illustrations by the Ministry, 
which are reaUy views of French scenery procured from the 
railway companies, with, of course, the time-table part 
suppressed. These sheets add a certain amount of attrac- 
tiveness to walls that are otherwise bare, for pictures to the 
country lad are as fascinating as flowers to the town child. 
We might almost look on them as the flowers of the town, 
fit subjects of barter for our rustic primroses and daffodils. 

The only piece of school furniture which need detain us is 
the musee scolaire, or school museum. One finds it every- 
where. Its use has been admirably defined as the indis- 
pensable auxiliary of the real object-lesson. It must not, 
however, resemble a curiosity shop, for collections formed 
at hazard, and with no definite plan, are of no utility. The 
museum must be appropriate to the teaching, not the teach- 
ing to the museum. The use of the museum will be weU 
seen when we come to the agricultural teaching. Unfor- 
tunately, in a good many cases, it evidently was not utilized 
as it ought to be. Not a few that one saw resembled too 
much the collection at a marine store dealer's. 

And now for the children. They were, for the most part, 
neat and tidy in their dress. Their hands especially were 
clean. The copy-books, which are usually a fair test in 
these matters, were singularly free from " teU-tale " finger- 
marks. Their behaviour, on the whole, was excellent. 
In the classes of one or two younger teachers one saw a 
certain amount of by-play going on, but that is the teachers' 
fault. This good conduct is the more surprising, as corporal 
punishment has been abolished in French schools, much to 
the disUke, it must be admitted, of the older teachers. But 
the younger generation seem to get on very well without 
it — in theory. In practice I should be inclined to take the 
word of a teacher, who said, " There is not a good master 
going who has not given a ' sound smack ' to some child in 
his fife." 

How do the children attend ? WeU, that is a problem 
which would take up too much room to discuss fully. One 


can only give conclusions. To begin with, the attempt to 
make the duty of compelling attendance a local matter has 
been a failure. According to the law, the mayor of the 
commune was to summon the attendance committee and, 
if necessary, set the law in motion. A good many mayors 
did, with the result that they and sundry other zealous 
parish councillors lost their seats at the next election. Their 
fate has made the law practically a dead letter in the 
country. One of the chief sources of irregular attendance 
in the north-western departments is the departure of the 
children in the spring for the grazing districts, where they 
guard the cattle. These little pdtours, as they are called, 
often take six months' French leave at a time. Haysel and 
harvest, apple-picking and grape-gathering also produce 
irregular attendance. 

Several remedies have been proposed. Some have sug- 
gested that the teacher should be armed with the power of 
putting the law in motion — an evident mistake, as it would 
bring him in direct collision with the parents. A better idea 
is that of vesting these powers in the inspector, who is 
sufficiently highly placed to be beyond the reach of local 
vengeance. But while those in authority with whom one 
conversed, agreed that the law should be made more effec- 
tive, they most of them deprecated any wholesale setting in 
motion of the legal machinery as likely to do more harm 
than good in the country districts, where the peasantry are 
by nature highly conservative, and local customs and pre- 
judices are strong. 

One inspector, in particular, told me he had made a 
thorough trial of the legal remedies. It had been a com- 
plete failure. Then he had turned round and experimented 
with the system of allowing the teachers to inform the 
parents that the inspector would always favourably enter- 
tain a request for leave of absence if the work was specified. 
Eighteen years' experience had proved the system worked 
extremely weU. Another way of keeping on the children 
was to discourage them from presenting themselves for the 
leaving certificate before they were twelve. Much good is 
also done by those teachers who make personal inquiries of 


the parents whenever a pupil is absent. To render the 
system official, as some propose, would just destroy the 
whole value of it. It is appreciated, just because the 
teachers' act is voluntary. 

In some departments, the method is being tried of giving 
bonuses to those teachers who improve their attendance 
average, and also of taking the fact into account in regard 
to promotion. The practice has been followed by excellent 
results, and is one we might well copy. It is suggested, too, 
that the little fdtours who are miserably paid, might be kept 
on at school, if the caisses des Scales were sufficiently well 
organized to give the poorer parents an indemnity equivalent 
to the wretched pittance these children earn, but what the 
big graziers would say who hve in districts where there are 
no hedgerows, must be left to the imagination. Speaking 
generally, though the attendance is likely to improve in the 
near future, it is clear that the French problem wiU need 
delicate handUng for long to come, and that the method of 
adaptation to local needs, whether by the half-time system 
or by allowing the parents the use of their children's services 
at certain times of the year, wiU be the pohcy pursued. 

Coming to the organization of the schools, we find them 
officially divided into three cours or grades, the higher for 
children from 13-11, the middle for those from 11-9, and the 
elementary for those from 9-6. The higher cours are 
generally a blank in rural schools, as the children in the 
cours moyen leave en masse after taking the leaving certifi- 
cate ; while it has been found necessary in practice to inter- 
calate a cours -prSparaioire between the cours eUmentaire and 
the classe enfanline for children under six where it exists. 
Classes over fifty have a right to an additional teacher, but 
the regulation is broken in 8,422 schools. 

Morning school starts at 8.25 as a rule and finishes at 
11.30. Afternoon school (or evening as it is called), a 
reminiscence of the time when people dined at 10 a.m. in 
the morning, begins at 12.55 a°d l^sts till 4 p.m. There are 
intervals for recreation in the middle of both schools. 
Thursday is a whole hohday. Monitors are not officially 
recognized, but one found them in about three-quarters of 


the sixty schools one visited. In the mixed schools it would 
seem quite impossible to do without them. They are not, 
however, paid, but the top pupils in the highest class are 
put on for the day or the week to do the work. 

The curriculum includes moral and civic instruction, 
which thus head the list, reading and writing, arithmetic and 
metric system, the French language, history and geography, 
both mainly French ; object-lessons, elementary scientific 
notions, the elements of drawing, singing and manual train- 
ing, principally in their appHcation to agriculture ; military 
and gymnastic exercises. Each cours or grade is supposed 
to be a stepping-stone to the next, but the programme 
except in history and in geography is concentric, not suc- 
cessive — that is, the pupil is introduced to all the subjects 
at once, but every year the circle of his knowledge in each 
is widened. The elementary grade is pre-eminently that of 
initiation, and includes the acquisition of the technique or 
tools of knowledge — treading and writing. 

The aim of the middle grade is the foundation of the 
scientific basis of knowledge, and in the higher cours the 
objective is the development of the logical faculty. The 
time-table is arranged on the system of putting the harder 
subjects in the morning. Teachers may vary the order of 
subjects in the time-table, but the hours assigned to the 
principal subjects are largely the same in all schools. It is 
only in such subjects as manual training and singing that 
some option is exercised. The school work is plotted out 
with a definite quantum for each month ; the last month, 
July, being devoted to revision. This " time-schedule " is 
rather intended to indicate the rate of speed than to tie 
down the master to the exact points to be taught. The aim 
of the whole programme is to teach thoroughly, not to teach 
a good deal superficially, and to cultivate the imagination 
rather than to overload the memory. 

The latter is still the besetting sin of the religious schools, 
but the State schools have certainly broken away to a large 
extent from the catechismal method of set question and 
answer, and the learning of neat and, often to the child, 
meaningless formulae by heart. Yet there is still a tendency 


to turn out intelligence on a general pattern, rather than to 
develop the individual intellect or to let it grow as it wiU 
according to the pedagogy at present in vogue in America. 
Still here a foreigner must be cautious of judging, remem- 
bering that the French mind takes to logic as a duck 
to water. 

To discuss adequately the teaching of la morale would 
require a separate paper. Here again an Englishman who 
is mainly swayed by his feeUngs or by facts cannot easily 
understand the force of an ethical system which grounds 
itself largely on an appeal to reason. In France, the belief 
in reason is part of and parcel of French civilization. As an 
Englishman appeals to experience, a Frenchman appeals to 
reason. It is to him a cult, a dogma, a religion. None the 
less for children of tender years it needs a large admixture of 
the emotions. One thing is certain. Where the teacher is 
a strong believer in what he teaches, there he finds apt dis- 
ciples. Whether the French were right to break thus 
definitely with the past by dehberately excluding aU 
religious teaching is not for a foreigner to decide Ughtly. 
One cannot help thinking that they might at least have 
first tried the system of allowing the priest access to the 
schools during certain hours. 

The writing appeared to me unusually good. The teach- 
ing of arithmetic is excellent. The method employed 
throughout is that of making the child explain at the side 
every step he takes. The inspectors are dead against what 
I would call the cookery book system of working out an 
example on the board by way of recipe and the setting the 
children down to do others like it. Again, all sums have to 
be concrete ; either about the number of cows in a yard, or 
the cost of a pound of butter, etc. There is no jugghng with 
abstract figures. But the chief advantage of all is that the 
pupil works with the metric system. Thanks to the latter 
every pupil obtains a definite notion of superficies and 
volume, which our unfortunate children can never get from 
our kaleidoscopic weights and measures, in which gills are 
metamorphosed into pints, pints into quarts, quarts into 
gallons, at which point a new bifurcation comes on for wet 


and dry measure. The result is that the English child never 
realizes that there is any such thing as a scientific unit of 
dimension, but vaguely imagines that measures are a mere 
affair of pots for wet things and pans for dry. 

Composition is better taught in the French rural school 
than with us, as more stress is laid on making the essay a 
whole in itself. Still it has suffered in the past, and still 
suffers, from excessive attention being paid to minutiae in 
spelling in spite of the recent reforms. Geography begins 
with elementary notions of the world, and of the meaning of 
a map. It then comes back to the starting point in English 
and German schools, the school-house and its environment. 
An excellent practice obtains in some schools of hanging up 
maps made by the teachers of the department or commune, 
either geographical or agronomic. History is too much of 
the blood-and-thunder type which breeds young fire-eaters, 
though the social and economic side is being gradually 

Manual training is practically a dead letter in the country. 
In one village I went into it had been suddenly dropped. 
The local authorities, who were delighted by the great pro- 
gress shown by the children at their home work, discovered 
that the village carpenter was making a handsome thing 
out of doing their work for them. Military exercises have 
caught on but little in the country ; singing in the depart- 
ments I visited was much neglected. In domestic economy 
the French have nothing to teach us. They have not yet 
determined its place in the curriculum. The sewing is 
probably their strongest point. I only saw one cookery 
lesson, and that was given out of a book. The teacher 
described the roasting of a fowl to the class. A series of 
questions that followed showed the children had only re- 
tained half the directions. It is to be hoped for the peace 
of the future households over which they will have to 
preside that they have already forgotten the other half. 

And now we come to the subject which, perhaps, is of 
most interest to us here in England to-day, the so-called 
teaching of agriculture. Before, however, discussing the 
French solution, it should be remembered that the rural 


problem in France and that in England differ in certain 
radical particulars. Hence, what may suit France need not 
necessarily suit England, and vice-versa. To begin with, it 
must be remembered that the rural population in France 
outnumbers the urban, whereas in England it is just the 
other way. Accordingly country interests in France have 
had a greater chance of making their wants heard and 
getting them attended to than with us. The French rural 
problem has therefore been tackled at least ten years earher. 

Again, England is rather a country of large farms, France 
of small holdings. In England the bulk of the village com- 
munity are landless men, save the squire, parson and 
farmers, whose children do not frequent the village school. 
In France, in some communes, one person in every four is a 
proprietor, and therefore the pick of the village scholars are 
the sons of peasants who have been helping their fathers on 
their small holdings from their earhest years. Hence, while 
the problem in England seems to be to stimulate observation 
and dexterity, to provide at most an eye and hand training 
in order to improve the future labourer's efficiency, in 
France, rightly or wrongly, the aim has been to give the 
pupil some grasp of the principles underljring the science of 

The first attempt to develop popular agricultural teach- 
ing in the primary school goes back to 1866, but nothing was 
really done till the law of 1879, which started agricultural 
teaching in the normal schools and made it compulsory after 
three years in the elementary schools, each departmental 
education committee being left to draw up its own agri- 
cultural programme. 

Unfortunately this local option in programmeTmaking 
seems to have produced more harm than good, for the 
reason that the aim and first principles of the subject had 
not been thought out. A visitor to France in 1891 foimd no 
less than six conceptions of agricultural teaching in exist- 
ence. The first consisted of stray notions on the subject 
being given by the teacher, often out of a book, supple- 
mented by passages for dictation culled out of the agri- 
cultural journals. The basis of the second was the learning 


by heart of little agricultural catechisms, in which the horse 
was defined as a four-legged animal, and the obvious and 
the abstruse were delightfully jumbled together. The 
others were variations of the gardening method, the fullest 
being that in which each child had a plot, and cultivated 
another in partnership with his fellows, under the eye of 
the teacher. 

In 1893 the Ministry took the matter in hand, and order 
was evolved out of chaos by the celebrated scheme of 
January, 1897, " On the Teaching of Elementary Notions 
of Agriculture in Rural Schools." The method was to be 
notions of science applied to agriculture, and the procedure 
was to be above all practical. The aim was to inspire 
children with a love of the country life, and convince them 
of the superiority of an agricultural occupation for those 
who practise it with industry, intelligence, and enlighten- 
ment. Teachers were advised to give the whole curriculum 
an agricultural tinge, and to make their lessons in agri- 
cultural teaching coincide with the seasons. Inflated pro- 
grammes were deprecated, and suggestions for a course 
offered. In the elementary grade only simple objects 
should be given. For the middle grade there should be 
more object-lessons, together with reading lessons and 
school walks. 

Simple experiments in the three states of matter, the study 
of useful and noxious plants, of combustion, of composition 
of soils, etc., should be included, as well as experiments with 
different manures, including the five-fold experiment with 
the different chemicals necessary for the support of plant life, 
potash, super-phosphate, and nitrate. The need of champs 
d' exp&rience, or trial fields, is also insisted on. An inspection 
of the present departmental programme reveals that they 
are all maxima programmes. In fact the teacher is not so 
much supposed to follow them implicitly, but rather to pick 
and choose those portions which best suit his own district, be 
it a grazing or arable country, a wine or a cider district. 
Another point which an inspection of the programmes 
brings out is, that though the majority of them are far more 
practicable than the old programmes, there is still doubt 


whether the scientific and general side, or the agricultural 
side, should predominate. 

These programmes are meant for boys, but girls are also 
taught horticulture, a matter the French peasant largely 
leaves to his womankind. They are also given some 
instruction in poultry-keeping and dairy work. 

As regards text-books their employment is well defined 
in the Calvados programme. " Books wiU be useless in the 
cours eUmentaire ■prtparatoire ; optional in the cows moyen ; 
indispensable in the cours superieur." The work placed in 
the hands of the pupils will only serve for reference. In no 
case will it take the place of oral teaching. Of those who 
would do entirely without books, one is compelled to ask. 
What is the use then of libraries ? Pictures, diagrams, and 
the musee scolaire are all useful adjuncts to the teaching of 
the subject. 

But, as the Ministry have recognized, the chief value of 
the subject Hes on its experimental and practical side. The 
experiment in pots is pretty, but insufficient ; more fruitful 
have been the outdoor experiments in the teachers' gardens, 
or in the champs d' experience. In two directions the school 
has been able to render valuable service to the cause of agri- 
culture. One is the teaching of grafting in the vine dis- 
tricts, where the reconstruction of the vineyards is of 
capital importance, owing to the devastation of the phyl- 
loxera ; and the other is the wider and more inteUigent use 
of natural and especially artificial manures. The employ- 
ment of the latter is especially needful in a coimtry where 
the head of stock kept by the peasant is comparatively 

The agricultural education of the department outside the 
primary school is one of the many functions that concern 
the professor of agriculture, but, in looking after the " trial 
fields," the teachers often prove to be his most valuable 
henchman. In some departments these champs d' experience 
are quite insufficient. In Calvados, for example, there are 
only some 20 or 30 in 763 communes. In Sarthe, on the 
other hand, with 386 communes, they numbered 167 in 
1898-9, of which some 80 were looked after by the teachers. 


A further aid to the outside work of the school is the 
school journey, during which the children take notes, and 
occasionally botanize. 

To sum up, while the older teachers seem generally in- 
different, there are many among the younger generation 
who, thanks to the teaching in the normal schools, take a 
keen interest in the subject. The chief desideratum seems 
to be the estabhshment everywhere of a small garden. This 
is so strongly felt by the Ministry that at the Exhibition of 
1900 there was a small model garden which, although it 
occupied only some 75 square yards, allowed room for a 
largish number of experiments. Most of the plants it con- 
tained came originally from school gardens. The botanical 
bed in the middle was composed of field flowers. It 
sufficed, as the ofi&cial report says, for the study of the 
principal famiUes, and was none the worse for being orna- 

In the foreground was a narrow bed containing the 
principal leguminous and gramineous plants that every 
cultivator ought to know. To the left, five Uttle squares 
were sown with mixtures of these plants in order to form 
specimen meadow plots. Behind them were four quad- 
rangular plots sown with maize, potatoes, tomatoes, etc., 
each being treated either with no manure, or with different 
dressings to show the effect of proper manuring. Against 
the wall at the side were climbing plants, vines, and fruit 
trees. In spite of the torrid heat and the attentions of the 
Paris sparrows, the garden looked very well, and the experi- 
ments were most satisfactory. Some English critics, no 
doubt, wiU not be able to completely approve of the French 
solution, though experiments on more or less similar hues 
have been carried out with much success in this coimtry, 
notably by the Surrey County Council, in Norfolk, and the 
Isle of Wight. 

It is possible that the advocates of nature-study would 
insist on the superior educational Vcdue of an education 
whose first principles are rather based on training the 
observation and the imagination. The French system bears 
on the face of it a practical and utilitarian aim. Yet any 


judgment passed upon it must take into consideration the 
requirements of the French rural problem. 

To encourage the teaching of the subject in the rural 
schools, examinations written and oral are held, and prizes 
awarded by the different departments. The examination 
papers include questions framed on the missing word prin- 
ciple, questions demanding an answer of two or three Unes, 
agricultural book-keeping, which is really a short problem 
in arithmetic, an essay, and a simple design from memory. 
In Sarthe, there are not only school examinations but school 
exhibitions, which are apparently very successful. Prizes 
are given by the local agricultural societies — a point that 
might well be copied in England. 

The French programme, as the examination paper just 
quoted shows, attempts as far as possible to dovetail the 
subjects into one another. As was indicated at the outset, 
a subject is not so much squeezed into the curriculum 
because it " pays " or because it is a fad. To gain entry it 
has to prove that it will better the all-round efficiency of the 
pupU. None the less there is a general feeling that the 
curriculum is overloaded, which is plain, when, as we have 
seen, the school working-week is 30 hours, and the mmiber of 
hours required by the subjects is 34. French teachers are 
already asking whether the wisest thing would not be to 
have the main programme the same for town and country, 
with certain optional subjects for urban or rural children. 
The teachers themselves favour some such form of decentral- 
ization, and probably some sort of restricted local option 
wiU be possible in the near future. 

As a sanction to aU these studies, the French have created 
a merit or leaving certificate called the certificat d' etudes. It 
has its drawbacks, the principal one being the premature 
age at which the pupils take it, with the result that it leads 
to cramming. Yet, on the other hand, it is held in high 
esteem by parents and by the business world. It also gives 
the State a valuable means of audit, all the more valuable 
because part of it is oral. Happily, in France, the fetish of 
paper-work has not reached the dimensions it has with us. 
The French have all along seen that viva-voce is an indis- 


pensable supplement to a written examination, because it 
tests qualities which are of real worth in daily life, presence 
of mind, power to mobilize one's knowledge and intelligence 
at a minute's notice, and to think out a problem quickly. 

Paper-work is a good test for the closet student, the 
recluse, but oral examination brings out as no other test the 
strong points of the business man who has got to keep his 
head and to come to a sound decision — more speedily than 
his fellow competitors. In any case, the advantages of the 
examination appear even in the teachers' eyes to outweigh 
the disadvantages. For those who would learn more of its 
working I must refer to an excellent monograph on the sub- 
ject by Sir Joshua Fitch. If such an examination were 
adopted in England it would probably be best to entrust 
it to a board, consisting of the inspectors, with representa- 
tives from primary, secondary, and technical schools and 
committees. Were the examination conducted by districts 
in the counties and by group centres in the large boroughs, 
the whole examination could be got through generally in a 
single day, provided the examining board were big enough. 

Most of the foregoing remarks refer to the State lay 
schools, as the rehgious schools in the country are compara- 
tively few. Their strength lies strangely enough in the 
towns where they can charge fees. In teaching methods 
they are and have been generally inferior, but this is scarcely 
surprising when one realizes that they are entirely self- 
supporting. The " intolerable strain " with them is not some 
20 per cent, of the maintenance, but 100 per cent. Under 
these circumstances one can only admire the spirit of self- 
devotion that keeps them alive. Many will probably go 
under owing to the financial strain, quite apart from any 
alterations that may be made in the new law on the right 
to teach. 

The agricultural training given in the normal schools is 
naturally of vital importance to the rural school. While it 
appears to be sound upon its theoretical side, it probably still 
requires a good deal of attention to make its practical side 
as effective as it might be. The truth is in many cases the 
agricultural professors are so hard-worked they have not the 


time to pay the requisite attention to their outdoor courses 
at the normal colleges, and, on the other hand, there is not 
always that close correlation that ought to exist between the 
teaching of the agricultural professor and his confrtre the 
professor of science. Agricultural teaching in the training 
colleges for women largely, consists of horticulture. 

The chief lesson to be learnt from the French training 
colleges is that we must copy them in immensely increasing 
our faculties for training, while we must avoid their mistake 
of setting up a brace of normal schools for each county or 
department. What our authorities should rather do is to 
group their schools round the universities or existing train- 
ing colleges, or perhaps in the case of some of the rural 
counties build small hostels round some of the agricultural 
colleges, which the students could attend for certain courses ; 
while in other respects they would receive a hterary training. 
In any case, we want on the one hand to centralize the 
training centres, and on the other to encourage the counties 
to go shares as much as possible in the building of new 
schools, or at least, to place their hostels alongside one 
another round a nucleus of class-rooms and school buildings 
to be used in common. 

The opportunities for agricultural education in secondary 
French schools are so insignificant they need not be 
mentioned. The local grammar schools are far more out of 
touch with the locahties than with us. Far more promising 
is the creation of ex-standard classes and higher primary 
schools in the country districts with a view to catering for 
rural needs. This is a species of school which it ought to be 
easy for the rural counties in England to erect in the near 
future. Only the authorities must steadily bear in mind 
what sort of pupil they mean to produce, and to be certain 
to produce one who will not be a dSclasse. But the rural 
problem in France is complicated as in England by class 
distinctions. Parents will still go on sending their boys to 
the religious high school or the college because it is the 

The remedy in both countries, therefore, seems to be to 
modernize the college course and make it give, as the 


great majority of country grammar schools should give, a 
thoroughly modern education. The scholarship system 
properly arranged should provide for moving on a clever 
lad to some central county school which prepared for the 
universities on classical Unes. If a classical side exists 
in such schools, it should really be a side and not the main 
aim of the schools. These schools had a regular raison 
d'etre for being classical schools in the days when the local 
upper ten frequented them. But with the revolution of 
transport, their clientele has greatly changed, and the educa- 
tion they give should follow suit. 

Of the extraordinary ardour with which the French 
teachers have thrown themselves into the extraneous work 
connected with the school, a few words must be said. Many 
of these works of supererogation are performed by the 
Enghsh teacher, but nothing like to the same extent. One 
thing we might copy is the mutualite scolaire, or the system 
of old age pensions, which starts in the elementary school. 
Had the children's fees in English schools been devoted to 
this purpose instead of being abolished, we might have 
created with a stroke of the pen a complete system of 
old age pensions. 

Allusion has been already made to the evening classes 
and lectures carried on by teachers in connection or not with 
old boys' clubs. Some idea of the magnitude of the work 
may be gathered from the fact that in 1900 the number of 
people attending these lectures amounted to 3 J millions. 
It is not necessary to dilate on the value of these good works 
in bringing together parents and teachers in the rural 
districts, in brightening village Ufe, and in stimulating and 
consoUdating village interests. Let it suffice to say that in 
many places it is helping the schoolmaster to become the 
" lay rector " of the parish. 

Such then is the sketch of the French school, and especially 
of the French rural school, I have to offer you. Incomplete 
and superficial as it is it may nevertheless perhaps produce 
on you some faint impression of the effect it produced on me 
by the thoroughness of the organization, by the capability 
of the expert element in supervision and guidance, by the 


rare enthusiasm and self-devotion of the teachers, and by 
the correlation of subjects and the coherence of aim that 
distinguish the curriculum of the primary school. 

Of course there are blots : in some places the supervision is 
too drastic, the intrusion of poUtics too obvious, the teach- 
ing is lukewarm, and part of the programme remains un- 
realized. But judged en hloc — and I think my opinion will 
be endorsed by my colleague, Mr. Medd, of whose com- 
petence I do not need to speak here — the general efficiency 
of the school is certainly remarkable. Mr. Medd and myself 
wrote entirely independent reports, yet anyone must notice 
that on all great questions we somewhat arrived at practi- 
cally identical conclusions. 

And this brings me to the last and most difficult part of 
the problem. How does the school stand in relation to 
the rural problem ? Is it a power for good, or does it merely 
help to accentuate the rural crisis ? Judging by what I saw 
and heard, the French school is not out of sympathy with 
the home. At the time of my visit its struggle with the 
Church was distinctly on the wane, while the school is 
certainly in good odour among the vast majority of country 
folk. The great mass of those one interviewed asstiredly 
did not look on it as an engine for setting boys against the 
land or increasing the longing for town Ufe. 

Yet so much has been said, often unfairly, against the 
EngUsh rural school, such extravagant ideas have been 
advanced about the extent of its evil influence, that a state- 
ment of the French rural problem may help to open the 
eyes of those people who apparently think that a few changes 
in the school curriculum would prove a "cure-all" for every 
ill the countryside is heir to. Let us first consider, very 
briefly, the French rural problem, and then we shall be able 
to see whether and to what extent the school exercises an 
alleviating or an aggravating influence. 

Here again, of course, one can only speak of the five depart- 
ments which one visited ; yet lying as they did on the 
borderland between north and south they are probably 
typical of a great many other departments. 

Speaking broadly, then, local industries except when 


grouped round centres like Flers and Lisieux seem to be 
declining. The village industries, once such a feature of 
these parts, are practically extinct. Agriculture while not 
the prosperous thing it was under the Empire (a matter that 
still makes the older peasant a Bonapartist at heart) has 
certainly improved during the last ten years, though land 
has fallen one-third in value. In many places the yield per 
acre of corn has doubled, thanks to the use of artificial 
manures. Dairy-farming and cattle-breeding are flourish- 
ing, except where the foot-and-mouth disease is prevalent ; 
but the great change from arable to pasture has had a bad 
effect on the peasant. It has made him more lazy than he 
was. Horse-breeding, especially for the remounts (the 
French prefer encouraging home industries to buying 
" screws " in Hungary), is a pajdng business, and hundreds 
of thousands of fowls and milUons of eggs are sent from these 
districts to Leadenhall Market. 

The cider districts are the most prosperous in France. If 
the apple crop is a failure owing to the wet, the hay crop 
grown under the trees is usually heavy : if the season is too 
dry for hay, the apple crop is a bumper one. The vine 
districts seem to have turned the comer, and nearly every- 
where vine-growers are making money. The new method 
of replanting and grafting have robbed the phylloxera of its 
worst terrors. Agriculture has been immensely aided by 
the estabUshment of agricultural professors, who not only 
conduct local experiments but analyse soils, suggest the 
proper manures, and encourage co-operative purchase on a 
large scale. Much again has been done by the construction 
of light railways, the foundation of agricultural shows, the 
creation of syndicates among the farmers for buying 
manures, implements, and pedigree bulls. Some of these 
societies run into thousands of members. 

Mutual assurances against loss of crops or cattle are very 
widely practised, although co-operative selling is in its 
infancy. But le manque de bras c'esi la plaie du pays. 
Labour is getting ever scarcer. The harvests would stand 
rotting in the fields if the foreigners did not arrive in shoals 
to reap them or the Ministry of War did not allow the 


soldiers to go and lend a hand. Still the sons of the land- 
owning class no longer flock to Paris as they did. But the 
landless men still go. The attractions are higher wages, 
the glamour of town life and conscription. Half the 
rural conscripts, says one authority, never come back 
to till the soil. Those interested in preserving our village 
life had better note this when they hear conscription 
mooted in England. 

Another cause of the depopulation is the low birth-rate. 
This is due in part to the love of comfort which restricts the 
number of children in the family, and to the absurd system 
of inheritance. " The Enghsh system of primogeniture," 
says a witty Frenchman, " confines the number of fools to 
one per family ; we French have f oimd a method for render- 
ing the whole family imbeciles." Certainly the division of 
property in assuring to each child a pittance, is a great 
incentive to slackness and lack of enterprise. But the chief 
cause of depopulation is alcoholism. Fifty years ago France 
was probably the most temperate country in the world. 
Now it is by far the greatest consumer of alcohol. Accord- 
ing to statistics France consumes annually 14 litres of pure 
alcohol at 100 per cent, per head. We only come a bad 
sixth in the list with 9.23 litres, but even our record looks 
black beside Canada's figure of 2.63 litres per head. 

The cause of all this paradoxically was the phylloxera, 
which, by making wine comparatively dear, drove the 
people to beetroot spirit, absintihe, and other deadly poisons. 
The effects have been appaUing. In Rouen a workman's 
morning breakfast often consists of slices of bread served in 
a soup tureen containing a htre or half a litre of spirit ; the 
coffee even is left out. The same soup is not infrequently 
served at the evening meal, and this is the fare the children 
are brought up on. The whole race seems threatened. 
In the fourteen years between 1874-1888 the number of 
recruits in the northern departments unfit for service had 
increased sixfold, and in the district of Domfront there are 
some cantons in which, owing to the prevalence of alcohol- 
ism, the recruiting of young conscripts is becoming almost 
impossible. The asylums are filled up with these alcohohcs. 


In that of Alenfon 60 per cent, of the males and 70 per cent, 
of the women belong to this category. 

In the hght of the above facts it is clear that the higher 
primary school may do something for industry ; the agri- 
cultural education given in the primary and higher schools 
should make the pupils they turn out more anxious to follow 
the profession of their fathers and to profit by the services 
of the agricultural professor. But the other problems are 
clearly beyond the competence of the school to solve, except 
that of alcoholism, and here the teachers, though rather in 
the towns, have already started a vigorous campaign to 
rouse the younger generation to its dangers. 

So much then for the school and its services to the 
locality. But the French, while not unheedful of local 
needs, none the less recognize that the school has also a 
national and a world-wide aim. They do not forget that 
it is the nursery of the citizen of to-niorrow, and true to the 
teaching of the French Revolution they are far from neglect- 
ing the claims of humanity. While the French secondary 
school represents in some ways the quintessence of the cul- 
ture of the past, the French primary school embodies to a 
certain extent some of the newest and most modern ideals 
in education. 

Their ways are probably not altogether our ways. Their 
aiins may differ, but the principles they have set before 
them seem well worthy of our consideration and imitation. 
They desire to give the pupil a practical education, to render 
him as much as possible in sympathy with his present and 
with his future surroundings ; but they none the less desire 
to keep his education general. They do not degrade the 
literary side of the curriculum, but transform it by choosing 
more suitable subjects. They try, in a word, to combine 
the education of the enlightened worker with that of the 
enlightened citizen. 


The teaching of la morale in France is far from being 
perfect, but that is a disability it largely shares with other 
subjects. Further, owing to its comparatively recent intro- 
duction into the curriculum, it has, like every other new 
subject, laboured under the disadvantage of having to de- 
fine its content and evolve its methods. At the outset it 
undoubtedly aimed too high, but every year efforts are 
being made to bring it down to the children's level. Again, 
it started by being too individuaUstic, but this mistake is 
now being rectified by the greater prominence given to the 
doctrines of solidarity. It has even developed in certain 
individuals sundry heretical tendencies, but that is a feature 
that is also common to all known religions. 

We must also make allowance for the fact that the 
organization of moral instruction has taken place " under 
fire " from one of the most powerful rehgious bodies in the 
world, whose teachers have been evicted wholesale from the 
schools. Personally, one may deplore that it has broken so 
completely with what I would caJl by a paradox the meta- 
physics of the unknown and the imseen, though I am not 
so sure whether, in having practically excluded the religious 
element, it will not the more readily bring to light in the 
end certain elemental needs that appear to be latent in 
every human soul and thereby ensure their recognition. I 
do not mean that this will necessarily produce a general 
return to Cathohcism, but I think it has yet to be proved 
that Positivism in its narrower sense will ever content the 
mass of mankind. 

But this line of thought is likely to carry us too far afield. 


What I want, if possible, to explain and illustrate here is the 
true inwardness, as I conceive it, of French moral instruc- 
tion, because it seems to be perpetually overlooked, ignored, 
or underrated by the majority of foreign observers, who, 
forgetting the golden rule not to chercher midi d quatorze 
heures, ailow fuU play to their preconceptions of education 
and moral instruction. They not unnaturally fail to find in 
the French system the strong points of their own, much less 
a recognition of the postulates on which their own is based. 
Accordingly, on their return home, they say they have 
nothing to learn from French education, which is only true 
as far as they themselves are concerned, and that the 
French system of teaching morals is more or less a sterile 
system of phrases and formulae, as often as not above the 
pupil's head, incapable of touching his feelings' and emotions, 
with no effect whatever on the training of his will — ^in a 
word, a sort of juvenile scholasticism. I venture to think 
that their error is profound. Of course, I freely grant that 
the French system of moral instruction is not made for 
export — ^it would probably be worthless if it were — ^yet if 
it can be shown that it is a natural outcome of the French 
system of education, it seems to me quite another matter to 
say that it is practically sterile or unsuitable for the French 
character, unless our critic is prepared to go the whole hog 
and condemn outright the whole of French education. 

To my mind, there are three possible ways of teaching 
moraHty, as, in fact, of teaching any other subject. You 
may teach the theory first, as is done stiU in most of the 
churches, who begin with a catechism — a sort of pocket 
atlas of Life and Eternity — which the small child of nine is 
supposed to master mainly for future use ; or you may 
teach theory and practice side by side ; or you may rely on 
the influence of the milieu and make practice, to all intents 
and purposes, your instrument. The last method is very 
successfully followed by the big public schools, in which we 
are told by certain critics that, in spite of chapel and 
Scripture lessons, the boys remain largely unconscious 
pagans. Personally I have a preference for the middle 
system, in which theory and practice go hand in hand. 


To propose gravely, as some do, to keep the child from 
all direct moral teaching until he is fourteen or fifteen is 
really nothing more nor less than modified Rousseauism, 
the " Vicaire Savoyard " being brought in three or four 
years earlier than in the eighteenth-century programme. I 
freely admit that the amount of theory should vary accord- 
ing to the environment of the child ; more prophylactic is 
necessary for the slum child than for the boy in a well- 
ordered home. But to refuse to help the child to codify his 
moral experiences as he goes along seems to me as unsound 
as the doctrine of the early modern language reformers, who 
would, if they could, have burnt all grammars. Imagine 
the prohibition of all English grammars to children imder 
fourteen, and the absurdity of the position becomes patent. 
Besides, a purely instinctive moraUty at its best is about as 
meritorious as that of the weU broken-in horse or thoroughly 
trained sheep-dog. 

Now it seems to me that the French system is faulty 
because it unduly exalts the theoretical side. Where, how- 
ever, its critics usually go wrong is that they condemn root 
and branch the theory itself. They don't, apparently, 
grasp the fact that the theory is so clear, so well put, so full 
of meaning to the French child that it makes a definite 
appeal to his emotions. On the other hand, the distinctively 
English fashion of making morality mainly consist of right 
habits seems to me to rely too much on the practical side. 
But vis consili expers mole ruit sua. It would seem, there- 
fore, that an ideal education in conduct should be one 
which, while taking full cognizance of national idiosjm- 
crasies, should appeal ahke to the reason, as in France, and 
to the will, as in England. 

No doubt the average EngUshman wiU declare with indig- 
nation that I have taken an extreme case, and that the 
training of the will in England does, as a rule, include an 
appeal to the reason as well. I concede that we have some 
intellectual training, but its inadequacy is shown by the 
widespread discontent with existing methods. But, in 
return, I ask him to concede — what the majority of critics 
of the French system have hitherto refused to concede — 


that, granted that the French system does appeal too 
exclusively to the rational faculties, it does also appeal to 
the emotions, which are the raw material of the will ; and I 
wiU try to prove, or at least to indicate, that my contention 
is weU grounded. 

If EngUsh education is based on the belief of the efficacy 
of an appeal to the will of the child, French education is 
based on a similar behef in the efficacy of an appeal to his 
reason. This appeal is not confined to the school : it begins 
within the family itself. The Uttle child of two or three, 
when appealed to by its mother, is not told to be good or not 
to be naughty ; but the exact words used are " Sois sage ! " 
or " Sois raisonnable ! " To tell an Enghsh child to be 
reasonable would be an absurdity. It is the ordinary term 
of the nursery (if I may use the word) in France. 

Of course, I do not mean to imply that the small child of 
two or three understands all that is meant by the word sage 
or raisonnable. The point is that his ideas of conduct grow 
up and associate themselves around such words as sage and 
raisonnable. He is, in fact, brought up under the regime of 
reason, and his rules for conduct are couched in rational 
formulae. The psychology on which the theory of education 
is based is undoubtedly too exclusively intellectual, but is not 
the current underljdng the psychology of the English nursery 
equally incomplete in what it lacks in the opposite direction? 

I do not know whether the French system of education is 
the cause of the precocity of French children, which is not 
the precocity of the street arab, but a real intellectual pre- 
cocity. Maybe it is due to race or cUmate, but the fact re- 
mains that the young French boy of twelve or thirteen is as 
intellectually mature in some ways as the Enghsh boy of 
fifteen or sixteen. This is a fact constantly lost sight of by 
foreign critics when they condemn the programme as too 
abstract in form. Not only is the whole school curriculum 
permeated by the logical idea, but the very Uterature on 
which the pupil is nurtured presupposes a sort of tacit belief 
in the raison suffisante. 

The whole of French literature since the seventeenth 
century is, with certain exceptions, saturated with the behef 


in reason, as set forth in the doctrines of Descartes, the 
encyclopaedists, or the dogmas of the French Revolution. 
Boileau made reason the soul of poetry, and he was merely 
the representative of his age, which was, according to 
Nisard, with the exception of Moli^re, almost entirely Car- 
tesian. For Voltaire and the encyclopaedists reason was the 
one bulwark of the human race against authority ; Robes- 
pierre's Feast of Reason was but the logical outcome of the 
eighteenth-century teaching. The great majority of nine- 
teenth-century literature is profoundly affected by the poUti- 
cal and social struggles that have agitated France for the 
past hundred years. But whether the struggle has been for 
political power or social justice both parties have had to use 
the same weapon — the logical appeal to the national sense of 
right and wrong. It is therefore clear, I think, that the 
atmosphere inside and outside the schools, in which the 
French child grows up, is essentially a logical one. 

But to say that French education is merely logic seems 
to me to be stating a half-truth. I would rather define it as 
logic touched with emotion. Abstract reasoning, no doubt, 
leaves everyone cold, but reason that appeals to motives is 
Uke a lever that at once sets the emotions in motion. And 
this is what actually occurs in French education. The 
language of reason, being appUed to control emotional 
crises, even if they be only nursery tears, speedily assumes 
an emotional cast ; and this is only natural, for the emotions 
are there, and if they are prevented by educational tradition 
from developing their own vocabulary, they must inevitably 
tinge, if not entirely colour, expressions that originally were 
purely intellectual — let alone the fact that the average man 
does not keep his inteUigence in one compartment, his 
morals in another, and his emotions in another, however 
much he may isolate and insulate, or partly disconnect, his 
conscience from large tracts of his daily hfe. 

This overlapping tendency may be weU illustrated by the 
analysis of the word raison, of which the uses are far wider 
than the corresponding English word. They intrude, in 
fact, into the moral domain and even into the sphere of 
action. It is probable that some of these more varied uses 


are reminiscences of the original meanings of ratio ; but if 
this is the case, it is French exigencies which have kept these 
meanings ahve in the French when they have died out or 
never taken root in EngUsh. Note, for instance, the moral 
nuances existing in the uses of avoir raison (to be in the 
right), donner raison d quelqu'un (own that some one is in 
the right), dire avec raison (rightly, justly, equitably), en- 
tendre raison (to comply with something just), comme de 
raison (as is just), pour valoir ce que de raison (in equity), 
entrer en raison avec quelqu'un (to remonstrate, reason 
together — as to rights and wrongs), lui demander raison de 
quelque chose (ask him to justify himself), rendre raison de 
quelque chose (justify), point de raison I (no justification). 

Note, again, the nuance of action impUed in the phrases 
avoir raison de ses vices (get the better of his vices), demander 
raison au tyran (challenge, attack), faire raison {render 
justice), conter ses raisons (business). But the full 
strength of the word raison is best seen or felt in such 
phrases as raison suffisante (sovereign reason) or raison d'etre 
or raison d'Uat. How much more fundamental is raison 
d'Uat (suggesting, if necessary, the life and death of the 
State being at stake) than " reasons of State " — the very 
plural in EngUsh showing how far weaker the meaning of the 
EngUsh word is, though how typical of the English mind, 
with its greater sensitiveness to the number of factors to be 
considered ! 

If the above considerations are weU founded, it is prob- 
able that much that seems to the bulk of foreign observers 
either wooden or sterile is usually as fuU of meaning and 
significance to the pupil as, say, the whole gamut of the 
theological vocabulary is to an inteUigent young Calvinist 
brought up in a strictly pious EngUsh family, Uke the author 
of Father and Son. What, in fact, to the English observer 
appear to be mere sterile symbols are to the French child not 
merely intelligible, but fraught with meaning and sugges- 
tion, because they are largely the language of everyday Ufe 
and Uterature. There is in France no separate philo- 
sophical or theological phraseology to darken counsel in the 
child's mind. 


No doubt there is a certain gain in the double vocabulary 
as far as theology is concerned ; but it is dearly purchased 
in the case of those who think they can worship in one lan- 
guage on Sunday and outwit their neighbour in another for 
the rest of the week, as Herbert Spencer pointed out. What 
I want to insist on here is not merely the value, but the 
vitaUty, the vivida vis, of inteUigible sjmibols. Foreign 
observers seem to condemn all symbols which are unf amihar 
to the children of their own people, forgetting that even the 
common folk have been ready to slay and be slain for such 
an abstract thing as the omission of an iota when they 
grasped its tremendous importance. 

But I would push the analysis, if possible, yet one step 
further. Not only do I think the real raison d'etre of the 
logical education is that it seems to the French mind the 
most intelUgible way of reaching the child's emotions 
through the discipUnary categories of reason, but its ulti- 
mate sanction appears to me to rest on something even 
deeper than the ideal that man should be a creature of 
thought, as weU as of action. It is based, consciously or 
unconsciously, on the sentiment of personality, the adytum 
of our being, the last solid foundation, ere we descend into 
the vast and endless catacombs of the subconscious and the 

I venture to think that the craving for the unification of 
one's personaUty — the instinct for physical, mental, and 
moral self-unity — ^is quite as fundamental and primordial 
as the instinct for action. Both are, in fact, but different 
facets of the same desire for self-realization, which, whether 
it postulates a soul or not, recognizes in the individual the 
necessary unit in any system calling itself a cosmos. I do not 
say, for one moment, we should at once attempt consciously 
to individualize the child. The result, if successful, could 
only be something miserably stunted and stereotyped, but 
surely we should prepare for its gradual realization, as I 
hope, in conclusion, to show. 

The truth is, the moment that children begin to reflect — 
and they do so at a very early age — they want to inquire 
into the why and wherefore of conduct just as much as into 


the why and wherefore of anything else. Nurses and 
parents do their best to stifle this spirit of free inquiry by 
discouraging questions. They thus maintain an environ- 
ment more or less hostile to the legitimate development of 
curiosity. The public schools are generally equally success- 
ful in damping down the remains of these searchings of 
heart by speedily impressing on each newcomer that what- 
ever is, is right in their particular milieu. Happy the small 
boy who does not lose his sense of wonder and curiosity in 
intellectual matters as well ! 

But even the boy who lives in a definite and regulated 
atmosphere at home or at school reaches a time when, if he 
is not a mere drifter intellectually and morally, he asks him- 
self : " Why am I here ? what am I to Uve for ? what is 
my hereafter ? " and a hundred other questions about 
conduct besides. He realizes that he must have definite 
standards to hve by, and becomes aware of the discrepancies 
of the various codes under which he has hitherto been 
living in bUssful unconsciousness. He sees, in a word, the 
need of an ideal to live for. A conscious or unconscious ideal 
is, in fact, a sine qua non of hfe. It may be merely the work- 
ing hypothesis of getting all the pleasure one can out of life. 
It may, in fact, be something infinitely degrading. But it 
is no paradox to say that it is better not to have enough 
to live on than to have nothing to live for. Millionaires 
commit suicide because that one essential is lacking, and the 
chief thing that keeps the dram and drug drinkers, apart 
from the fear of death, from ending their miserable lives is 
the prospective joys of intoxication or obUvion. 

If this is true, then surely the province of moral teaching 
is to provide humanity — directly or indirectly — ^with the 
highest ideals it can reasonably attain or assimilate. This 
involves not merely the formation of right habits, but also 
of right thinking — ^not merely of right-mindedness. Socrates 
declared that virtue could be taught, and Tennyson has said 
the same thing when he declared, " we needs must love the 
highest when we see it " — an apphcation of the Cartesian 
theory that an idea may be so clear as to become irresistible. 
We in England have clung too exclusively to the opposite 


theory of training. I fully believe that, being English and 
not French, we have been essentially right in the main, but 
I as fully beUeve that if more will-training would be good in 
France, a certain amount of carefully administered theory 
would not be amiss in the teaching of moraUty in England 
in the form either of definite moral instruction or of ampli- 
fied and modernized religious teaching. In a word, virtue 
must be taught as well as practised.^ 

1 Note. — (1913.) The aesthetic and emotional factors in French 
education are well illustrated by a delicate piece of analysis by that 
well-known cosmopoUtan writer Claire de Pratz, who in her book 
France from Within points out that a French mother will say to a 
child who is doing wrong, " Ce que tu fais n'est pas beau " (beautiful !), 
and if this does not avail she adds, " Tu fais de la peine k ta mSre " 
(appeal to the emotions). Compare with this our normal English 
discipline — " Won't you be good ? " possibly followed by an appeal 
to physical force — a quaint illustration of doing evil that good may 


A Monograph included in the Report of the Royal 
Commission on Physical Training (Scotland) 

The Beginnings of Physical Education. The necessity 
of building up the nation after the war of 1870 induced the 
French statesmen of the day to pay increased attention to 
education of all kinds, including physical. Jules Simon, in 
his book on the reform of secondary education, declared that 
the scholastic contempt for health and hygiene had been a 
potent factor in the disasters that had befallen the nation. 
The reforms in physical education took the shape of gym- 
nastics and military exercises, the chief aim in view being 
the preparation of the rising generation for their future 
share in the national defence. The hands of those who 
took this patriotic view of physical education were greatly 
strengthened by the growing danger of a fresh invasion 
towards 1876. 

G5annastics with apparatus were everywhere rendered 
obhgatory, and the movement in favour of miUtary drill 
culminated in the creation of regular cadet corps in the 
schools, both primary and secondary. These cadet corps 
were known by the name of bataillons scolaires. As these 
cadet corps, after a briUiant debut, feU into discredit, 
and later on into complete ridicule, it is probably worth 
while giving a fairly full view of the causes of their inception, 
and particularly of their failure, since there is often as much 
to be learnt from experiments which have failed as from 
those which have been successful. Besides, the subject has 
some interest for us in this country, as there is to-day a 
distinct movement in favour of estabhshing some form or 
another of military drill in all the schools. 


The Cadet Corps. The chief cause of the foundation 
of these corps was the desire to make the school a sort of 
nursery for the future defenders of the country. The idea 
was naturally most widely adopted in the large centres of 
population, and especially at Paris. The children were 
armed with wooden swords and muskets, and provided with 
special uniforms. There were fifes, trumpets, and drums. 
Some of the children were appointed non-commissioned 
officers. The higher posts were filled by the sergeant- 
instructors, aided by several officiers de riserve, who 
were only too glad to air their uniform. Regular parades 
and reviews wfere held in the Garden of the Tuileries and 
elsewhere. Those whom I consulted on the subject ad- 
mitted that the object in view of accustoming the child 
from its earliest years to consider itself the natural defender 
of its country was an excellent one, but they, one and all, 
declared the movement in France had been a complete fiasco. 

Causes of Failure. A good many reasons were given. 
The cost to the town was altogether out of proportion to 
the results obtained, and the results themselves were un- 
satisfactory rather than satisfactory. The children, espe- 
cially those who were made non-commissioned oflScers, 
affected the manners and language of the drill sergeants, 
who imported into the playground the phraseology of the 
barracks. The teachers began to take alarm at their 
children, who swore and expectorated after the most 
approved mihtary fashion. Then, again, the children who 
had been made corporals and sergeants tjrrannized over the 
others. The discipUne was often very slack. One witness 
told me of a case in which he saw a real colonel surrounded 
by his youthful recruits, who kept him a virtual prisoner 
by crowding round him, while those in his rear decorated his 
uniform with elaborate designs in chalk. 

But the teachers were not the only opponents of the move- 
ment ; the regular officers were also hostile. Experience 
showed that the children who had left the school at thirteen 
or fourteen had mostly forgotten what they had learnt when 
they became soldiers at nineteen and twenty. This was not, 
however, an unmitigated loss, as it was generally admitted 


that the young people who had taken part in these exercises 
had, as a rule, a good deal more to unlearn than those who 
came to the barracks without any preliminary training. 
Started in 1873, the last of the bataillons scolaires were 
suppressed in 1890. The moral of the whole experiment 
was summed up to me by one witness in the following 
words : " It is just as necessary to give the body a general 
training as it is to give the mind. Speciahzation must come 
later. To expect to make a soldier of a boy of ten is as 
sensible as to try to make a boy of the same age into a 
dentist." 1 

Gymnastics. This does not imply that the French 
have given up all idea of utilizing the school as a prepara- 
tion for the regiment. On the contrary, the gymnastics, 
with or without apparatus, were until recently far too much 
of a miUtary tj^e. While the bataillons scolaires have 
fallen out altogether, the societies of gymnastics still exist, 
though their career has been rather a chequered one. Up 
to 1887 the number of the private societies, recruited mainly 
from the primary schools, increased. Their numbers then 
remained stationary for several years, and have since de- 
cUned. The reasons for this falling off are several. Their 
most severe critics have been those who have made a study 
of physical education on scientific Unes. 

Objections to the French Gymnastics. It has been 
shown that the exercises with apparatus are often injurious 
to those who are weakly constituted. Besides, the whole 
aim of such a system is to form rather acrobats than well- 
developed and well-proportioned individuals. Instead of 
seeking to increase the respiratory powers, its chief object 
is the formation of muscle. During the last year or 
two, however, a great effort has been made to introduce 
the Swedish exercises, or at least the principles under- 
lying them. The opposition has been very bitter on the 

1 Note. — (1913.) The Boy Scouts movement has just been intro- 
duced into France with apparently good results. The inevitable 
religious difficulty has, however, arisen, owing to the question of the 
scouts swearing allegiance to the Divinity, and two rival societies 
have been formed, Les ficlaireurs de France and Les £claireurs 

E.E. P 


part of the military instructors brought up under the old 

All sorts of reasons have been advanced, not forgetting 
the patriotic. But, as one critic has pointed out, the so- 
called French system is really German, having been adopted 
in France after passing by Spain. Still the theories of which 
M. Demeny of Paris, and M. Tissi6 of Bordeaux, are advo- 
cates, appear to be getting the upper hand to-day, so much 
so that at the miUtary school of JoinviUe le Pont, at which 
the military instructors for the army are formed, M. Demeny 
has now a class of his own. As these instructors become 
later on professors of gymnastics in the lycees and primary 
schools, it is evident that the gymnastique raisonnee, as 
it is called, is sure of success in the long run. 

Gymnastics in the Primary Schools. An important 
Commission in 1887 was nominated to revise the pro- 
gramme of g5^mnastics. Their new programme, issued in 
1890, was followed by an official manual on gymnastic 
exercises and school games. This, however, was merely a 
book in which the teacher could pick and choose, and no 
indication was given as to how the teacher should form for 
himself a scientific course of instruction for his pupils. This 
gap was filled in 1899 by the publication of a volume by M. 
Demeny, entitled, L'Exercice a l'£cole, in which a number 
of graduated courses were suggested. 

French v. Swedish. Meanwhile the old battle between 
the so-called ^ French methods and the Swedish had been 
gradually fought out in the schools. The chief argu- 
ment of the opponents of the Swedish system was that the 
spirit of the training given on the Swedish system was not 
in sympathy with the temperament of the French child, 
who has the greatest difficulty in remaining still or con- 
centrating his attention for any length of time. 

The Swedish method triumphed nevertheless, and to-day, 
although the new exercises ^ have only been introduced into 

^ French here means the old gymnastic methods, 

^ The thoroughness and scientific nature of these exercises may be 
judged by the fact that before they were adopted in the schools tiiey 
were submitted to the Faculty of Medicine, who approved of them 


the Paris schools since October, 1901, the children have made 
excellent progress, thanks to the twenty-five teachers that 
M. le Colonel Derue, inspector of gymnastics to the city of 
Paris, has been able to gather round him and train. Part 
of his success, no doubt, is due to the fact that the professors, 
though appointed by the town, are selected by himself. 

Description of a Girls' School. I saw several large 
classes of girls, one amounting to ninety pupils, under- 
going a course of Swedish drill at the command of a lady 
instructor. There was very little shirking, the precision 
was very fair, and the discipline unimpeachable. The 
directress of the school, who was present, told me she had 
already remarked a distinct improvement in the deportment 
of the girls. The exercises were interspersed with short 
marching exercises, concluding with a pas-de-quatre step. 

During these exercises the children sang various rounds 
and ballads. The younger ones also sang while playing at 
catch-ball — a game at which some of them were not very 
expert. The practice of singing was much criticized at the 
International Congress of 1900, but provided it is restricted 
to marching exercises it has certainly a good effect on the 
pupils. There are no pianos in the schools ; the cost of 
supplying them seems to be too great. The exercises took 
place in the covered playground, and it was somewhat re- 
markable not to see a single window open. In fine weather 
they take place in the open playground. 

Description of a Boys' School. In the boys' schools, in 
addition to these exercises, the pupils are taught a certain 
amount of mihtary drill, including la boxe, which is roughly 
an exercise of arms and legs without apparatus. In one 
school I visited the military instructor took up a position at 
the side of the open playground and blew his whistle. In- 
stantly the boys, who had not been warned, came tumbling 
out of the class-rooms, and in one minute forty seconds 
the whole 800 children had taken up their position in the 
playground in regular lines, with the masters beside them. 
They then proceeded to perform with precision several 
simple military exercises, after which the instructor dis- 
missed them, and kept back one class which he put through 


various military exercises, such as forming fours, etc. In 
this case the drill took place in the open playground, but 
although in the open air the smell of the latrines was 
unpleasantly obvious. 

In aU these cases the exercises are more or less the same 
for all classes, and no initiative is left at all to the instructor. 
There seems, therefore, a possible danger that teachers and 
taught may find them in the long run monotonous, though 
at present I did not see any sign of this. 

The instruction given by the official instructor only 
amounts to half an hour per week for each class, an amount 
that the inspector himself regards as woefully inadequate. 

The R8le of Teacher. This is indeed supplemented by 
another half-hour in which the exercises are repeated by 
the teacher of the class, but the time is sometimes spUt 
into two quarters, which renders it thereby insufficient. 
Moreover, the teacher, so I was told in more than one 
quarter, is not always equal to the task. Unfortunately 
the teaching given in many of the normal schools is not at 
present adapted to enable the teachers to give the right 
sort of training in the primary schools, though teachers are 
encouraged to obtain at the school a gjonnastic certificate, 
with a view to earning the prize given by the city of Paris 
to those who possess it. 

Still the Administration is anxious to see the instruction 
largely given by the teachers. M. Bayet, the Director of 
Primary Instruction, told me that in Switzerland the physi- 
cal education is given by the ordinary teachers in the normal 
schools, or, in fact, as it is often given in our London 
schools, only instead of the teacher receiving additional 
pay, the hours he puts in in teaching g5minastics count 
the same as the hours devoted to teaching French or 
mathematics in the total number of hours he is supposed 
to work per week. 

Gymnastics in Country Schools. G3nnnastics and miU- 
tary drill in country schools are largely regarded as an 
optional subject. In some sixty schools that I visited two 
years ago, in North-west France, I only came across a few 
instances in which they were taught. As one teacher 


pointed out to me, the children got, as a rule, enough 
exercise by trudging to school and playing among them- 
selves. What is often wanted in the country, however, is 
not the cultivation of muscle, but the cultivation of adroit- 
ness and agility and handiness ; in fact, the problem in the 
country is exactly the reverse of that in the towns, where 
the children are nimble-fingered enough, but lack the 
physique of the rural lad. It is curious to note that in 
some programmes of school work the " school walk " is 
ranked under the heading of gymnastics. 

Kindergarten. In the kindergarten the gymnastics 
are naturally confined to singing, games, and simple 
manoeuvres. I visited one school in which the children 
sang and performed some of the simple movements ; they 
were rather hstless, but it is only fair to state it was near 
the end of the afternoon. 

Higher Primary Schools. I was told there was not 
much to be learnt in the Paris higher primary schools for 
boys distinct from what is done in the elementary and 
secondary schools. The head of one of the two higher 
primary schools for girls informed me that the gymnastic 
programme of the school was taken out of the general pro- 
gramme, the selection being made by the teacher of gym- 
nastics and herself. Very httle use is made of apparatus. 
They had given up the employment of staves from lack of 
space. The exercises took place either out of doors or in 
the covered playground. An attempt has been made to get 
the teaching given by the ordinary teachers attached to the 
school, a plan the directress preferred in the abstract, but 
it had not been successful. 

Continuation Classes. There are no official evening 
classes in France for those who have left the primary 
schools, though much has been done by private societies 
and teachers in creating patronages and associations d'anciens 
eUves. In many cases the school is used as the meeting- 
place, and a certain amount of gymnastics and dancing goes 
on, but as the associations are under no control there is no 
unity of method in the gymnastics as practised in these 


Normal Schools. In the normal schools a consider- 
able amount of time is given to gymnastics, but, as has 
been already stated, it is not always of the kind calculated 
to make the teacher an instructor in simple gymnastics for 
the school. Thus in comparatively few normal schools for 
women are Swedish exercises taught. StiU the time given 
to the subject — three hours a week— permits both the men 
and women in the different normal schools to gain a 
certificate in the subject. At Auteuil I saw a certain 
amount of drilling out of doors, combined with mihtary 
exercises of the foot and hand [la boxe). Several exercises 
on the horizontal bar were very well done. The professor 
told me that he every year " created " fresh movements, 
in order to prevent monotony. 

The gymnasium had the advantage of having one side 
completely open to the air. Like all the others that I saw, 
the floor was covered with sawdust. According to the pro- 
fessor, the pupils learn aU the more common mihtary 
manoeuvres, and they dance also among themselves twice 
a week. The gymnasium also is always open, so they can 
practise whenever they like. In addition, they teach gym- 
nastics in the practising schools, so that when they leave 
they are efficient in every way. I was told that in aU 
schools the use of the musket had been suppressed. I 
came across one school, however, in the coimtry in which 
it is still retained. In the other schools the pupQs now use 
staves in their place in the gymnastic portion of their drill. 

Fire Brigade. In one school in the country that I 
visited I saw the pupils of the first year had been formed 
into a fire brigade. I saw them at practice, and they 
certainly worked with a wiU. They had already received 
their baptism of fire at a conflagration in the neighbourhood. 
The practice might certainly be extended to other schools 
with advantage. 

Secondary Education. As for the gjrmnastics in the 
lycSe, they have never been really obhgatory, except for 
the boarders. The day boys take an interest more or less 
in them. Thus of some thousand day pupils at College 
Rollin, about 400 attend the gsminastic classes. A few 


years ago, so I was informed, the subject was so unpopular 
with the boys in some lycSes that the winner of the prize 
for gyirinastics did not dare to go up for his prize for fear 
of being jeered at by his fellows. This spirit cannot, how- 
ever, extend to all the schools, as at the CoUege Chaptal, 
which is in part a secondary school, there are supplementary 
classes for those who care to pay for them, and they are 
well attended. 

In these schools, as elsewhere, the instruction is given by 
anciens sous-officiers, who are often also employed in the 
primary schools. The exercises themselves are largely 
taken out of the big manual published by the Ministry. 
Nominally there is a general inspector, but as he never 
appears in the schools, each teacher makes up his own pro- 
gramme. The time given to the subject seems to vary. 
At the College Rollin the pupils have three half-hours a 

I saw several classes at exercise in this school. The 
dumb-bells in use for boys of sixteen and seventeen seemed 
far too heavy, weighing something hke 13 pounds ; the 
smaller boys had also dumb-bells weighing from 4^ to 9 
pounds. The exercises consisted of various dumb-beU 
movements, varied with practice on the horizontal bar, 
which was a mere bar of iron uncased with wood, or else 
consisted of rope and ladder climbing. The professors had 
sixteen hours' work a week. 

At Chaptal, which is partly a higher primary and partly 
a secondary school, gymnastics are obligatory. The number 
of hours per week is two. Here each lesson consists of 
twenty minutes of Swedish exercises, followed by forty 
minutes of mihtary exercises with dumb-bells or other 
apparatus. I was present at a supplementary class. One 
squad practised on the horizontal bar, the other took 
a turn at jumping off a spring-board, and then had a lesson 
in rope-climbing. In the latter the teacher rightly laid 
stress on the chmbing being done hand over hand, in order 
to develop each arm evenly. 

Competition between the Schools in Gymnastics. Every 
year there is at Paris a general competition in g3mi- 


nasties for the secondary and normal schools, in which 
the schools compete against one another either by single 
champions or by groups. Each school goes through, among 
other things, a selection of the exercises it has practised 
during the year, and this helps to keep the teaching in the 
different establishments more or less together. It was at 
the general competition of last year that the normal school 
of Auteuil, mentioned above, won the first prize. 

Athletics. There is, no doubt, a certain disciphne at- 
tached to the practice of gymnastics, but as a means for 
developing the character and individuality of the pupil they 
are obviously insufficient. Hence the necessity of combin- 
ing them, as far as possible, with the numerous games and 
sports, either individualistic or collective. This combina- 
tion found recognition in France in the composition of the 
official manual on physical exercises already alluded to. It 
also formed one of the chief subjects set down for discussion 
at the International Congress of 1900. 

This belief in the need of outdoor athletics was largely 
strengthened by the overwork in secondary schools that 
resulted from the alterations in the official programmes in 
1885. The Baron de Coubertin, to mention only one of the 
numerous reformers, came to England, saw and was con- 
quered by the system of education which obtains in our big 
public schools. 

(i) Recreative Side. Some of these reformers, it is true, 
only saw in the EngHsh system an excellent means of recrea- 
tion, supplying the requisite antidote to the over-pressure 
from which the French schools were suffering. Others, on 
the contrary, regarded the English games as a capital device 
for keeping their pupils out of mischief — the French boy, 
in the eyes of the majority of the teachers, is, to parody the 
words of Rousseau, born fundamentally wicked. 

(2) Pastimes. Here, however, the creators of new schools 
on the EngUsh model, such as MM. Demolins and Duhamel, 
have seen that for filUng up a boy's spEire time carpentry 
and other forms of manual work are distinctly preferable. 

(3) Discipline of Games. There remains, then, the third 
conception of outdoor games as a school for the will. The 


necessity for self-improvement in the case of anyone who 
desires to excel in games is in itself a liberal education, 
while the games in concert, such as football and rowing, 
provide an admirable field for the cultivation of social and 
public spirit. So truly is the British pubUc school a minia- 
ture republic, a training ground for civic life on a larger 
scale, where the pupils learn aUke to obey and to lead, that 
the celebrated French educator, the P^re Didon, after 
visiting Eton, said the boys who learn to command in the 
games there are learning to command the Indies. 

The First Phase of the Athletic Movement in France. The 
movement in favour of outdoor games and athletics in 
France took, however, at first a distinctly individuaUstic 
turn. The Lendit, as the annual championship founded by 
M. Grousset was caUed, was practically confined to competi- 
tions between the best individuals in each branch of ath- 
letics. This led in not a few cases to physical over-training, 
and had the unfortunate effect of revealing to French parents 
and school authorities the bad side of outdoor sports with- 
out bringing home to them the moral benefits derived 

In fact, the great obstacle to the development of athletics 
in France has been the opposition offered by parents and 
school authorities. Though much has been done for the 
education of these persons, much remains to be accom- 
phshed. BUnd by education to the advantages of games, 
both parties aHke dread them as a possible source of dis- 
traction to their boys. In the present fierce competition to 
enter the pubUc service, every hour given to exercise is apt 
to be regarded as an hour lost to work. 

The fear, again, of accidents is a potent factor with the 
French mother, and in the majority of cases the French 
mother is the btisiness head of the family, as far as the 
education of the children is concerned. The question is 
evidently bound up with the future education of French 

As for the teachers, the fear of accidents is also an 
important cause of their hostiUty, though the actual reason 
itself is different. Until recently they were held pecuniarily 


responsible for any accident to life or limb of the scholars 
under their charge. No matter however morally innocent 
the teacher was, he was legally liable. The classic instance 
— so M. Rabier, the Director of Secondary Education, told 
me — ^was that of a teacher who was condemned to pay for 
an injury which happened to one of his scholars in a fight 
with another, 300 yards from the school. Lately the law 
has been changed, and the State now assumes responsibility, 
reserving, however, to itself the right of making the teacher 
responsible if it thinks fit. Naturally, the average teacher 
still considers it is better to avoid accidents at any price, 
and therefore looks coldly on any form of exercise which 
may occasion them. 

None the less, the school athletic associations, which 
started in 1890, have managed to interest a certain number 
of secondary pupils in games, and a stiU larger number of 
associations have been founded by pupUs from the primary 
schools. A good instance of the progress is the Union of 
French Athletic Societies, which embraces some 340 societies 
and contains some 16,000 active members. 

Hindrances. The movement in the schools has, how- 
ever, not only suffered from the opposition of parents and 
professors ; it has also been undermined by those who ought 
to have served as its best friends. 

The larger athletic clubs for adults, such as the Racing 
Club, the Stade Fran9aise, etc., in their desire to augment 
their members and prestige, have treated the school associa- 
tions as a happy hunting-ground for providing members for 
their football and athletic teams. They have thereby 
greatly increased. The Racing Club has over 1000 mem- 
bers, but the effect on the school associations has been 
deplorable. The average boy of fifteen or sixteen cannot 
be expected to resist the blandishments which membership 
of a well-known club offers, more especially when he is 
expressly invited to join by the committee. 

The results have, however, been disastrous in the long run. 
Perpetually drained of their best blood, many of the school 
associations have either dwindled away or remained station- 
ary. Lacking the prestige that numbers alone can give. 


they fail to attract into their ranks more than a tithe of 
the pupils of the school. 

The evil does not end here. The vast majority of French 
students not having belonged to their school association, 
naturally fall into the idle and inactive ways of the Quartier 
Latin. To profit from the physical, and, above all, the 
moral advantages of athleticism, one must be caught 

Athletics in Primary Schools. As regards the pupils and 
former pupils of the primary schools, the most striking 
feature has been the enormous number who play at Associa- 
tion football every Simday in the Bois or the Fortifications. 
According to a competent authority they number thousands. 

Bicycling. The bicycle may also be mentioned here, 
not so much for its influence on the education of character, 
but for the immense impetus it has given to the French 
people generally to take exercise and live more out of doors. 
This is especially true of the female sex. 

Swimming. The number of scholars who take up 
swimming is likewise growing. Some of the primary 
school teachers take their pupils to the baths, and this 
custom also obtains in many of the religious private schools. 

Shooting. As regards shooting there exist a few school 
ranges at Paris, from thirteen to sixteen yards long. There 
are also six or seven targets at the municipal gymnasium 
in the Rue d'AUemagne. The children in the neighbouring 
primary schools who are nominated by their teachers for 
meritorious work go there and shoot. The range is also 
open to adults. The weapon generally employed is the 
small French carbine. The associations of former pupils 
also practise at the Stande Militaire at the Point du Jour 
near Auteuil, and use the Lebel rifle with a reduced charge. 
There is no long range in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Paris. There are a certain number of tir scolaire in the 
country ; I met with one or two when inspecting the 
schools, but they did not appear very numerous. In the 
same year there was a tir scolaire at Rouen for the whole of 
Normandy, but only fifteen schools competed. In two 
schools I found the teachers allowed certain of the elder 


pupils to fair e un carton (fire a set of rounds) once a week as 
a reward for good work. 

Medical Inspection. The French schools, both primary 
and secondary, are subject to medical inspection. 

(i) Primary Schools. In the towns, according to Dr. 
Philipp, the school doctors go round the primary schools 
twice a month. They inspect the buildings and sanitary 
arrangements, and the teachers point out to them any of 
the pupils who seem to need attention. In some schools 
they also examine in detail the teeth, eyes and ears of 
the scholars. In case of any epidemic the teacher is 
required to call in the doctor. Those children whom the 
doctor considers unfit to attend school are either sent home 
or to the hospital. In the former case they are attached as 
out-patients to a free dispensary, of which there are three or 
four in each arrondissement of Paris. The pay of a school 
doctor at Paris is £32 a year, and he has five groups of 
schools to look after. 

(2) In Secondary Boarding Schools. In secondary board- 
ing schools belonging to the State, the doctor generally pays 
a daily visit. A league founded by Dr. Mathieu to look 
after the lycUs has done a great deal of good ; great improve- 
ments have been made in the quality and variety of the food 
supphed in the State boarding schools owing to the efforts 
of the league. 

Absence of Statistics. I was unable to obtain statistics 
on physical education in France, and no one I consulted 
seemed to know whether any were procurable, but some 
might probably be obtained at the physical laboratory of 
the College de France. The only school I am aware of 
where statistics are kept of the growth and weight of the 
pupils is the newly founded College de Normandie, which is 
largely run on British lines. 

A Book of Health. A few doctors of Paris, however, 
have started a movement which may have, later on, far- 
reaching consequences. At the lying-in clinic of Dr. 
Budier the mothers are given a livret de saniS of their 
children, and encouraged to bring them every three months 
to the clinic. At first they could not understand the good 


of bringing their children when they were well. But now 
they have reaUzed that there is also a preventive side to 
medicine, and they are only too wiUing to bring their 
children, and listen to the doctor's advice on their bringing 
up. A similar livret de santS has been established at the 
school of Rambouillet, attended by the children of those 
soldiers who are too poor to bring them up. A similar 
sj^tem is about to be started at the establishment for re- 
cruits who have been rejected for some physical defect from 
the army. The difficulty against extending such a system 
lies in the material opposition of the parents, as a rule, 
to any detailed inquiry into the state of their own health. 

Physical Degeneration in the Towns. Two schemes for 
combating the general degeneration of urban populations 
are sufficiently important to be mentioned here. One is the 
system of planting out in the country the enfants moralement 
abandonnis, or pauper children, and the other is the colonie 
scolaire, or the sending into the country for a time ailing or 
sickly children in the towns. 

(i) Les Enfants Moralement Abandonnis. In the former 
case, the town of Paris has rescued some 50,000 children from 
certain ruin and degradation, and settled them out in the 
country with foster-parents. The latter are carefuUy 
watched, while the education of the children is safeguarded 
by the teachers under whom they are placed being remune- 
rated in such cases as when their pupils obtain the school 
certificate. To prevent any distinction between these and 
the other children of the village they are provided with the 
ordinary costume of the children of the peasants. I was 
assured by the municipal councillor who superintended the 
scheme about four years ago that 80 per cent, of these 
children remain in the country. 10 per cent, have the love 
of a city life too strong in their veins. They return to Paris, 
the city finds them situations, and they settle down. The 
remaining 10 per cent, are lost sight of, but this does not 
necessarily imply they have lapsed into a life of mendicity 
or crime. 

(2) Colonies Scolaires. The school colonies take two 
forms. In the one case the arrondissement hires or borrows 


a boarding school in the country during the summer holi- 
days, to which it sends several hundred children. In the 
other case, it acquires a former chdteau in the country, to 
which it despatches relays of children during the year. The 
ordinary duration of stay is three weeks. In the majority 
of cases the locaUty is an inland one. The children are 
selected by the head teachers ; the very poor and aihng are 
taken by preference. Each child must be at least ten years 
old. In a school of 800, the headmistress told me she was 
requested last year to select not less than eight or more 
than ten. 

School Kitchen. In connection with this, allusion may 
be made, perhaps, to the cantine scolaire, or school kitchen, 
by which free meals are provided in each arrondissement 
for the children of the indigent, while those who desire can 
share in the meal for about three-halfpence a day. The cost 
is partially borne by the school fund which is raised to aid 
poor children ; but, as there is always a large deficit, the 
great proportion of the cost falls on the city of Paris itself. 

Authorities Consulted. In conclusion, I should like to 
say that, whatever merits this imperfect sketch of physical 
education in France possesses, they are largely due to those 
whom I consulted on the subject. Among those to whom 
I am particularly indebted I should hke to mention M. 
Rabier, the Director of Secondary Education ; M. Bayet, 
the Director of Primary Instruction ; M. le Colonel Derue, 
Inspecteur de la Gymnastique dans les ficoles de la Ville 
de Paris ; M. Flamand, Inspecteur Primaire ; M. Demeny, 
Rapporteur de la Commission Sup6rieure de 1' Education 
Physique au Ministere de 1' Instruction Publique, and Sec- 
retaire Gen6ral du Congres International de I'fiducation 
Physique ; M. le Docteur Philipp ; and M. J. Manchon, 
Professeur au College de Normandie, as well as the various 
heads of schools and teachers of gymnastics that I met. 

Note (1913). — The actual system of physical exercises in 
the schools of France in 1913 appears to be roughly as 
foUows : 

Swedish exercises of a kind are practised in the primary 


schools of Paris, though they do not seem to have gained 
much ground elsewhere. The state of physical exercises in 
the rest of France may be roughly judged by the fact that 
there is no definite inspection for the subject. In the secon- 
dary schools the system most in vogue is not the Swedish but 
the French. The creation and adoption of a definite French 
system has been very largely due to the efforts and propa- 
ganda of M. Demen3f, who at present is Director of Physical 
Exercises in Secondary Schools. In spite of very grave diffi- 
culties he has been able to train on his own lines a large 
number of teachers, who now amount to more than half the 
personnel in secondary schools. It is urged on many grounds 
that the French system is superior to the Swedish, though 
the latter, no doubt, marked an advance on the older system 
of unscientific gymnastics. Thus while, apart from health, 
the Swedish is fundamentally anatomical and physiological, 
the French is psychical as well as physiological. To judge by 
French criticisms the Swedish system, in its most orthodox 
form, attempts to train the body by taking as its initial data 
in practice certain artificial simplified concepts, i.e. certain 
artificially detached movements, many of which occur com- 
paratively infrequently in an isolated form in real life, such 
as arch-flexions, shoulder-blade movements, etc. The 
French system, on the other hand, directly springs out of 
certain fundamental purposeful natural actions, such as 
walking, running, etc., and the exercises are such that they 
are appUcable from the very first. The Swedish exercises 
are too often meaningless as far as such ordinary purposeftil 
actions are concerned, though they may possess scientific 
or partially scientific explanations in terms of health or 
physical activity. They represent in such cases analysis 
pushed to such a point of simplification as to become mean- 
ingless to the average pupil, whereas the French never lose 
sight of the synthesis of some natural action or other to 
which any particular action is directly applicable. The 
Swedish exercises appear in many cases to bear the same 
relation to actual normal actions as the definitions of Euclid 
to real hfe. Speaking generally, the Swedes would seem to 
have taken unconsciously for their ideal that of the statue in 


repose of a muscular-looking individual, which they attempt 
to build up piece by piece, whereas the French ideal appears 
to be that of a living being in movement, whose development 
takes place not by excessive attention first to this part and 
then to that part, but to a large extent sjmthetically and 
harmoniously. Physical education, apart from the question 
of health, is not the production of brawn for the sake of 
brawn, but the development of muscle through useful and 
graceful movements, and above all for the sake of useful 
and graceful movements. In a word, it deals essentially 
with the art and science of human movements. M. Demeny 
notes the lack of grace that is apparent and inherent in the 
stiff, jerky, military, over-precise movements of the Swedish 
system, which are the antipodes of the movements of the 
most graceful animals in the world, the cat and the tiger, 
which represent the quintessence of litheness and supple- 
ness. This lack of grace has been pointed out by several 
critics in reference to the ordinary gait and bearing of those 
trained on the Swedish system, when not corrected by games 
or dancing. 

More serious is the criticism that persons trained on 
Swedish lines are unable to vary freely the tempo of their 
movements, a grave defect, since in real hfe this is per- 
petually necessary. This is no doubt largely due to the 
staccato method (orders given in the " one-two " form) in 
which the pupils are trained, which is the antithesis of the 
truly rhythmical, in which one phase in a movement uncon- 
sciously passes without a break into another. Again it has 
been observed that the abstract, isolated and incomplete 
training given to the different groups of muscles under the 
Swedish system does not necessarily make for endurance in 
such an exercise as mountaineering, for instance, probably 
owing to the lack of practice in making the necessary cor- 
related movements common to ordinary natural actions. 
Another alleged grave defect is that the jerky movements 
as practised by Swedish exponents are the most fatigiung 
and least satisfactory form of exercise. It seems probable 
that the dislike of music shown by some of the straiter 
sectarians of the Swedish doctrines is due to the fundamental 


antithesis between these staccato exercises and the more 
subtle musical rhythms — any Bergsonian will appreciate 
the difference. Yet if we are to follow the line of least 
resistance which is the normal tradition that governs aU our 
actions, that is to say, if we are to get the maximum of effect 
with the minimum of effort, we must avoid anything of the 
nature of a jerk, and instead of making a fetish of rigidity 
we must cultivate the greatest possible litheness and supple- 
ness compatible with the attitude necessary to assume for 
the performance of the action we are attempting. No one 
knows this fundamental truth better than the golfer, to whom 
anything in the nature of a jerk in his play is disastrous, while 
aU unnecessary rigidity is equally harmful. Our ideal must 
be to cultivate as far as possible a voluntary relaxation of 
the body, which alone can produce the maximum of supple- 
ness and Utheness, and to ensure this our movements must 
be complete, continuous, and rhythmical. In this way only 
can we secure that grace of movement so often wanting in 
Swedish exercises. In fact, based as they are largely on 
antagonizing or stiffening certain muscles, they not only 
cannot produce it, but actually prove a hindrance to its 
acquisition. When grace has been acquired, it has been in 
spite of, and not by reason of, the exercises, which are 
geometrical rather than harmonious. Still more serious is 
the criticism that in not a few cases the pupil is compelled 
to assume an attitude which in itself involves very severe 
strain, and in addition is set to perform an exercise which 
further demands a most severe effort, with the result that 
neither the attitude nor the execution of the exercise is 

Perhaps it would be fair to say that Swedish exercises are 
largely a collection of remedial exercises expanded into a 
system of general physical culture, and as such they bear 
the marks of their origin, in the shape of an excessive cult 
of the part, which necessarily arises from looking at the 
curing of a specific defect here or a specific defect there, 
whereas the French ideal appears to aim as far as is practic- 
able at the harmonious development of the body as a whole, 
through the natural actions that centuries of evolution have 

B.E. Q 


produced or by exercises arising directly out of these actions. 
In so far as the Swedish is truly remedial, it is probably of 
value, but those who value grace, and the creative spirit in 
education, cannot fail to see the mechanical defects, or 
rather limitations, of this system, which through its own 
insistence on precision and formality is the negation of the 
artistic and creative spirit, which is essentially individual. 
There can rarely be scope for any great volume of self- 
expression when the form of expression is so rigidly pre- 
scribed. The one is, in fact, practically exclusive of the 
other. Yet self-expression, whether it take the form of 
composition, speech, acting, dancing, or graceful gesture, is 
at bottom one of the most potent means of developing 
personality. So that it is no exaggeration to say that 
physical culture, if rightly directed, is one of the best ways 
of enabUng the predominantly artistic chUd to " find itself." 
Speaking generally, it is obvious that what is most wanting 
in English education to-day is not moral or intellectual 
stimulus, but the encouragement of the aesthetic and 
creative faculty in our children. 

And, lastly, there is the moral or educational effect of 
these exercises to be considered. We are beginning to 
recognize in all subjects the need of initiating the pupil into 
the purposefulness of the particular task he is attempting. 
The Swedish exercises being largely too discoimected and 
abstract in themselves and only leading indirectly to the 
actual fundamental movements of the body, tend to become 
mechanical and distasteful, especially to the average boy.^ 
They are, in fact, hke the abstract rules of a grammar of 
which he does not see any immediate application. As M. 
Demeny says, " the teaching should be varied, attractive, 
and full of practical interest." " The choice of movement 
should manifest at the outset a frankly utilitarian tendency." 
The pupils should be able to see " what it is aU driving at." 
One cannot deny to the Swedish exercises a certain pleasure 

1 Their inherent dullness is revealed by the fact that in over 190 
evening classes in London in which the attendance is voluntajy 
not a single Swedish class has been able to establish itself perman- 
ently, though introduced under the most favourable conditions. 


that comes from stretching one's limbs, or that pleasure 
that comes after mastering a certain technique, hke, say, 
the multiplication table. But such pleasures are but pale, 
ineffectual and uncertain in comparison with the joy that 
accompanies the acquisition of intelligible dexterity. 

Again, by largely eliminating the competitive and feat- 
performing element the Swedish system deprives itself of the 
power of appealing to that sense of daring and adventure 
which is, or ought to be, the bottom instinct or at least the 
heritage of every normal boy. We do not want him to 
break his neck, but we do not want either to deprive him of 
the possibility of trying his hand at feats that are calculated 
to develop his pluck, self-reliance, and endurance. All that 
is necessary is to see that such feats are properly graded and 
under due control. 

Of course in not a few English schools the Swedish system 
has only been adopted in a more or less modified form. Some 
such modification seems to be almost inevitable in the case 
of very young children. They are unable aUke to give that 
concentration of attention that the exercises are supposed 
to require, or to attain the degree of precision that is de- 
manded, without seriously over-taxing their energies. 
Music, dancing, and games appear in such a case more or 
less an absolute necessity, and even with the older pupils a 
large amount of the time set apart for physical exercises is 
devoted to games or gjnnnastics with apparatus. Such 
modifications, however, are a clear indication and admission 
of the incompleteness and deficiencies of the Swedish exer- 
cises in themselves, apart from the defects indicated by 
French and other critics. 

It is to be hoped that those who read this note wiU make 
further inquiries into the respective merits of the Swedish 
and French systems. The way in which the former has been 
dumped down on this country is not particularly creditable 
to our national inteUigence. On the other hand, it might 
not be advisable or even possible to adopt here en hloc the 
French system, and as nothing is perfect here below it is 
quite likely it has also its defects. What is wanted is the 
development of a really English system, of which there are 


here and there promising signs, really scientific in principles 
and in harmony with the needs of English psychology and 
character. Those who desire to get a still more detailed 
idea of the comparative merits of the two systems should 
consult the following works of M. Demeny : Evolution de 
l'£ducation physique — I'Bcole frangaise (La Librairie Mili- 
taire UniverseUe, L. Fournier, Paris). Education physique 
de la Jeune Fille, Education et Harmonie des Mouvements 
(Paris, Librairie des Annales ; translation rights acquired 
by Messrs. Gill & Sons, London). Troisifeme Congrfes Inter- 
national de r Education Physique de la Jeunesse, Bruxelles, 
1910, Sixi^me Question : Erreurs de la Methode rationnelle 
en Education physique ; Rapport presente par M. Georges 
Demeny. Institut G6n6ral Psychologique, Section de 
Psychologic individuelle : Nos Mouvements — comment ils se 
font, comment nous devons les apprendre ; Conference par M. 
Georges Demeny, Directeur du Cours superieur d' Education 
physique de I'Universit^ (Extrait du Bulletin, 1912). 

One other system of physical education shotild be men- 
tioned here, which again is based on natural actions, swim- 
ming, climbing, etc., and not on artificially detached 
exercises of groups of muscles, namely, that of Lieutenant 
Hebert. It is interesting to note that the Government 
have recently created a school for marines, midshipmen, 
and naval cadets, in which Lieutenant Hebert's so-called 
" natural method " is carried out under his direction. 


Children are certainly not neglected in democratic France. 
Public education may be said to start from the cradle, if not 
earlier, for even antecedent to the creches for babies come the 
couveuses (incubators) for those born out of due time. After 
the creches come the Scales maternelles, or baby-schools, 
which were estabUshed in 1887. They receive children of 
both sexes from two years old and upwards, who can remain 
till the age of six, when they pass into the infant classes, 
that are attached sometimes to a primary school, and some- 
times to an ecole maternelle, and form a sort of transition 
class between the two. No child is admitted to these schools 
without a billet signed by the mayor of the arrondisse- 
ment, or vestry, and a doctor's certificate to state it has been 

There is no compulsory vaccination in France, but the 
government encourages it indirectly by every means in its 
power. The work in the baby-schools and the infant 
classes includes, among other things, games and graduated 
movements accompanied with singing, manual exercises, 
the first notions of morality, a knowledge of the facts of 
everyday hfe, exercise in speaking, recitations and stories, 
and the elements of drawing, reading, reckoning, and 

The sanitary and hygienic rules of these estabUshments 
are subject to special ministerial supervision. AU head- 
mistresses (or directrices, as they are called) are obUged to 
possess the certificate of efficiency in teaching. They must, 
further, be twenty-eight years of age at least, and have had 
two years' experience in an icole maternelle. The children 
are divided into two sections, and if over fifty in number. 


a second teacher is added. A charwoman is attached to 
every school, the commune being responsible for her wages. 
Apart from the oversight exercised by the inspector, one or 
more local committees of lady-patronesses are nominated 
by the inspecteur d'academie to supervise the carrying out 
of health rules and other important matters. 

The schools are open from the first of March to the first 
of November from seven in the morning to seven at night, 
and for four months from eight to six. The holidays are 
neither long nor numerous. Besides Sundays, there are 
seven or eight public hohdays, and a week at Easter. Only 
children over four years of age are allowed to go home alone, 
and the headmistresses are forbidden to ask parents to caU 
for their children earlier than the appointed time. 

On the arrival of the children in the morning, the direc- 
trice assures herself of the health and cleanliness of each 
pupil, and also of the quantity and quality of the food that 
is brought. There is a cantine attached to the school, and 
free meals are given to those who are really in need of 
assistance. Each child is furthermore required to bring a 
fork and spoon and a pocket-handkerchief. The health of 
the school is further looked after by a doctor, who inspects 
the school from time to time. Strict rules are enjoined in 
regard to keeping the premises clean and weU ventilated. 
No pets or animals of any sort are permitted in the class- 

Marks are given to the children as rewards, and at the end 
of the month these caji be exchanged for toys or useful 
objects. The only punishments allowed are exclusion from 
the class-room or playground for a very brief interval, or the 
taking away of marks already eaxned. 

Lessons last from 9.15 till 11.30, and from 1.15 till 4. 
Each period is cut in two by a break for recreation. If the 
weather is bad, the children have ten minutes' exercise in 
marching round the schoolroom. No books other than 
those of the school are allowed in the buUding. No collec- 
tions, raffles, or subscriptions are permitted in the school. 

The children are never left alone. No teaching out of 
doors in the playground is allowed without special per- 


mission. It is forbidden to overburden the memory of the' 
children with learning by heart. There is likewise no home- 
work. No " horrible tales " are to be told to the children. 
The teacher may neither work nor read when with the 
children, but must devote herself entirely to them. 

The following is a sketch of the daily programme : From 
9 to 9.15 the children are inspected and their various wants 
attended to ; from g.15 to- 10.15, exercises in reading, 
writing, and speaking. Then comes half an hour for play, 
school games, or gymnastic exercises. From 10.45 to 11.30, 
object-lessons or story-teUing ; 11.30, lunch and play-time ; 
I to 1. 15, conduite aux lavahos ; 1.15 to 1.45, exercise in 
reading and speaking ; 1.45 to 2.30, reckoning ; 2.30 to 3, 
play ; 3 to 3.30, drawing and moral instruction ; 3.30 to 4, 
manual work. 

The object of the &cole maternelle is to commence the 
physical, intellectual, and moral education of the children. 
It is not, however, a school in the strict sense of the word, 
but is meant to form a transition between the family and the 
school proper. It attempts to preserve the kind and indul- 
gent gentleness of the family at the same time that it intro- 
duces the child to the ideas of work and regularity. Its 
success is not to be judged by the standard of knowledge 
attained by the pupils, but rather by the sum-total of good 
influences to which the child is exposed, by the pleasure it 
takes in the school, by the habits of order, cleanliness, 
poHteness, attention, obedience, and intellectual activity it 
has unconsciously acquired there. 

In a word, the idea is to develop the faculties rather than 
to fvurnish and stock the mind. First in importance comes 
health ; then the education of the senses ; then a few 
notions on the commonest things ; the formation of school 
habits ; the taste for gymnastics, singing, dancing, etc. ; 
eagerness to listen and question, to see, to observe ; an 
aptitude for attention, that the loving care of the teacher 
has formed and fostered ; an awakened intelligence ; a soul 
open to all good impressions. Such, in the words of their 
founders, ought to be the ideal aimed at and attained in the 
maternity schools. 


The method proposed is equally admirable — a harmonious 
development of all the faculties, in which one does not 
gain at the expense of another. The manual work consists 
of things as simple as folding a sheet of paper in various 
shapes, working up to the making of veritable articles de 
Paris : the skUl with which these are made betrays the 
essentially artistic nature of the race even in these children 
of tender years. Sewing and other monotonous work are 
forbidden. No dogmatic teaching is allowed, though insist- 
ence is laid on the ideas of God and duty, and naturally 
patriotism is a class subject. 

A good idea is the co-ordination of the lessons, as far as 
possible, with the time of year. Thus, in October object- 
lessons are given on the vine and wines, bottles and barrels, 
hops and beer. Drawings are made of bunches of grapes, 
glasses, etc., the easier designs being copied by the children. 
As poetry, L'Automne of Delbruch is learned. In December, 
again, cold, snow, ice, avalanches, Switzerland, the Alps, 
skates and sledges, stoves, chimneys, coal, wood, matches, 
chilblains and colds, the hearth, the family, are among the 
subjects treated ; such of these as lend themselves to design 
are drawn on the blackboard, and an appropriate piece of 
poerty is also learned. 

I have visited several of these schools. The hygienic 
appliances are of the very latest and best ; everything has 
been studied and brought up to date ; benches, Ught, light- 
ing, ventilation, sanitation, seem perfect. One of the 
inspectors remarked, " We are not yet content with the 
results of our schools " ; but as far as one could judge, he 
seemed somewhat difficult to please. So much the better 
for the system, as such discontent is the true spur of pro- 
gress. The different classes visited were exceedingly well 
organized. The teachers appeared to maintain without 
difficulty the attention of the children, which is so butterfly- 
hke at that age, flitting incessantly from object to object, 
and never remaining long fixed on ciny one point. The 
children, though poor, were clean and neat. These schools 
seem to have indirectly a great effect on the national cleanh- 
ness. A good many of the children were questioned on the 


subjects they were learning, which seemed to interest them 
deeply, although it was the afternoon, and they had already 
had several lessons. 

One of the schools visited will long remain implanted in 
our memory, for it stands facing the terrible fortress-like 
prison of Mazas, that has long been the Newgate of Paris, 
and is now on the point of being puUed down. It seemed on 
looking at these two buildings — this grim, frowning Bastille, 
with its gloomy dungeons, already doomed to demolition, 
and this smiling children's palace, all hght and air, but 
scarcely out of the masons' hands — we were regarding the 
embodiment of the two ideas of justice : the justice 
vindictive, that is passing away ; and the justice of pre- 
vention, that is taking its place. For the modern state has 
seen at last the foUy of its ways in spending all its time 
and money on jailers, turnkeys, and poUcemen ; and, no 
longer content with merely trying to repress crime, has gone 
a step further back in attempting to prevent it altogether, 
by watching over the education of its future citizens from 
their very earliest years. 


The Franco-English Guild, which has lately changed its 
name to the International Guild, has grown out of all know- 
ledge during the last few years. Yet its commencement 
was on the most modest scale. In the autumn of 1891 its 
foundress. Miss WiUiams, held a drawing-room meeting of 
some dozen ladies with a view to founding an English Hbrary. 
The idea was favourably received, and the society started 
with ten members. Every month a hterary soiree was held. 
New recniits were constantly joining, and Miss Williams's 
drawing-room soon became too small to accommodate the 
association. At this moment the Ministry of Public Instruc- 
tion came to the rescue, and lent the society first one and 
then two rooms at the Musee P6dagogique. The soirees 
grew in importance, and in some cases blossomed out into 
regular courses of lectures. 

The English and American Embassies warmly supported 
the movement. Lord Dufferin and the American Ambassador 
each delivered several addresses, and since then the Guild 
has been lectured to by a large number of distinguished 
English educationists, such as the Bishop of Ripon, Miss 
Hughes, Mrs. Sidgwick, Mr. •?. A. Bamett, etc. The 
number of adherents has been constantly increasing. From 
ten in 1891 they rose to seventy-nine in 1894, and at the 
time of writing are nearer four hundred than three hundred. 
The Ubrary has grown in the same rapid fashion. During 
the last two years the Guild has again shifted its quarters, 
and is now housed in No. 6 Rue de la Sorbonne, alongside 
the University itself. 

With ample space at its disposal, it has been able to 
add to its attractions a reading-room and rooms for tea and 


lunch, as weU as an " exchange-room," in which English- 
speaking students may exchange lessons and converse with 
French members of the Guild. Those who are attempting 
to learn, or have learnt, a foreign language will appreciate 
this new departure. One of the chief obstacles in master- 
ing a foreign language is to find sufficient opportunities for 
practice in speaking. This system of exchange-lessons in 
the two languages, further, gets over the financial difficulty 
entailed by the cost of having to pay a retaining fee to 
some unfortunate person for the right of inflicting one's 
conversation on him, while the mere exercise of teaching 
one's own language is by no means to be regarded as a pure 
loss of time, affording as it does a valuable insight into the 
language, thought-forms, and racial idiosyncrasies of the 
learner. On the social value of such mutual arrangements 
it is unnecessary to dilate here. 

Another useful side of the Guild's work is the keeping of a 
register of French homes and boarding houses, which, being 
under the direct control of the GuUd, offer guarantees that 
are lacking in the ordinary pension, in which far too often 
the foreign boarder is fleeced or neglected. But all these 
advantages are merely subsidiary to the main object of the 
Guild, which is to provide a full course of instruction in the 
French language, literature, and history, by professors of the 
highest university standing. Composition, both free and 
from the English, is taught by MUe. Clanet, an agregee 
d' anglais. Other subjects in the course are modern and 
historical French grammar, French hterature and history, 
and contemporary life in France. 

A special feature is made of pronunciation and phonetics, 
instruction being given by Mile. Roussey, pupil of the 
celebrated Abbe Rousselot, Director of the Phonetic Labora- 
tory at the College de France, who himself examines the 
students at the end of each term. The courses of the 
Guild are specially directed towards obtaining the certificat 
d'etudes frangaises. The examination is conducted by 
M. Ernest Dupuy, Inspecteur-General, and two professors 
of the Sorbonne. This diploma is granted to students 
who are found capable of teaching French in EngHsh 


speaking countries. The terms of membership are extremely 
moderate. The yearly subscription for use of rooms 
amounts to lo f . ; for library, monthly meetings, and general 
lectures, 20 f . ; while the fpes for aU the classes amount 
to about 225 f., or £9 a year for a session of thirty weeks. 

Originally confined to women, the Guild was induced a 
year ago to throw open its doors to men, with the happiest 
results ; while the large number of German and Russian 
students who have since been enrolled has made it change 
its title to " International." Lately the Registration 
Council has recognized the Guild as a ',' foreign college " at 
which teachers who want to be registered may finish their 
university course, and more recently stiU the University of 
Chicago has declared the Guild " to be in co-operation with 
the University of Chicago,"/Which means that the time spent 
in attending the Guild's regular course of lectures may count 
as a means of qualifying/for the University degrees. 

Those who have realized the superiority of well-arranged 
hoUday courses over ^e soUtary pension Uf e en famille will 
readily recognize theJ'corresponding superiority of the advan- 
tages offered by /the above institution over those of the 
holiday courses?^ It provides by means of its system of 
exchange-lesspns the one factor in which the hohday course, 
owing to np fault of its organizers, is generally the least 
satisfactOTy. Its lectures, being split up into classes for 
easy or advanced work, should appeal to students of every 
kind. /Not only the tyro in French, but even those who have 
obtai^ied a modern language degree in England, may greatly 
profit from them. The latter wiU find in the really modem 
and literary teaching of the Guild a valuable supplement to 
the somewhat excessively academic and philological tredning 
they have received in England.^ 

1 Note. — (1913.) The Guild has recently opened a branch in 
London (Gordon House, Gordon Square, W.C), which besides 
catering for French students in England prepares English students 
for the certificate in French lately estabhshed by the Universities 
of London and Cambridge. It also maintains an information bureau. 


The German secondary school is really one of the most 
effective factories in the educational world. The raw 
material is sent to it at nine years of age — or even earlier, if 
there is a preparatory annexe. At sixteen over 60 per cent, 
of the same raw material obtain the Government stamp of 
efficiency, and at nineteen 20 per cent, receive the hall-mark 
that admits the polished article to be finally worked up into a 
university or professional product. Add the fact that the 
waste products which fail to qualify for the Government 
label are probably far more valuable than the residuals of 
other systems, and it wiU have, I think, to be admitted 
that, output for output, the German educational mill is 
the most efficient that exists. Whether its products are 
really the very finest on the market is, of course, another 

The results are all the more surprising as German schools 
are not nearly so well staffed in respect to the proportion of 
teachers to the number of pupils as one has been led to sup- 
pose, especially in the middle and lower parts of schools in 
the large towns. Here are some figures, with, roughly, the 
average age of the class : 37 (thirteen), 37 (fifteen), 41 (six- 
teen), 36 (seventeen), 33 (fifteen). Such classes appear to be 
quite as much the rule as the exception. All the greater, 
then, our admiration for those teachers who with such large 
classes obtain such surprising results. One does not see, as 
in some French schools, a certain number of front-bench 
boys bearing the brunt of the debate between teacher and 

Moreover, the front bench in German schools is very 
often composed of the weakest or most backward members 


of the class — the short-sighted, hard of hearing, and the 
mentally deficient, who are thus placed in the very fore- 
front of the battle in order to be well within the teacher's 
range. The latter combines lecturing with a running com- 
mentary of questions. These are so skilfully distributed 
that every boy in the class comes under fire. You soon 
realize that there are no idlers in the form, and that the 
would-be shufHer has such short shrift meted out to him 
that he speedily finds that the " ca' canny " policy is not a 
paying one, and does a full day's work with the rest. 

The discipline may be strict — ^probably is too strict. 
Even youths of eighteen and nineteen in the highest class 
are obliged to stand up whenever their master speaks to 
them ; but, with this exception, the evidence of it is more 
in the tone and gesture of the teacher and the attitude of 
the taught. The Roman centurion — who gave his orders 
without explanations — ^is the archetj^e of the Teutonic 
dominie. The German boy is so well broken in that what 
little whispering and by-play do go on go on with much 
fear and trembling. The best discipline, however, is only 
negative in its results. It keeps the ring clear from inter- 
ruption. Something more than mere strictness is needed to 
fill the vacuum. One finds no vacuum in German classes : 
there is nearly always a steady pressure of attention ; some- 
times somewhat stolid, not infrequently keen and living — 
the " forty feeding hke one," with healthy appetites that 
never seem to fail. 

And how conscientious the teacher is ! There is no " go 
easy " about his teaching. There is no uncertainty or 
" fluffiness " about it either. He is thorough master of his 
subject : he knows exactly what he is going to say. He 
possesses the sure confidence that many years of successful 
teaching have engendered. Everything is peptonized to 
the level of the class ; with the healthy appetites the pupils 
possess, assimilation cannot fail to follow. We begin to 
understand how, in some schools, 78 per cent, of the pupils 
get promoted from year to year ; how there is never a 
large untaught residuum and sediment drifting about the 
bottom of every form — as is too often the case with us — 


which is gradually hoisted up the school by a series of 
unjustifiable promotions due to seniority alone. 

Even in the highest classes the teacher remains the chief 
channel of grace, the main source of information. Of him 
one can truly say, " a Jove principium." Whether it is 
advisable to water exclusively the oldest of the flock at 
what is, after all, only a conduit of knowledge, rather than 
at the original source, is a debatable point. But the truth 
is, the pupil rarely drinks at the Pierian spring by himself. 
As for the manuals so largely in use, they have as much 
relation to the original founts of knowledge as a bottle of 
soda-water to a chalybeate well. Even when the teacher 
discusses with the pupils the books which have been set for 
home reading, he is not so anxious to find out how this or 
that passage may have struck them as to be certain it has 
struck them in the correct fashion ; much less is he desirous 
of finding out whether they are able to throw any original 
light on" it. 

His purpose is to suggest to them the guiding thought, to 
inspire them with the hne of ideas to be followed, the correct 
version, to be sure that they have properly absorbed and 
acquired the faith, the doctrine he has to deUver to them. 
Are they masters of the authorized text, are they also 
masters of the authorized commentary ? — that is the chief 
question. If this has been accomphshed, the teacher's task 
has been accomphshed. The final examination will prove 
that the finished product is up to pattern and sample. 

Such thoroughgoing teachers are not made in a day. 
They ai* all highly educated men. Their excellence hes in 
the fact mat they are only allowed to teach what they really 
know. If their main subject be Greek and their subsidiary 
subject Latin, they may only teach Latin in the lower forms. 
Their pedagogical training is no less carefully looked after. 
Those who do not go to training colleges become " student- 
teachers " in the bigger schools. These student-teachers 
receive every attention : they are placed under the direct 
supervision of the director, or other picked teachers, accord- 
ing to their subjects. 

The training is aUke theoretical and practical. Once a 


week each of the probationers in turn writes a long composi- 
tion on some pedagogical subject, which is afterwards read 
aloud in the presence of the director and the other proba- 
tioners. I was present at one of these conferences. The 
question set was, whether the study of French could give 
the same logical training as Latin. After the reading of the 
paper a discussion followed, the director working in the main 
conclusions. At another conference a certain number of 
practical hints were given to the probationers, and points of 
everyday discipline and teaching were discussed. The whole 
was eminently business-hke. 

Wiser than the French, the Germans have always realized 
the need of providing a place of assembly for the whole 
school, and of maintaining in the hands of a single person 
the dual functions of teaching and discipline. The Aula 
serves as a sort of combined big school and chapel. From 
time to time — ^generally on the occasion of national hoUday 
— the whole school are gathered together in the Aula, and 
a discourse, religious or patriotic, is read or deUvered by one 
of the staff. The Aula also serves for school entertain- 
ments. A visit to the Aula is practically obUgatory on all 
visitors — a pleasing indication of its importance in the eyes 
of the director. 

The class teacher (Ordinanus) acts as a court of first 
instance and settles any difficulties that may arise in school 
matters between the home and the school. In this way only 
the more serious questions are brought for consideration 
before the director — an important consideration in schools 
which number over eight hundred pupils. The demeanour 
of the parents in the teacher's presence clearly shows which 
is the more important person in the discussion. One 
suddenly remembers from the deference paid to him that 
the teacher is a State official. A very interesting book has 
lately appeared in Germany, entitled How shall we bring 
up our Son Benjamin? Not the least interesting feature 
about the book is the ingenious fashion in which the author, 
a high official in the Ministry, assumes throughout that the 
school is never to blame for any shortcomings in the boy's 


The Germans are thorough believers in leaving nothing 
to chance. The class-rooms bear ample testimony to the 
thought expended on the health of the pupils. The floor is 
often oiled to prevent dust ; the desks are placed astride of 
a small sort of Suakim-Berber railway to allow them to be 
shifted backward and forward for cleaning purposes ; a 
thermometer is set in a hole in the wall adjoining the 
window, so that a check may be kept on the temperature 
by the school janitor or the director as well as by the master 
inside ; the amount of cubic space per pupil, and even of 
light, is strictly regulated. The waste-paper basket is no 
idle ornament — a scrap of paper on the floor is a rare sight. 
The supply of blackboards is rather " skimpy " ; but maps 
and movable pictures abound. A coloured metrical measure, 
carefully marked to scale, is often to be seen fixed against 
the wall and running from floor to ceiUng. 

Though the movement in favour of school decoration has 
not made so much progress as in some of our schools, yet 
pictures, prints and photos are by no means lacking, and 
there are the inevitable portraits or prints of members of 
the reigning house. Ever5rwhere, in fact, the view of the 
Prussian boy is obsessed by these imagines. Naturally the 
hours are regulated. Some of the upper classes have often 
five lessons running, and a few of the teachers have also, 
which is stiU worse. There are, however, an abundance of 
breaks, which amount to no less than fifty minutes. These 
occur after every lesson, and the two larger ones consist of 
twenty and fifteen minutes respectively. 

When the breaks are only five minutes in duration the 
pupils do not descend to the playground, but parade in the 
corridors, which thus subserve a twofold purpose, as they 
also provide ample means of egress in case of fire — not that 
the fire danger is much to be feared in buildings which are 
almost entirely constructed of brick and stone. Such classes 
as take place in the afternoon are generally devoted to 
" gym " or singing, and, in some schools, to manual work, 
which is optional. I came across the latter in one Gym- 
nasium. The number of courses was four and the number 
of pupils 117. In the upper courses the pupils paid for the 

B.E, R 


wood and were allowed to take their work home. Manual 
work is apparently looking up. The partisans of the idea 
held a meeting last year at Leipzig, at which the subject of 
making it obligatory was discussed. 

One of the most difficult subjects to teach is admittedly 
what is known as reUgious instruction. The higher criti- 
cism has not been without its effects on the German 
teachers ; though the fact that the Bible is only read in 
selections in school does not render the problem qviite so 
difficult. A certain number of teachers, either from con- 
viction or from less worthy reasons, stiU teach on the old 
orthodox Hues, that the world was made in six days, etc. 
" It is safer," as one teacher remarked, and, " besides, it 
takes less trouble." He himself was a Liberal, or, as we 
should say, a Broad Churchman, a type which appears to be 
the most growing section in the Lutheran Church. 

The lesson he gave was on the subject of David, as con- 
solidator of the Jewish kingdom. He made the lesson very 
real to the pupils by comparing the Jewish king with Otto I, 
the Egbert of Germany ; while the difficulties in the way 
of union were shown by an aUusion to the long struggle 
which led up to the estabUshment of the German Empire 
in 1871. Certain Psalms which had been learnt by heart 
were utilized to illustrate the lesson. The teacher showed 
the trend of his opinions by speaking of the Psalms as 
attributed to David. His method, as he explained after- 
wards, was prophylactic — to indicate to the upper classes 
the current forms of attack on Christianity and suggest the 
common lines of defence. 

In modern languages there appear to be three main 
streams. Many, especially in the Gymnasium, hold fast to 
the ancient Ploetz ; others go in for more modem teaching, 
using books of the type of Hausknecht's English Stttdent; 
and, lastly, there are the direct Methodists of the extreme 
type, who are by no means so numerous as one would 
imagine. Much attention is paid to pronunciation even in 
the classical schools. A reader is used right from the 
beginning ; but, apparently, in many schools a regular 
author is not read till after three years — at least, in French. 


Grammar is not neglected. It is particularly studied in 
those classes, in the so-called Reform schools, in which 
French is used as a stepping-stone to Latin. Neglect of 
French grammar has been found to be a serious hindrance 
to the acquisition of Latin grammar. In those schools 
where the direct method is combined with what is good in 
the old, the pupils seem to make very rapid progress, and 
their powers of conversation are often very remarkable. In 
the higher classes the lesson is not infrequently conducted 
almost exclusively in the foreign tongue : pupils are able to 
give connected accounts in the foreign medium, and the 
literatures of France and England are studied in a really 
critical fashion. 

In the lower classes a good deal of poetry is read and 
analysed with a view to ensuring that the pupils have under- 
stood the grammar and the sense. Pictures, of which the 
schools often possess a large stock, are brought in to illus- 
trate the persons and places. The poetry is often recited 
with plenty of spirit. Books without notes are the rule. 
The attention of the pupil is therefore not incessantly dis- 
tracted from the poem as a whole by a succession of notes 
— a very great gain. We in England are suffering from a 
plethora, not to say plague, of annotated editions. There 
is hardly a text, classical, French, or English, which is read 
in school that has not been treated as a sort of grammatical 
truffle-bed for scholastical swine to uproot. 

Many of the texts used in the upper classes are also free 
from these parasitical growths, though there is a good deal 
more reason for annotated editions in such forms, in which 
the critical faculty of the pupil is coming to life. The teach- 
ing throughout is distinctly Hterary. Even when such 
mediaeval authors as Walther von der Vogelweide are read 
the greater part of the time of the class is not spent in root- 
grubbing or philology, though the latter is not neglected, 
but in turning the text into modern German and in com- 
menting on its contents. 

I was present at some excellent lessons on Julius CcBsar, 
Wallensteins Tod, and Emilia Galotti. The pupils had only 
the bare text, of which, in several instances, they had learnt 


a certain amount by heart with a view to illustrating the 
principal characters or characteristics of the play. The 
greater part of the lesson was occupied in giving a detailed 
analysis of the play or of different scenes in it, in discussing 
the why and wherefore of its construction, and in critically 
examining the characters of the principal personages. When 
any passages were read they were neither drawled nor 
gabbled, but given with the proper emphasis and intona- 
tion. The weak side of these lessons, as has already been 
said, is that they are too much dominated by the personality 
of the teacher. 

The German method of teaching history by selecting only 
the most striking of events of each epoch has certainly an 
advantage over our wearisome method of teaching the early 
history of England by reigns. It must be admitted that, to 
begin with, the Prussian teacher's task is far easier : his 
history proper only goes back some three hundred years, 
and Prussia before Frederick the Great was of very minor 
importance ; he has, therefore, a great deal more time for 
working through a well-considered scheme of world history. 
English history suffers from an embarras de richesse. We 
shall have to make jettison of a good deal to bring it 
really within tractable limits and give proper emphasis to 
the more important facts. The German boy, thanks to the 
systematic method adopted, leaves school with a pretty clear 
conspectus of what he has learnt. The English boy's histori- 
cal knowledge resembles a railway in which some sections are 
excellently laid, others are left unfinished, or barely laid at all. 

The teaching of history in the lower classes in German 
schools is remarkably sound and thorough of its kind. The 
pupil has certainly a knack of memorizing the teacher's 
remarks. The history itself rather reminds one at times of 
an orange that has too many pips — ^it is so fuU of dates. Yet 
in no subject does the weak side of German education show 
more clearly. The chief value of history is to form the judg- 
ment ; yet here the judgment is rather formed by the 
teacher. The subject is peptonized and prepared by the 
latter right to the end. In some schools the pupils are never 
introduced to the original authorities at all. 


Even their private reading is controlled in such a fashion 
that the teacher reads into it the desired meaning. The 
teacher himself, unless he is a good story-teller, or possesses 
the art of exposition, is apt to become openly objective and 
even annalistic. The philosophical side of history suffers 
accordingly. In the teaching of no other subject does one 
see so clearly the advantage of the English system of giving 
a boy a text-book, and letting him find his way about it. 
No doubt we err on the side of giving too little aid, but, 
when successful, we breed a certain independence of thought 
and the pupil himself learns the difficult art of finding his 
way about in a book. Apart from these criticisms, we may 
unreservedly admire the results obtained, which are remark- 
able of their kind, and we might weU copy on a large scale 
the excellent use made of pictures in teaching history, and 
the employment of historical atlases, which are often lacking 
or unutiUzed in Enghsh schools. 

The teaching in geography is frequently given by teachers 
who have been specially trained on modern hues. Many of 
the teachers have, in fact, studied under a professor of 
geology. It is interesting to note that Berlin is a bad geo- 
logical centre, owing to the overwhelmingly sandy nature 
of the district. Students, therefore, often go for a term to 
other universities which are better situated for geological 
study. While the few lessons one saw were satisfactory, 
they were no better and scarcely so good as some one had 
seen in England. In one or two cases sufficient stress was 
not laid on the intimate connection between physical and 
political geography, or, rather, the latter was not logically 
evolved out of the former. One realized, however, one 
thing — what an extremely difficult country Germany is to 
teach on a detailed scale. 

All education in its final analysis must stand or fall by the 
teacher. One cannot help feeling when one considers the 
German teacher what a thorough professional he is (in the 
good sense of the word), and how much of the amateur there 
is about ourselves, due in part to our undue disbehef in 
method, due also, no doubt, to an unexpressed desire to safe- 
guard the personaUty of the teacher. The German teacher 


is pre-eminently a teacher, keenly interested in the current 
problems of his profession, and penetrated and imbued with 
the spirit of his caUing and profoundly impressed with the 
dignity of the cloth. 

Like the German officer, one can hardly imagine what he 
is Hke in mufti. He seems to have few or no doubts. All 
the main articles of his pedagogical faith and religion have 
been settled for him. He is like a minister fully convinced 
of the gospel he has to deliver and bothered at most by 
minor questions of ritual. The truth is, he feels that first 
principles are largely outside his province. The State has 
settled his first principles, and he has merely to sit down and 
apply them. Such a position is, in many ways, a great 
source of strength ; but it has also its weaknesses and its 
dangers. The strength of the phalanx in the last resort 
depends on the direction it receives from those who control 
its movements. 


The two burning questions of the day in secondary educa- 
tion are the adequate supply of properly qualified and 
properly paid assistant-teachers and the thinking out of 
suitable courses of study. Local authorities all over the 
country are being called on to decide on the particular type 
or types of school most appropriate to the needs of their 
district. Generally speaking, the wind is in favour of 
modernizing the curricula. The advocates of little Latin 
and less Greek are more unlikely than ever to obtain a 
respectful hearing before the newly appointed representa- 
tives of Demos. But does this imply that Greek and even 
Latin are practically to be expelled from our smaller secon- 
dary schools ? 

No doubt the old duU gerund-grinding methods of teach- 
ing classics to a majority of boys who would never reach the 
higher work has much to answer for, but are we then blindly 
to condemn the subject because the methods of teaching 
it were unsuitable ? Certainly such a wholesale condemna- 
tion of classics, or, at least, of Latin, finds little sympathy 
among the mass of experts in France and Germany. They 
have indeed recognized that a first-rate education can be 
given on wholly modern lines. Thus, in Germany, the 
Realschule and Oberrealschule, though still unpossessed of 
some of the privileges attached to the older schools, have 
definitely become part and parcel of the Prussian educa- 
tional system. 

The French, indeed, have gone still further, and have 
accorded to the new course they have just framed in modern 
languages and science absolutely the same privileges as are 


attached to the other three courses. Yet in neither country 
have the just claims of classics been sacrificed. In fact, 
their position, at least so far as France is concerned, has been 
placed on a more rational basis by giving parents a choice 
between a purely classical course and courses composed of 
Latin with science or of Latin with modem languages, in 
addition to the purely modern course mentioned above, and, 
what is still more important, the choice of a course, whether 
purely classical or otherwise, is postponed to a later date 
than has hitherto been the case, with the result that pupils 
of every category receive identically the same education up 
to the a,ge of eleven or twelve instead of being compelled to 
specialize at the age of nine as heretofore. 

The later age at which classics or Latin are begim is com- 
pensated for by a preUminary grounding in modem lan- 
guages and by an intensive study of Latin and Greek once 
they are commenced. Unfortunately the experiment is as 
yet too recent to furnish us with any definite results, but 
it is highly significant that the French have such a belief 
in its efficacy that they have not hesitated to apply it to 
the whole country. 

The authorities in Germany have been experimenting in 
a somewhat similar direction for a number of years. The 
first experiment was at Altona, where, as far back as 1878, 
a Realgymnasium was established in connection with a Real- 
schule. A Realgymnasium is practically a Latin modem 
school which keeps boys tiU nineteen, and a Realschule is a 
modern school with no Latin whose pupils leave at sixteen. 
The three lower classes are common to the two schools. As 
in France, the study of modem languages in these classes 
serves as a stepping-stone to the study of Latin for those who 
enter the Realgymnasium. The pupils are thus enabled to 
postpone their choice between a Latin or entirely modern 
education till the age of twelve, whereas in the case of the 
old-fashioned Realgymnasium the decision has to be made 
when the pupil is nine. 

Again, as in France, leeway is made up by an intensive 
study of Latin once it is taken up. Several towns copied 
the example of Altona, and the celebrated conference on 


secondary education in 1890 in Berlin approved of a trial of 
the system where local needs rendered it desirable. The 
Altona experiment, however, dealt only with the postpone- 
ment of Latin. A further experiment was made in 1892 in 
Frankfort-on-Main, when the Gymnasium (or full classi- 
cal school) had its curriculum so recast that its three lowest 
classes (or years) serve as a common basis for a classical 
course or for a modern one in the Realschule, which in this 
case is not in the same building. 

At the same time two Realgymnasien in the town had the 
work in their three lower classes rearranged to bring them 
into line with those of the local Gymnasium and the Real- 
schule. In the case of the Gymnasium the experiment 
affected not merely the teaching of Latin, but also of Greek. 
In Gymndsien of the old style Greek is begun at the age of 
twelve, in Frankfort it is begun at the age of fourteen. The 
Frankfort scheme differs to some extent from that of Altona. 
There is a smaller number of Latin hours in the Frankfort 
Realgymmasium, and the time given to mathematics is less. 

The chief complaint against the Frankfort plan is that the 
bulk of the science is postponed till too late, whUe the 
Altona system is reproached with beginning English too 
early. The Frankfort scheme has been adopted by a still 
larger number of schools. A great impetus was given to the 
movement by the favourable notice taken of it in the royal 
decree of 1900. The desire was expressed that the experi- 
ment might be tried on a still larger scale, owing to its 
success in meeting the needs of the locaUty in which it had 
been tried. 

Schools with sides had hitherto been unknown in 
Germany, so that till recently a poor district had to choose 
between two types of school when it really required both. 
The economy of combining two schools in one has, no doubt, 
appealed powerfully to some localities. On October i6th, 
1901 (the latest date for which statistics are available), the 
number of schools either existing or in process of construc- 
tion were 44 in Prussia and 18 in the rest of Germany, or a 
grand total of 62 1 Of these 51 are more or less on the 
Frankfort plan, and 11 (formerly 14) on the Altona system. 


The Prussian Ministry have been very chary of allowing 
variations of the two curricula, holding, as they do, that 
while the experiment has proved of value, it is as yet too 
early to experiment with the experiment. 

An examination of the total number of hours for the 
whole course shows that the chief difference between the 
old and new methods is that in the old-fashioned Gym- 
nasien 68 hours are devoted to Latin, 36 to Greek, and 20 
to French ; whereas, in the new, the hours are 51, 32, and 
31-34 respectively. In the old-fashioned Realgymnasien 
43 hours are given to Latin and 31 to French, against 37-39 
and 36-40 respectively. 

During a recent visit to Germany to study the teaching 
of history for the Board of Education, the writer came across 
a couple of Gymnasien in which the new experiment is 
being conducted, and through the kindness of the head- 
master was able to be present at several lessons. He then 
visited one or two Gymnasien of the older type, in order to 
institute, as far as possible, a comparison between the 
standards attained, and also to try to obtain some idea of 
the scope and aim of classical teaching in Germany, which, 
it is hardly necessary to say, is not quite the same as that in 

Accurate scholarship and hnguistic taste may probably 
be regarded as the chief aim of classical teaching in EngUsh 
schools. We therefore find much attention pdd to niceties 
of scholarship, and a good deal of time devoted to the prac- 
tice of composition. In Germany the chief aim seems to be 
mastery of the language with a view to make the langUcige 
itself an element of general culture. Hence, while the pupils 
are thoroughly well grounded in the grammar and syntax 
of the language, the amount of composition appears to be 
considerably less. 

Thus, in one of the Gymnasien of the old tjrpe, the state- 
ment was made that the pupils in the highest class only do 
two Greek compositions a term. Again, the greater part of 
the composition work consists of re-translation, more or 
less direct, into the Latin or Greek. Very seldom does the 
teacher set passages out of German authors for re-transla- 


tion. In fact, in Greek this was only again allowed in the 
new programme of 1902. Verse composition is extinct, 
though in one or two universities the professor makes the 
students turn Juvenal into Greek verse, or Greek poetry 
into Latin verse, and in others the study of metric, such as 
that of Plautus, is carried to a high pitch. 

The absence of verse composition probably leads to less 
stress being laid on the correct learning of quantities, which 
are mainly taught to the pupils incidentally. The writer 
was told by one of the professors that Williamovitz-MoUen- 
dorf , the celebrated Greek scholar, would ignore the teach- 
ing of Greek accents. Whether true or not, it is an indication 
of the smaller importance attached to such things than one 
finds in England. The stress laid on the mastery of a certain 
number of authors naturally gives prominence to the trans- 
lation side. All language teaching apparently begins with 
a reader or text-book. These are generally without those 
stumbUng-stones to knowledge, footnotes, and often with- 
out vocabularies, except in the beginners' classes. While 
cribs are forbidden, standard translations of poetic and 
dramatic authors are sometimes recommended in the highest 

The following is a brief account of one or two classes 
visited in the Reform schools : 

Oberterlia (average age about 13^), 28 pupils, 10 hours a 
week (5 devoted to Lektiire, 3 to grammar, i to written 
exercises). The class had been doing Latin for a year and 
two terms, and had already read the first three books of 
Caesar. They began by construing a difficult passage in 
oratio obliqua out of the first book, which they had not seen 
for a considerable time. The translation was accurate and 
fluent. Then, at my request, they took the first chapter 
of Book IV unseen. Five pupils in all were put on from 
different parts of the class. 

The modus operandi was as follows : The pupil read a few 
lines in a clear and distinct voice, and then started trans- 
lating literally with little or no hesitation. There was no 
guessing at the general meaning, but the translation through- 
out showed that the pupil had a sure grasp of the structure 


of the language. Only once did the teacher suggest what 
word should be taken. One has little doubt that the in- 
volutions and inversions of the German language rob the 
synthetic style of Latin of some of its difficulties for German 
boys. Yet the performance was certainly remarkable. The 
pupils' range of vocabulary, both in Latin and German, was 
equally striking. 

One boy translated straight off the reel the phrase " ratio 
et usus belli " as " Theorie und Praxis des Krieges." There 
was, in fact, only one word (invicem) which they did not 
seem to have encountered before. Words Uke " venationi- 
bus " they at once derived from simpler forms they had 
already met with. The few grammar questions asked by 
the teacher were correctly answered. The class readily 
picked out and named a concessive ablative absolute, and 
after building up verbs hke " ventito " out of " venio," 
described their function. Grammar, even in the grammar 
lessons, is taught as far as possible inductively. • But the 
teacher is no slave to the system, and makes no bones of 
giving an explanation straight away when he sees there is 
any danger of wasting too much time beating about the 
bush, or that the class cannot hit off the scent. A map of 
Gallia was hanging up in the class-room, and the geographical 
references in the lesson were located on it. 

When the passage had been construed over, the pupils 
closed their books and the teacher proceeded to discuss the 
subject-matter of the passage, making a running analysis of 
the contents, and asking for Latin quotations, which were 
readily given, such as " privati ac separati agri apud eos 
nihil est," together with such questions as to why there 
was no fixed land tenure among the Suebi. One boy evoked 
much amusement by giving as a reason that the people 
wanted to know the neighbourhood, and therefore did not 
wish to stay in one place. An allusion to hunting led to a 
question on the fauna of Europe at the time. Finally the 
piece was done over by a pupU into good German. The 
liveliness, keenness, and attentiveness of the class were 
beyond all praise. 

Obertertia (second year in Latin). Thirty- three pupils. 


The class were doing a lesson in Ovid. In this case the 
teacher first translated, and the class did it over again. The 
Caesar, however, is prepared at home. The special text- 
books in this and classics of the same standing elsewhere 
are furnished with vocabularies. There is also a special 
grammar. In order to help the pupils over the ground the 
grammars are made as short and concise as possible. Here 
again the translation was first literal and then idiomatic. 
Toward the end of the lesson the class recited and trans- 
lated from memory the story of Cadmus. 

The following rough notes of the top class in Latin in two 
Gymnasien (old style) will show the aim is much the same. 

Oherprima (eleven pupils). The lesson for the day was an 
analysis of a certain number of Horace's odes, with dis- 
cussions on the personages mentioned, illustrated by quota- 
tions from other parts of Horace's works. The teacher's 
method the first time over is to go through the ode with the 
class, explaining the main difficulties. The pupils then 
prepare the ode at home. The same practice is adopted 
with the Germania, which the teacher considered very 
difficult, apparently owing to its allusions. A chapter of 
the Germania thus gone over in school takes the pupils 
about a quarter of an hour to prepare at home. The analy- 
sis was very clear, and the pupils showed a good knowledge 
of Horace. They had got a large number of the odes by 
heart. They not only analysed the ode, but also recited it 
with becoming effect. Gabbling is not tolerated. 

Oberprima. Several odes of Horace were read and trans- 
lated. The ode was either analysed by the pupil or the 
teacher talked it over with the class. The method of trans- 
lation adopted was that of giving several strophes to a 
pupil to read over and translate. An improved translation 
would then be given by another pupil. Much time was spent 
on commenting on the contents. The teacher stated his 
chief purpose was to treat the odes as an illustration of the 
life and times of the ancients. 

Here are the notes of two classes in Greek, the first in 
a Reform school and the second in an old-fashioned 


Unter-secunda (seventeen boys). The lesson for the day 
was a translation lesson in Xenophon which had been pre- 
pared at home. One pupil read the passage through, some 
twenty lines of the Anabasis, not in a perfunctory fashion, 
but with due emphasis, as if he understood it. Then short 
portions were fluently translated by various boys. The 
teacher next asked certain questions in accidence and 
grammar arising out of the text. The answers were good, 
extraordinarily good when one reflects that the class had 
only been doing Greek for two-thirds of a year. 

It seemed all the more wonderful when one learnt that 
the grammar is mainly studied incidentally at first, only 
those portions being learnt which bear on some point 
which occurs in the text. In some schools the class begins 
with a reader, but in this class the pupils had started straight 
away with Xenophon. The teacher began by reading and 
translating to them the opening sentences, and they had a 
vocabulary to help them to make out the sense. The chief 
aim, as the teacher explained, is to lead the pupils, as soon 
as possible, to an intelligent reading of an author. He 
held, with the editor of the text in use, that the bo3rs who 
begin Greek at an older age than the boy in the ordinary 
Gymnasium heeded a different treatment from the latter, 
and, above all, required a more substantial fare than is pro- 
vided by detached sentences, or even detached pieces. As 
for grammar, that can be largely learnt out of the Xeno- 
phon as one goes along. The editor of the text-book in 
question gives an excellent scheme of how such an idea may 
be carried out in practice. The composition in the class 
partly consists in the writing out of accidence and very 
simple re-translation, which is gradually varied. .The ex- 
treme Uveliness of the class, and the obvious interest they 
took in the work, were not the least striking features in a 
remarkable lesson. 

Oberprima (eleven pupils). The author under study was 
Homer. The lesson began with an analysis by one of the 
pupils of the passage translated at the preceding lesson. 
Portions of the passage for the day were then read with 
becoming feeling and translated by other members of the 


class. The translation was fluent and good. There was a 
certain amount of literary comment, which was mainly con- 
cerned with the subject-matter of the passage and the 
characters introduced. Grammar appeared to be mainly 
studied with a view to a just understanding of the 

With such comparatively limited experiences one would 
hesitate, in spite of the very large schools in which they 
occurred, to put them forward as samples of what is gene- 
rally the case, were it not for the fact that the standard of 
average attainment in the larger German schools is far higher 
than with us, and were they not, what is much more impor- 
tant, largely borne out by statements made at a meeting of 
the partisans of the Reform schools held at Cassel in 
October, 1901, which was attended not only by the heads 
of schools, but by inspectors and representatives of the 
Ministry. Many of the questions which must naturally 
have occurred to those who have read thus far through the 
present article were raised at the meeting, and in nearly all 
cases a favourable answer was given. The obvious advan- 
tages attached to starting Latin at twelve and Greek still 
later were but little alluded to. Much more was made of the 
fact that the later age at which they were begun was far more 
in keeping with the pupils' maturity of spirit. What were 
difficulties to a boy of nine did not exist for a boy of twelve, 
thanks no doubt also in part to the preliminary three years' 
grounding in French. Teachers who had taught in both 
styles were unanimous in testif3dng to the rapid progress 
made by the pupils, which they attributed partly to the 
intensive method (several declared that eight hours a week 
for a year were better than four hours a week for a period of 
two years), and partly to the far greater interest shown by 
the pupils. This keenness on the subject and anxiety to get 
on were stated to be due to the fact that the pupils " have 
clearly the feeling that they are constantly growing and are 
being carried along quickly in contrast to the slow progress 
which they formerly made." The majority declared that 
over-pressure was no worse under the new system than under 
the old, though most admitted that in most cases it was a 


serious problem. The least contented seemed to be the 
teachers in modern languages and the professors of science 
and mathematics. The former appeared to consider they 
laboured in order that the classical teachers might enter into 
their labours, and, together with the science and mathe- 
matical professors, complained of the short time allotted to 
them in the upper classes. All were convinced of the need 
of grammar drill. The influence of the direct method in 
modern languages showed itself in the advocacy of some in 
favour of the spoken word in Latin. The questions of the 
inadequate time devoted to ancient history in the Gym- 
nasium and of an insufficiency of proper text-books for the 
new method were also raised. Most interesting was the 
verdict of the inspector who had examined the first batch 
of Frankfort boys for the leaving certificates. The Greek 
results were quite satisfactory. The Latin, while satisfac- 
tory, showed that the grammar required a Uttle more 

There are still, no doubt, other questions which have not 
been touched on in this short analysis. Two may be 
mentioned here. What do the older schools think of the 
reform, and what do the universities think of it ? The 
Ministry, as we have seen, is extremely favourable ; so far 
as one could learn, in the other schools there seems to be 
an opinion that the reforms may lead to over-pressure and 
that the weaker boys are drafted at times in a somewhat 
compulsory fashion into the Latinless department. Both 
these contentions are hotly denied by the partisans of the 
reforms. Even if the latter allegation be true, it would 
seem to be a step in the right direction. The Universities 
have had several years' experience of students coming from 
the Reform Realgymnasium. For the last three years 
, students have been coming in from the Reform Gymnasium 
too. Lack of time, unfortunately, prevented an inquiry 
into the opinion of the Universities on its new recruits. The 
subject is such an important one it seems worth the Board 
of Education's while to send to Germany some distinguished 
scholar weU acquainted with the teaching of classics in 
England to make a thorough investigation into the whole 


matter.^ Doubtless we should not care to copy in all 
respects the German methods of teaching classics, yet it is 
quite possible we might with advantage enlarge our own 
methods of teaching. But the important question is, can 
we venture to defer, as the Germans have done, the teaching 
of classics to a later date ? If so, judging by the German 
example, not only education, but classics also, wiU be the 
gainers. The classical side is less likely to be overweighted 
with an unnecessary ballast of non-linguistic pupils, while 
those who start the subject at the later date should bring to 
it an eagerness to learn and an interest in their own progress 
which are the very vivida vis of all true education, and are, 
unhappily, aU too uncommon among the bulk of English 
classical pupils. 

* This suggestion has since been adopted. See vol. 20 of Board 
of Education Special Reports on Educational Subjects [The Teaching 
of Classics in Secondary Schools in Germany), 1909. 


Several very sweeping reforms have recently taken place 
in English education. One of the most important is the 
delegation by the Ministry to the counties and county- 
boroughs of a large portion of the administration of finances 
and especially of secondary education. The new local 
authorities have in many places already begun to tackle 
the gigantic task of rearranging the work of the existing 
schools and of creating new institutions to meet the more 
urgent needs of their several areas. Incidentally they are 
now setthng, for a generation at least, our educational 
methods and ideals, which, in plain English, means they are 
deciding not only what the rank and file but also what the 
leaders of the nation will be in the next twenty years. It 
is in every way imperative that they should realize their 
enormous responsibihties and carefully weigh every change 
and innovation. There is so much that is excellent in 
EngUsh education that we cannot but trust they wiU not 
only conserve but widely extend all that is worthy of reten- 
tion. Again, it is to be hoped that the great principle 
inaugurated by the late Act, which entrusts to, and, indeed, 
enjoins on, the new authorities the duty of making the schools 
conform to local needs, will not be lost sight of. A bhnd 
imitation of Continental systems, with their excessive 
centralization and uniformity, would be httle short of 
disastrous ; yet, in the sphere of the proper treatment of 
subjects and of their due ordering and arrangement in com- 
plete courses of study, we are bound to look for information 
and guidance to our more highly organized neighbours 
abroad. Until recently our educational leaders have rather 


turned their eyes towards Germany, and certainly the 
German system is, at first sight, most impressive. One can- 
not but admire the care and intelligence that have been 
lavished on the framing of curricula, and the way in which 
the teaching in each subject has been thought out in every 
detail. Above all, one wonders at the aU-round equipment 
of the teacher, at his professional keenness, at the thorough- 
ness of his methods, and the high standard of attainment 
he reaches within the sphere in which he works. One's 
admiration grows as one examines the component parts of 
the system and sees how carefuUy everything is made to 
dovetail and interlock. 

It is only when we carry our investigations still further 
and attempt to gauge the underlying spirit which keeps the 
whole machinery in motion that we begin to doubt whether 
we can copy so many of the features we formerly admired, 
or would wish to copy them if we could. At bottom educa- 
tion has a dual aim : the training of character and the 
development of the intelligence. In the training of character 
we have Httle to learn from the Germans. Indeed, there 
seems to be a certain danger that in our desire to emulate 
the success they obtain in the way of developing the intelli- 
gence we may unconsciously be tempted to copy the military 
modes of discipline to which the success itself is partially 
due. To guard against such a danger we must attempt to 
get to the bottom of the problem, and not only scrutinize 
the quantity but the quality of the intellectual output. Its 
very evenness furnishes a clue to its nature. To put it in 
a nutshell, the teacher appears to aim at turning out intelli- 
gences of a certain specific pattern and tjrpe rather than 
self-sufficing, independent-minded individuals. But the 
dangers of such an aim, especially in the hands of an 
ignorant imitator, are very, great, because there must always 
be an inevitable tendency for such a training to become not 
so much a development as a dressage of the intelligence. 

The contributory causes to such a dressage are manifold. 
One, which is frequently met with in the big towns, is the 
abnormally large size of the lower and middle classes. 
Classes of over forty are not unknown, and those over 


thirty are comparatively common. In fact, the German 
schools in the big towns are probably considerably more 
understaffed than the corresponding Enghsh schools. In 
such cases it is obvious that the teaching must be, to some 
extent, mechanical ; there is but Uttle scope for individual 
attention. But the dressage is also due to far deeper reasons, 
deeper even than the laudable desire to drag, by hook or by 
crook, every pupil through the mill. The whole teaching is 
essentially a gymnastic, a mental Turnen, at its worst an 
acrohatie. It bears to the proper development of the indi- 
vidual the same relation as an elaborate system of carefully 
thought-out army gymnastics bears to a really scientific, 
hygienic system of physical exercises. In the one case an 
effort, more or less skilful, is made to develop certain parts, 
because they have been so developed from time immemorial, 
but the development of these to the instructor is an end in 
itself. In the other case an effort is made to develop the 
whole individual, and the development is only regarded as 
a means. In the first instance, the theory rests on premises 
that are never caUed in question ; in the second, the theory 
is based on reason, and a conscious effort is made to adapt 
the means to nature. In a word, the first system inevitably 
tends to produce specific rather than original forms of mind, 
types rather than individuals. 

Hence even in the highest forms one has always the 
sensation that the class are like a flock of sheep in a pen. 
An English class is often less together. They do not give 
one the same sensation of forty feeding like one, but there 
is more browsing. The flock may be a trifle scattered, 
partly, maybe, because the shepherd is not always master of 
his craft, partly because they are each seeking to a certain 
extent his own pasture. There is no unfenced grazing- 
ground in German schools. From the bottom to the top the 
pupils in each form are folded off and penned into compart- 
ments much in the same way as a flock of sheep is folded 
over a field of turnips. When they have consumed all the 
rich crop within the four corners of their pen, another pen 
is opened to which they are admitted. One cannot help 
admiring the skill of the shepherd and the clever way in 



which he mixes the food and tends the flock, but the sheep 
strike one as somewhat too domesticated. One cannot help 1 « ,, 
feeUng that hke all domestic animals they are being reared Jo 
not so much for their own sake as for the sake of certain ' 
superior beings. The school is, in fact, one of the principal 
raising and breeding branches in that large State farm 
known in ordinary parlance as Germany, or, in other words, 
its principal function is to produce submissive supporters of 
the throne and altar. 

Hence one of the lacunm in the higher classes of German 
schools is the absence of philosophic training which more 
than anything else tends to develop the individual into a 
conscious and coherent being. Coming at a period of storm 
and stress during which the youth is putting away childish 
things and becoming a man, it serves, if properly utilized, 
not merely as the very crown of school studies but also as 
an initiation into the problems of life and conduct. The 
authorities themselves have lately become alarmed at the 
absence of such a training, and the subject was the principal 
one selected for discussion at the Headmasters' Conference 
for 1902, which in that year was held in the province of 
Saxony. The thoroughness of the proceedings may be 
gathered from the fact that the whole question is first 
thrashed out by the teachers in the several schools, their 
conclusions are then embodied in a report, and from these 
reports a general report is put together which is submitted 
to the whole assembly for debate. It is significant that the 
conference not only reported in favour of definite philo- 
sophical training but also of giving the whole of the teach- 
ing in the higher classes a more philosophical cast. In no 
subject is the lack of such a colouring more noticeable than 
in the teaching of history, which is taught in the upper 
classes on lines which are admirably adapted to the lower 
forms, but out of place with pupils of eighteen and nineteen. 
The teacher gives his own particular version, which hence- 
forth becomes the " Evangelium " of the class, to be supple- 
mented by one of several carefully authorized text-books 
which are purely objective, or, at their worst, baldly annalis- 
tic. What httle home reading is done is bolted through the 


^ieacher's sieve by means of a careful catechism on the saUent 
points to be brought out. But Uttle effort is made to eUcit 
the pupil's own personal impressions as such, much less to 
encourage originaUty. The aim of the teacher begins and 
ends with the assurance that the pupil has made the right 
deductions. The study of original authorities appears to be 
almost unknown. Hence the twofold value of history as 
one of the best instruments for forming the judgment and 
for initiating the pupil into the art of original research is 
ignored. The ideal pupil wotdd appear to be the beloved 
disciple who says most frequently amen to his master or is 
the greatest adept at reproducing his formularies. 

The same lack of any encouragement of originality is also 
observable in the teaching of hterature, though it must, to 
some extent, be freely admitted that within certain limits 
the teaching is often excellent and presents points of interest 
that we may well imitate. Granted that the instruction 
specially aims at imbuing the pupils with certain definite 
ideas, the methods adopted are often preferable to our own. 
Those stumbhng-blocks to the study of hterature, anno- 
tated editions, are comparatively rare. The German pupil's 
attention is not incessantly distracted by the marginalia of 
schoUasts, often more anxious to air their own knowledge 
than to contribute to his enlightenment. Poems are not 
studied piecemeal but as continuous wholes. The text is 
not dug over for the grammatical roots it may contain, but 
rather treated as a flower-bed whose artistic arrangement is 
admired, and whose fragrance and beauty are judged as a 
whole. The Germans do not beheve that an elaborate know- 
ledge of verbal botany is a necessary introduction to an 
appreciation of hterature. They recognize that culture, hke 
gardening, deals far more with the living thing than with 
the dead anatomy. A knowledge of mathematics or science 
certainly adds to an appreciation of art, but it is not the 
one thing necessary by any manner of means. Yet even 
while one admires German methods of teaching hterature, 
one feels their limitations. One cannot help thinking that 
the teacher's enthusiasm for hterature, sincere as most of 
it is, bears the same relation to the real, native, spontaneous 


love of literature as the somewhat loud and noisy talk about 
German patriotism bears to our deep, inborn conception of 
patriotism. To say it is the difference between the acquired 
and the indigenous is too strong a contrast. Yet if one com- 
pares the German love of the higher forms of literature with 
the true, unforced, genuine love of the French, one instinc- 
tively thinks of the parallel between the man who at a great 
price obtained his freedom and the other who was born to it. 
Perhaps a still closer comparison would be that between 
official and natural Christianity. The love of German htera- 
ture, as inculcated in the schools, is part of the official cult 
of the State rehgion by law established — an excellent thing, 
no doubt, but with a slight smack of compulsion about it. 
In fact, as we hope to show when we come to discuss 
French education, while we can learn something from the 
teaching of the mother tongue and of Uterature in Germany, 
we may learn the same and still more from France. From 
Germany we can in fact pick up a certain amount, mainly 
in the mechanics of teaching. But here the matter ends. 
For inspiration and for the strengthening of certain national 
weaknesses we must rather look to France. 

Of course, here again we must choose and discriminate. 
In the training of character we have very httle to learn from 
our friends across the Channel, although the modern theories 
of freedom and individuality are undoubtedly having an 
effect on the hitherto somewhat mihtary regime of the 
schools, which is clearly shown by the most recent proj 
grammes in history-teaching. In fact, it is fair to state ~^ 
that, while Germany is undoubtedly more and more approxi- 
mating her schools to military ideas, the French are steadily 
moving in the opposite direction, towards the encourage- 
ment of freedom, responsibihty, and personal initiative 
Again, while we may well copy the high pitch of efficiency 
to which the French have brought the teaching profession 
and the honourable status to which they have raised it, we 
must steadily avoid any movement that tends to make our 
teachers mere purveyors of knowledge and divorce them 
from active participation in the larger life of the school. 
But when we come to the development of the inteUi- 


gence we may find much that we can freely admire and 

French education may be roughly divided into two parts, 
one of which ends with the first part of the baccalaureat, 
formerly called la rhetorique, the other ending with the part 
still known as la philosophie. Both these parts explain 
pretty well the aims of either course of study. The former 
is a training in taste and in the art of expression. As in 
Germany, the mother tongue and the native Uterature are 
put in the forefront of the programme, but, £is has been 
already hinted, the manner in which they are taught in 
France is distinctly superior. Thanks to his prodigious 
appetite for knowledge, the German, who in this as in other 
matters is a veritable gourmand, is acquainted with what is 
considered to be the best that has been said on a subject, 
and has more or less formed for himself a palate. The 
Frenchman, on the other hand, is a born gourmet. Instinc- 
tively he picks out, selects and arranges what is de hon goM. 
Even when he deals with platitudes, he manages to " ear- 
mark " them with a touch of his own individuality. In 
fact, he is past-master in the difficult art, according to 
Horace, of " communia propria dicere." This artistic indi- 
vidualism pervades the whole nation ; one sees it even in 
so common a matter as dress, in which the women, while 
careful to foUow the fashion, each modify it to suit their 
own particular style of beauty. Teachers and taught thus 
bring to the study of hterature and the mother tongue an 
aptitude not to be met with elsewhere. In no branch of the 
i I I subject does the superiority of the French come out more 
plainly than in the teaching and practice of essay-writing, 
which is stiU regarded as one of the most important items 
\in the school time-table. Free composition begins in fact 
in the lowest classes with oral narration in its simplest form 
— the mere re-telling of some story which has been already 
related by the teacher. The bien dire and hien Scrire are 
thus taught from the very outset. The practice prevails to 
a certain extent in German schools, but where the French 
excel is in the far greater attention given to the composi- 
tion itself of the essay. Their language serves as an admir- 



able medium. It is the true heir of the best traditions of 
the ancient rhetors, handed down through an uninterrupted 
apostoUc succession through the schools of Lyons, Bordeaux 
and Paris. It is the finished product which has been worked 
up by generations of native Longinuses and Quintilians. It 
is the only modern language that has evolved a distinctively 
national prose st^le. Thanks to its ancient traditions, the 
French have never lost sight, as we in England, of the true 
meaning of the word composition. With us it too often 
means reproduction in a foreign medium of some passage 
in Enghsh, a matter of clever phrasing, or matching nuances 
of thought in the two languages concerned, of reproducing 
in (say) a Latin mosaic a design already given in EngUsh. 
It retains in French its fuller, truer and really classical 
meaning of composing, of putting together, of construction. 
It imphes the employment not merely of the talents of the 
mosaic-layer, but of the original designer, the master- 
builder, the architect. In a word, the French writer is not 
merely the framer of happy phrases. His chief glory con- 
sists in his skill to build up phrases into paragraphs, and 
paragraphs into one single, harmonious, architectural whole. 
And herein Ues for us one of the great benefits to be derived 
from a study of French methods. Just as our artists go to 
Paris to learn technique, so our teachers might well go to 
France to study the teaching of composition on French Unes, 
in place of the happy-go-lucky, laissez-faire methods of 
letting pupils " muddle through " what they wish to say. 
We do not want to create in our schools a pseudo-French 
style. There is, indeed, but little danger of such an even- 
tuality. We have too much of what may be called nation- 
ality, of racial mother-stuff, ever to capitulate to that 
danger, whereas our greater af&nity to Germany renders 
us all the more likely to exaggerate the defects of what we 
learn from that country. 

But the art of clear and artistic expression demands more 
than a purely hterary education if it is not to suffer from 
the dangers of superficiaUty. This corrective is supplied by 
the training the French pupil receives in the last year of his 
school career under the rubric of Philosophy. While the 


German pupil is laboriously filling in or widening the circle 
of his hard-acquired knowledge, the French pupil is under- 
pinning the whole structure of his previous education. 
Curiously enough the word that each would apply to his 
education at tMs stage has ostensibly the same meaning. 
The German would say that he was studjdng his subjects 
grundlich, and the French that he was pushing his education 
aufond. Yet the first only means he is fiUing in the blanks 
in the cyclus of his knowledge, the other that he is going 
down to the root of what he has learnt. No year is more 
important from the pupil's point of view. A purely rhetori- 
cal education has great dangers. It leaves one more or less 
at the mercy of words. It is true that a philosophical educa- 
tion puts us at times at the mercy of ideas, but such a 
predicament is the less perilous of the two. A rhetorical 
education gives us, as it were, the colour of things, the 
philosophical adds the sense of form ; the one trains the 
emotions, the other moulds the logical shape that they take. 
Such a philosophical education as is given in the French 
lyc6es is not merely a resume of the past, a co-ordination and 
explanation of all previous studies, it also furnishes a base 
and a groundwork for the future life of the pupil, providing, 
as it were, the cadres round which he may classify his subse- 
quent experiences, and by which he may direct his conduct. 
The practice of teaching the pupil to examine and catalogue 
his ideas is of the highest educational value. Individuality 
and the unification of ideas are very closely connected. If 
we English could have a httle more appreciation and respect 
for general ideas, which are often after all but the intellectual 
names of great moral principles, we should certainly be able 
to reason out many of our social and political difficulties 
more readily, and be less slaves to the gross sophisms which 
obtain currency from the neglect of the ordinary cultivated 
man to examine the exact meaning of the terms he uses. 
Again, French philosophy enjoys the advantage of wearing 
the least forbidding aspect of all the philosophies. It may 
not attain the depth of German philosophy — ^in some ways 
it may only be a sort of glorified common sense — but in its 
lucidity and its close attachment to the problems of daily 


life it finds at once its strength and its weakness. Nor is it 
by any means as shallow as foreigners often think. The 
depth is there, but it is so easily seen, because the medium, 
the language in which it is conveyed, is so transparent. In 
France, the French do not forget that philosophy is a branch 
of literature, and the whole attitude of the best French 
writer is not to pose as an unfolder of mysteries, explaining 
the obscurum per obscurius, but rather to show, with the 
greatest suppression of self, how after all the thing is not so 

Nothing gives a clearer notion of the French aim in \ 
education than their conception of examinations. Our 
literary examinations are, above all, an audit of knowledge, 
and at their worst a mere audit of fact. The whole competi- 
tion is a match against time ; the pupil who can disgorge 
the greatest amount of knowledge in a given time comes out : 
top. A certain level of spelling, punctuation, and grammar 
is demanded, but style in the French sense of the word / 
rarely counterbalances quantity in the examiner's eyes. / 
The entire examination is very largely a matter of memory, / 
either in the actual reproduction of what has been learnt, or | 
the reproduction of something similar to what one has been j 
taught ; the whole thing is too exclusively a matter of en-/ 
lightened imitation. Originahty is too rarely sought for on 
desired. The arts of exposition, of development, of com/ 
position proper are comparatively neglected. When a 
French university professor is shown an EngUsh paper wit 1 
ten or twelve questions (say in history) he is lost in astonisl - 
ment at the number of questions ; but when he is told the y 
are all to be answered in three hours he is dumbfounderec .. 
The number of questions to be attempted in the lycie fc r 
a three hours' composition, or in the university for a six 
hours' paper, would be one or two. One can only explain 
to him that the English method treats intelligences much 
as sponges. It attempts to discover those which can returii\ 
the greatest quantity of the facts or theories they have 
absorbed. To which our Frenchman rejoins : But where 
does the composition come in, the act of presenting one's 
subject in the clearest form, and in the most suitable 


language ? One can only point out the fact tha,t it doesn't 
come in except in a subordinate way, for the simple reason 
that the EngUsh examinee writes from the point of view of 
one who writes for a critic who knows already what he 
ought to say and only wants to verify his remarks, whereas 
the French candidate writes from the point of view of one 
who wants to explain to the ordinary person what he has 
to say, and so naturally puts his case with the utmost care. 
The Frenchman will probably remark that, as far as prac- 
tical value goes, in fact as a preparation for everyday Ufe, 
his method of examination is more useful, as it allows the 
pupil to explain his views to any one of a certain calibre. 
Reply on this point seems difficult, for have we not here the 
main reason of the chronic inability of the Enghsh boy to 
explain himself and his ideas in a coherent fashion ? No 
doubt this cult of form when pushed to extremes may lead 
to undue disregard for the subject-matter. Every virtue 
when pushed to extremes becomes a vice. But inasmuch as 
we and the French have got hold of opposite ends of the 
truth, this is certainly a point where we have much to learn 
from them if we wish to encourage the productive rather 
than the mere reproductive faculties of our pupils. 

It would be interesting to enlarge on the superiority of 
French over Enghsh examinations in their invariable in- 
clusion in every examination of a viva-voce which tests some 
of the most valuable quahties of everyday Ufe which are 
practically untouched by the written work. Let it suffice to 
say that there is very urgent need for us in England to 
revive at once this type of intellectual assaying, or largely 
to extend its range wherever it already exists. It is only 
fair to German educationists to say that their examinations, 
both written and oral, are conducted on somewhat similar 
Unes. But for reasons already given above, the French 
would appear, in this respect also, more likely to repay 
judicious study and imitation on our part. Again, while 
English, and especially English literary, examinations are 
in the main an audit of knowledge, yet it is true that in some 
schools and in the later stages of education at the uni- 
versities, and more particularly at Oxford, stress is laid on 


the value of those qualities by which the French set such 
store. What we want is a much wider diffusion of these 
ideals. Perhaps the best way to promote them would be 
to encpurage a far closer intercourse between Oxford and 
Paris, which, in their conception of culture, have so many 
points of resemblance. Could the authorities of the two 
universities only come to know one another better, they 
would be astonished and cheered to find how many ideals 
they shelter in common. 

The danger of turning to Germany rather than to France 
does not end here. There are a certain number of persons 
to-day in England who are demanding we should begin the 
study of languages with German rather than French, which 
has hitherto always had the pre-eminence. They urge with 
much plausibility that the accent is easier, and that the 
problem of learning a new vocabulary is lessened by the 
fact that the commoner words in English and German are 
more like one another than the commoner words in French 
and English. German, no doubt, is easier of pronunciation 
than French, though the question of accent for young 
children, with their very flexible organs of speech and great 
power of imitation, is of much less importance than with 
older pupils. The argument from vocabulary seems less 
serious. Even the pupil of nine or ten, if he has not learnt 
Latin, has already become acquainted with a large number 
of Enghsh words of Latin origin. Again, as the Anglo- 
Saxon words in his own language present to the small boy 
no difficulty, the fact that many words in English and 
German are aUke is only helpful in learning the German 
vocabulary, whereas when French is learnt, the acquisition 
of French and the acquisition of English words derived 
from the Romance languages are mutually helpful. The 
English is perpetually throwing light on the French word, 
and the French on the English. Finally, the difficulties of 
German grammar and German construction with the un- 
usual order of words is certainly greater for pupils of this 
age than French grammar and construction in the opening 
stages. The same advocates urge that German at a later 
stage is very necessary for all who wish to do research work 


in history, economics, or science, and also insist on its com- 
mercial value. The bulk of original investigations published 
in Germany is in the majority of subjects the greatest in 
the world ; but the amount in France is by no means 
insignificant, is often indispensable, and where it does exist, 
is generally served up in a much more available form. At 
the same time, too much stress must not be laid on the argu- 
ment itself. The mere grammatical knowledge requisite 
to read a work of research is easy of acquirement. The 
main difficulty lies in the technical vocabulary, which has 
to be mastered after the pupil has left school. This advan- 
tage, such as it is, is discounted by the greater commercial 
value that is attached to a knowledge of French. Nearly 
all Germans engaged in trade or commerce are sufficiently 
masters of English to be able to do business in our language, 
but, while our trade with France and French colonies is 
practically as big as our trade with Germany and her 
dependencies, the same facility of intercourse by no means 
exists between French merchants and shippers and ourselves. 
The utilitarian value of French for trade purposes is therefore 
considerably greater than the utiUtarian value of German, 
although there is a strong current of pubhc opinion to the 
contrary. But, granting once more for the sake of argument 
that the Teutophiles have so far made out the better case, 
there are still two very potent reasons for beginning with 
French, the last of which seems well-nigh unanswerable. 
A large percentage of small boys who are going to receive 
a secondary education are destined to take up Latin. As a 
preparation for the study of Latin, there can be no compari- 
son between German and French. The Germans have 
recognized this in all their so-caUed Reform schools, in which 
the study of a modern language is made the stepping-stone 
to the study of Latin, though had they adopted the argu- 
ment of the Philoteutons over here, they would not have 
hesitated to select EngUsh, as the connection between Ger- 
man and French is far more remote than between EngUsh 
and French. French is also the one modern language that 
is obligatory in their " unreformed " classical schools. 
Again, in their non-classical schools they begin with French 


and not with English. The truth is they reaJize that 
French is really an indispensable factor in general culture. 
That is really the chief argument of all. The question of 
Which language shall we begin with ? is not a mere academic 
one. It really goes to the heart of national education. 
Everything hinges on it. Analyse it out, and we see it is 
only another way of asking. On which language shall we 
lay the greater stress ; which language shall we, in fact, 
place first ? In the case of many boys only one modern 
language will be taken up. The question, therefore, is all 
the more important as to which they shall take. Expressed 
in other words it means. Which culture do we desire to copy 
on a large scale — that of Germany or that of France ? Put 
in that fashion, can there be any doubt ? Do we not want 
rather to reinforce the Norman than the Anglo-Saxon side 
of our character ? 

If the position of classics is going to be weakened in 
England, are- we not likely to find more or less compensation 
for the change in a more extensive study of French, which is 
in so many ways the universal legatee of Greek and Roman 
traditions ? Can Germany offer us anything similar ? 

To sum up. Is not the balance largely in favour of 
generally, though not exclusively, following French models 
rather than German in school matters ? One must lay stress 
on the word " school," for all are wilhng to testify to the 
extraordinary love of learning to be found in German uni- 
versities, to their untiring energy in research, and to their 
freedom of opinion, although the latter quality has been 
sadly curtailed of recent years. In their schools we can 
again gladly bear witness to the high quahfications of the 
teaching profession, to their strenuous, if somewhat narrow, 
conception of duty, and to the various strong points in the 
teaching of certain subjects. But, as we have seen, these 
strong points are as well and often better represented in 
French schools ; while certain weaknesses we have noted in 
German education — the increasing mihtary spirit, the re- 
actionary tendencies and the lack of the philosophic training 
— are less pronounced or entirely absent from French educa- 
tion. We have further seen how, in the teaching of the 


mother tongue, in the proper conception of examinations 
and in the addition of a philosophical crown to its education, 
France has for us, if we are wiUing to learn, things which 
are in every way worthy of our consideration. We stand at 
the very parting of the ways. Are we to copy from a 
national system which every year seems to grow more out 
of sympathy with the majority of the nation, deUberately 
constituted to serve as a buttress to the pohtical status quo, 
or another which under a more modern regime is striving to 
adapt itself to the conditions of the times ? What is frankly 
the main ideal of German education ? Erudition. What is 
the main ideal of French ? Culture. Which ideal is more 
wanted in England at the present time ? Which language 
is likely to afford the better linguistic, logical, aesthetic, and 
literary training ? Is it German, with its glorious l3nical 
poetry, its almost boundless vocabulary, its Gothic-Uke 
architecture, with cathedral-hke sentences branching into 
a mass of clauses, a veritable cluster of side-chapels, recaUing 
at once the might, majesty and awe of its archetype the 
primeval Hercynian forest, forest that, alas, the ordinary 
student does not see because of the trees, as he struggles 
with its sesquipedahan compounds and its apparently inter- 
minable sentences, its involved and complicated style, that 
happily shows signs of a movement towards a greater 
simphfication of expression, yet stiU involved in the toils 
of its own verbosity ? Or is it not rather French with its 
poetry, in which the overwhelming sense of form almost 
cramps and stunts the emotions, with its far less copious 
vocabulary which is yet one of the most effective arsenals of 
expression because of the admirable way in which its 
contents have been catalogued and cross-referenced, with 
a prose style that combines the classical architecture of pure 
line with the warm colouring of modern sentiment, recalling 
in its directness and solidity the road- and bridge-building 
talents of the Romans, while its good taste, moderation and 
refinement represent a genuine infiltration from the best 
epochs of Greek culture. Lucid and logical, appealing alike 
to the aesthetic and literary sense, what finer instrument 
of mental discipline is there outside the classical world ? 


English we must at any price remain, but certainly neither 
insular nor ultra-protectionist. The most valuable free 
imports we can make are such methods and ideals as we 
can copy from our neighbours. We want, in fact, to send 
abroad a sort of second Mosely Commission composed of 
educationists, but taken from those engaged not on the 
administrative, but on the pedagogical side — ^inspectors, 
headmasters, and the Uke, with a sprinkUng of county 
education secretaries — persons of wide experience and ac- 
quainted not merely with the strength but the weaknesses 
of English education. They would not only have to consider 
the points raised above, but many others. To mention only 
a few, the position of science and of mathematics in the 
different courses of study, the age at which Latin should 
be begun, the systematic teaching of history and geography. 
When the educational scouts had reported we should be in 
a position to know how far we might venture on the German, 
and how far on the French road, without losing touch with 
the English highway. 

I am happy to say that recently there has been a con- 
siderable change in English opinion as regards the com- 
parative merits of French and German education. While 
fully recognizing the undoubted strong points in German 
schools our leaders of pubUc opinion are gradually becoming 
better acquainted with French educational ideas and 
realizing that while Germans can teach us many useful 
wrinkles and tricks of the trade we must in matters of art 
and culture rather seek insgiration from France. No doubt 
the factors which have con tributedTo this welcome change 
are many in number. There are two which appear to me 
sufficiently important to mention here. One has been the 
visits of M. Hovelaque, the Inspector-General of Modern 
Languages, to England. He at least has done much to 
convince University authorities of the need of organizii^ 
the teaching of French on a really adequate scale with 
reaUy adequate professors. 

French culture can never obtain the appreciation it merits 
in England till its exponents are reaUy and truly repre- 


The other factor in the change has been the work of the 
International Guild. It is already making itself a name in 
England through the large number of students it is sending 
us, and by its latest achievement, the bringing together of 
the modern language associations in the two countries, it 
has given a decided impetus to the all too hmited interest 
in France that our teachers have hitherto taken, the results 
of which cannot fail to have an excellent effect on the 
younger generation who are at present passing through our 


Any survey of American education, however summary, 
must recognize the fact that in education as in other matters 
the United States must be considered to consist territorially -^ 
of at least three different divisions, each possessing certain "x 
salient characteristics which mark it off from the other two. • 
There is the section of the Eastern States, in which educa- 
tion has long been established, with the result that a certain 
fixity and finality has been reached in organization and 
teaching methods. Against this must be set the West with 
its exuberant energy, its feverish hankering after novelty, 
its passion for experiment which at times amounts to rash- 
ness, yet has in the main a most stimulating effect on 
education. Every new idea has a, chance of actual trial, 
even if it is not sufficiently experimented upon before it is 
cast aside in favour of some fresh novelty. And lastly 
comes the South, the stagnant South one might almost say, 
in comparison with the two other divisions, though even 
here things are in progress. But the actual rate of advance 
is slower. A rough indication of the difference is afforded 
by the amount of voluntary contributions last year for 
educational purposes. Of some 28,000,000 dollars thus 
given according to one authority, only 1,000,000 was sub- 
scribed south of the Mason and Dixie line that forms the 
boundary between North and South. 

Within these rough divisions of East, West, and South 
there further exists the most amazing variety in the systems-\ 
of local control, and the methods of teaching and organiza--^ 
tion. It must be always remembered that in education each-'^ 
state is a law unto itself ; there is no such thing as federal 


oversight or jurisdiction, the Bureau of Education being 
J inerely a clearing-house for the collection of statistics and 
>the dissemination of information. This variety is specially 
■observable in the spirit in which school reform is under- 
taken by the different states. In Massachusetts the legis- 
lative power is only invoked to confer the sanction of the 
law on any scheme of school reform, when the reform itself 
has already been virtually carried out by private initiative, 
and merely awaits rounding off and ratification. One of 
the most typical instances of this is the recent substitution 
of the larger area of the township for the small district 
authority, which was only legally adopted when all the 
numerous districts save four had voluntarily surrendered 
their autonomy. In New York and Pennsylvania the beUef 
in the virtues of parhamentary enactment is stronger, and 
educational laws have been passed in the hope of giving a 
lead to popular opinion by attaching the prestige of public 
sanction to reforms which have not always sufficiently 
entered into the manners and customs of the people, with 
the result that the laws in question have not always been 
a complete success. It is probable that the difference in 
this case is due to the native genius of the different peoples. 
C r Massachusetts is Independent in origin and traditions; 
New York is largely German and Celtic. The one naturally 
lays more stress on the efficacy of private initiative, and 
■ prefers the looser forms of authority, the other beheves in 
~the puissance of the state and the blessings of a more 
centralized form of government. 
V~ Yet in spite of the extensive diversity in the form and 
^Spirit of educational effort m the different states, there is, 
Tione the less, one common trait which makes the whole 
Vschool-world in America kin. It is the fervent belief of 
American democracy in its schools, which is only ,to be 
'matched by that of the schools in American democracy. 
This action and reaction of the school and the community 
on one another is one of the greatest levers towards progress 
imaginable. The bodily shape that this belief takes is that 
of having a common form of graduated schools which, while 
they naturally vary in standard according to the locality. 



lead up regularly one into another from the kindergarten 
(where it exists) to the primary school, from the primary 
school to the high school, from the high school to the college, 
and thence to the University. Elementary and secondary 
instruction alike are free in accordance with the democratic^ 
creed that, given equality of opportunity, the man who is-s 
worth his salt is certain to come to the front. This policy of 
the open door in education, through which the able children^ 
of the poorer classes have risen and can rise to positions of < 
wealth, has, no doubt, greatly contributed to the expansion-* 
of the United States. But most thoughtful persons will also 
admit it has been largely conditioned by it. In Europeaii n^ 
countries where the rate of expansion is far slower, notably - 
in France, and even in such a quick-developing country as -: 
Germany, we see the State obUged to organize the selection ■v 
of careers in order to prevent or diminish overcrowding in ') 
the hberal professions. Democratic France has dehberately . 
technicaUzed her higher primary schools, while the State in ' 
Germany, in estabhshing a scholastic monopoly, has adopted! 
the most drastic measures for the elimination of the unfit. \ 
Now, even if the United States continues to expand materi- \ 
ally as quickly as heretofore, there are not wanting many \ 
competent judges who beheve that the opportunity for ; 
getting on is not nearly so great as it was thirty years ago. ' 
Of what avail is it to keep the school door wide open, if the j 
door out into the world is closing ? However efficient the i 
school may be, it cannot make chances, it can only prepare 
its alumni to take them when offered. One cannot bring 
off a catch unless the ball comes one's way. Should America, ' 
therefore, persist in her splendid endeavour to give each 
child that stays on in her schools a general education, the 
question naturally arises, is she not in the long run likely 
to raise up that undesirable hybrid that other nations have 
produced — a literary proletariat. 

For the present, it must be admitted, there do not appear 
to bet'giny very disquieting signs. The introduction of~^ 
manual training into the schools looks hke safeguarding the -^ 
pupils against any excessive appreciation of the merely 
literary studies. One important factor that profoundly 


/'modifies the American problem is that commerce is not 

V generally looked down on socially as it is in most European 

countries. There is little of the cant of soiling one's hands 

with trade, which, on the contrary, is rather regarded as 

one of the chief avenues to success. Again, the American 

C pupil, thanks either to the school or society, is highly adapt- 
able. One is constantly meeting men in America who have 
'^-studied for one career, and taken up another. The highest 
University honours wiU not prevent the most briUiant 
American scholar from entering commerce, perhaps because 
the biggest prizes are to be found in it. The classic instance 
is that of Mr. Pierpont Morgan, whose attainments in mathe- 
matics were such as to induce the authorities at Gottingen 
to offer him a University lectureship. As long, then, as 
/the clever American is wilUng to turn his hand to what 
Vpays best, the natural selection will be made separately by 
>each individual, and there will be no need for the State to 

One of the most remarkable proofs of the beHef of the 
whole nation in its schools is, that the fact of their being 
^operi to the lower orders does not prevent their being patron- 
y ized by the better classes, who freely send their children to 
these schools. Private schools naturally exist in America, 
and have undoubtedly increased during the last decade. 
Yet, according to the latest figures pubhshed by the Bureau 
of Education, the high schools have increased in far greater 
proportion, which shows that the Separatist tendency is not 
growing at anything Uke the same rate as the general desire 
for higher education. 

This interest of the wealthier classes in education does not 
rend here. Nothing is more noteworthy than the way in 
(which there has been a positive stampede among million- 
f aires to devote a Uberal share of their immense fortunes to 
Hhe cause of education. It seems as if, as an American has 
remarked, it will soon be considered a crime for a man to die 
rich. Certainly one must go back to the benefactors of the 
Middle Ages to find such a constant flow of munificent en- 
dowments. Mr. Carnegie's princely Hberality is known in 
the two hemispheres. Only this year the President at Har- 


vard read out at Commencement a list of donations to the 
University of over a million and a half dollars, and the same 
day at Yale the President of the college announced the com- 
pletion of their two-million-dollar fund. How small in -\ 
comparison with this is the 60,000 odd pounds collected for 
Cambridge University ! Some unkind persons have sug- 
gested that this outburst of generosity on the part of Ameri- 
can millionaires is due to the desire to obtain a lien on the 
teaching of the Universities. It is impossible to read the 
hearts of men, but it may, at least, be stated that in many 
cases the money has been given for objects into which the 
teaching of such debatable subjects as pohtical economy or 
social science do not enter at aU. On the other hand, this 
close connection between the schools and the leaders of^ 
commerce is an object-lesson to many other countries, in-< 
which the teachers and merchants, instead of lajdng their <;* 
heads together and finding the necessary compromise be- j 
tween the apparently conflicting claims of a liberal and J 
business education, spend most of their time in mutual J 

The belief of the schools in American Democracy is best 
illustrated by the thorough fashion with which the American x 
school takes the child of the stranger within her gatesv 
whether German or Hungarian, Norwegian or Itahan, and < 
transforms him heart and soul into a real American citizen. -^ 
While nearly all European states are troubled by racial 
difficulties and dissensions, the common school has saved 
and is saving the United States from one of the thorniest of 
problems in the Old World. 

The principal characteristic which marks off American ") 
from European schools is the presence of the female sex in"N 
their midst, both as pupils and teachers. Co-education is 
the rule, except in the New England States, where it is not 
universal. The great mass of independent witness seems to 
be in its favour, though there is not wanting a certain type 
of critic, who urges that after all if the school is a prepara- 
tion for life, the hfe that the majority of girl pupils will have 
to lead is that of the wife and the mother, and that the 
training for this state of hfe should not be completely sacri- 


ficed in the higher classes by giving the girls identical 
courses of study with those of the boys. Be that as it may, 
/"it is probably certain that co-education renders women more 
V self-possessed and self-rehant, while the higher instruction 
ythey receive makes them the equal, if not, as some assert, 
Hhe superior of the male sex. Certainly, owing to their 
greater freedom from work, they are far more able to con- 
tinue their artistic and literary education in after-hfe than 
the American man. To take a single instance, it is estimated 
that 88 per cent, of the patrons of American theatres are 
women. There seems, in fact, some show of danger, that if 
the American woman continues to enjoy this preferential 
treatment, she may, by virtue of her intellectual and artistic 
superiority, end by substituting for the existing ideals in 
American life, which are naturally preponderatingly mascu- 
hne, those to which her own sex attach the greater import- 
ance, with the result that the American nation may one day 
see itself converted into one of what Bismarck used to call 
the feminine nations. In this transvaluation of values the 
American woman is likely to be unconsciously aided and 
. abetted by the female teachers who, apparently for econo- 
mic reasons, have largely ousted the male element from the 
teaching profession. It must be clear to everyone that a 
woman's method of managing a class, even in so simple a 
matter as keeping order, must from the mere force of things 
be radically different from that of a man, especially in the 
older classes. The power behind the female teacher's desk 
/lies in an appeal to the boys to respect her sex, if she does 
> not still further rely on her natural attractions as a woman ; 
whereas the male teacher in the government of his class 
rather sets before them the necessity of obedience for the 
sake of obedience, of loyalty to an ideal and not to a sex, 
I of reverence for the strong rather than a respect for the 
weak, and in his manners and conduct, his obiter dicta, his 
I general criticisms, his passing judgments on men and 
, matters, he insensibly moulds his class to look at things in a 
^ certain masculine fashion, which a woman does not possess. 
It is just perhaps in this question of judgment that the 
difference goes as deep as anywhere. The mind of the male 


teacher is essentially arranged on a logical plan ; women, ^ 
on the other hand, however gifted, are rather intuitive J 
than severely rational. Hence the boy pupil, who comes too 
exclusively under female teaching, will probably in some 
things be more sensitive to influence and suggestion than ^ 
his harder-headed brother, but, on the other hand, he will ^ 
be more deficient in mental balance and logical power. 
There appear to be already signs of this deficiency showing 
in the American schools in those classes where the pupil is 
passing from the receptive age to the age of reason. The 
American teaching, admirable as it is, in rendering the child . 
sensitive to externals, and aiding his senses to store up \ 
abimdantly a mass of mental impressions, seems halting and - 
inconclusive just at the point where the transition has to be 
made in the pupil from the state of sensuous to that of 
logical knowledge, which means the setting in order and 
arranging the previously gathered stores of facts and deduc- 
ing from them the truths contained in their newly framed 

One of the most difficult problems in the States is the 
negro question. In the North the problem is not so acute. 
The whites are everywhere in a majority, and the coloured 
people, if not admitted to the best hotels, are allowed to 
enter the public conveyances and the public schools without 
being segregated into separate compartments and class- 
rooms. But south of the old slave line the whole racial 
question, according to many competent judges, is as strong 
as ever. Its sundering effects are seen in every domain of 
life, not excepting education. Not only the negroes, but 
all who possess the faintest suspicion of black blood in their 
veins, are obliged to go to separate schools, if there are 
separate schools to go to, and any attempt at co-educating 
the two races is looked on as impossible. The idea of ulti- 
mate fusion between the two races would be scouted even 
by the most ardent abolitionists, many of whom would 
never give their own children in marriage to a person of 
colour, and indeed in some states marriages between white 
and black are punishable by law. Nor does the idea of 
equality between the two races seem aught but a distant 


dream. The very political equality that the negroes possess 
according to the constitution is one of the most formid- 
able bars to finding a satisfactory modus vivendi with the 
Southern whites, who will never recognize this equaUty in 
fact, and are at present actively engaged in trying to discover 
some way of legalizing the disfranchisement of the black 
voter which has hitherto been largely effected by intimida- 
tion. So hopeless does the outlook seem to many that they 
fall back on saying, the problem being a Southern one, the 
South as being best acquainted with all its bearings must 
work out the solution for itself. The only chance of im- 
provement appears to lie in raising the moral and mental 
condition of the negro. The chief obstacle to this is the 
high percentage of iUiteracy among them, and their com- 
parative lack of energy and enterprise. It is only fair to 
add that they are debarred from the exercise of many 
callings through the refusal of the majority of trade unions 
to admit men of colour as members, which naturally pre- 
vents them working on any job on which union men are 
engaged. One of the most promising movements for the 
regeneration of the negro is the great educational work with 
which the name of Booker T. Washington, who is himself 
a negro, is identified. He frankly admits that for the 
present, at any rate, the negro had better resign his claims 
to exercise the franchise, or at least leave them in abeyance. 
Let the negro show he can be a useful member of society, 
and society will find a place for him. With this idea in view 
he advocates the estabhshment throughout the South of 
industrial schools for coloured children, while to raise the 
moral status of the negro a great effort is being made to 
improve the standard of the Afro- American preachers, who, 
as Mr. Booker T. Washington says, exercise a tremendous 
influence over the masses of their race. 
(" It is curious to note that while we in England are attempt- 
(ing to-day to bring the local authorities into closer touch 
/With the schools, the tendency in the States seems to be in 
The direction of placing the school outside poUtics. Not the 
least interesting chapter in American education is that 
which deals with the long and victorious struggle by which 


American democracy, in order to safeguard itself against 
itself, has been driven to call in the aid of the expert. In a 
recent official publication a writer on educational organiza- 
tion wrote as follows : "In the City of Buffalo, New York 
State, the school affairs are managed by a committee 
appointed by the city council, but happily the case stands 
by itself, and the evil consequences possible under such a 
scheme have been much ameliorated ... by a most ex- 
cellent superintendent." Probably both America and 
England have adopted the right course in each case. The 
Americans having harnessed the Niagara of popular enthu- 
siasm to these schools, have less need of these local stimuU ; 
while, owing to the lack of any strong national movement 
in favour of education, we are now attempting to hitch the 
schools on to the forces that he at the back of local patriot- 
ism. This should not, however, confirm us in our disbelief 
in the expert, who both locally and centrally is indispensable. 
If we compare the attitude to-day of the parent in every 
country towards the school with what it was fifty years ago,». 
we shall be at once struck with the great and increasing \ 
claims made on the school. On the one hand we have the -^ 
ever-growing demand to bring the school into touch with 
the future livehhood of the child, and on the other, with the 
loosening of home discipHne and the weakening of dogmatic 
belief, the rdle of the school as the chief factor in education n^ 
is being augmented at an alarming rate. To take the latter-' 
side of the school's work first. It is probable in the near 
future that the undenominational school in every country 
will be compelled willy-nilly to give a more distinct and 
definite ethical cast to its instruction. Under the stress of 
modern competition the American father is often unable to 
exercise effective oversight over his child's bringing up. 
Early away in the morning, late home at night, he frequently 
passes the whole day without seeing his child except for a 
few moments. The women again are often absorbed in 
other pursuits. In this case the school becomes more and\ 
more the sponsor for the child's upbringing and education:fey 
In the long run the teaching of civics and moraUty will\ 
probably form as large a part of the American school's^ 


curriculum as it does in France. Already there is a strong 
forward movement towards the definite teaching of patriot- 
ism and the introduction of military drill, in order that, as 
Mr. Rogers has picturesquely said, the future citizen may 
know how to fight, either with ballot-boxes or bullets. 
^Whether American education, with its passion for text- 
ybooks, wiU ultimately evolve a regular series of lay cate- 
'-ehisms on morality as France has done is yet to be seen, but 
unless Roman CathoUcism, like a troisi&me larron, steps in 
to profit by the decay of the Protestant sects in the States, 
Athe American teacher of the future seems hkely to be 
/entrusted, whether he will or no, with the spiritual ministra- 
*^tion of the souls committed to his charge. One thing is 
certainly true. The murder of President McKinley has 
immensely strengthened the hands of those who desire to 
increase the moral influence and authority of the school. 

As regards the growing demand for bringing the school 

into closer touch with the after-career of the pupil, the 

American schools so far have sturdily maintained the para- 

)mount necessity of laying a firm basis of general education, 

Sand refused to sacrifice the education of the citizen to the 

training of the worker. This has not prevented them, in 

/technical education, from introducing speciahzation and 

rthat of a very high order, but they have carefuUy kept it 

T;iU the end of the pupil's career ; there is none of the 

smattering of technical instruction in immature pupils 

which has had such an unhappy vogue in England. In 

commercial education they have strangely enough done less 

than what has been effected in some European states. 

The reason for this is, that hitherto they have been content 

to secure for themselves the home market. With the present 

growth of their foreign trade they will soon feel the need of 

raising a special army of well-trained commercial travellers, 

thoroughly versed in modern languages, while their futm-e 

captains of industry will also require to be more highly 

educated not in the practice but in the theory of business, 

or economics as it is called. Most of the so-called business 

colleges are rather devoted to the teaching of actual practice 

and the lower arts of commerce, but once the Americans 


realize the need for a greater number of higher institutions 
they are sure to speedily supply the missing article. In no 
country is the distance between cup and lip shorter than in 
America. The difference between the average EngUshman 
of to-day and the tjqjical American seems to be that the 
EngUshman has to grumble over a deficiency till he has 
talked himself over into supplying it. With the American 
a want has often only to be noticed to be at once met and 

American education, as we have already seen, varies - 
greatly. It possesses, no doubt, a " certain tail." A school , 
in the backwoods cannot obviously compare with one of the -' 
latest scholastic palaces erected by the city of New York. 
Like every other nation America has its educational prob- 
lems, of which a few have here been noticed, yet the com- 
parative youth of the country has not allowed any of them, 
with the exception of the negro question, to become either 
acute or chronic as is the case with those in older lands. 
There are three things which are essential not only to the 
military but also to the educational forces of a country : 
money, men who are ready to go anywhere and do anything, 
and an experienced leader. The educational forces of 
America are fuUy equipped in this respect. They can count 
on being fully supplied with the sinews of war, their per- 
sonnel is singularly enterprising and enthusiastic, and in 
the present head of their Education Bureau they possess 
one who may well be described as the Nestor of education- 
ists. The reverse of a roi faineant, who rules but does not 
govern. Dr. Harris governs because he does not rule. His 
writ " runs in no state," yet is read in all. His direct 
jurisdiction over American education is nil, yet, unoffi- 
cially, he exercises over the minds and souls of the teachers 
all the spiritual suzerainty of an educational pontiff. Year 
by year he has been inculcating the deepest philosophical 
principles into the thousands who have sat at his feet at 
the great annual conventions, or have eagerly devoured the 
educational encyclicals which have issued in such profusion 
from the Bureau at Washington. No one can estimate, yet 
the most superficial observer can discern, the enormous 


effect such a course of informal philosophy has had on the 
present generation of American teachers. It has acted as 
a sort of gigantic conservation of spiritual forces, giving to 
l^the American teacher a kind of philosophic balance which, 
/while it does not shut his mind against new experiments, 
/prevents him from being too easily led away by the craving 
^or novelty.^ 

1 Note. — (1913.) The suggestion that the Americans in the 

changing conditions at hqme and abroa,d might find it necessary to 

modify their theories as to the sufficiency of a general education has 

been and is being verified in a remarkable fashion. When the writer, 

after an absence of seven years, again visited the country, he found 

nearly all the leading authorities won over to the general principles 

of the vocational education he had come over to advocate. There 

.'seemed to be a strong consensus of opinion that education must 

^henceforth prepare for livelihood as well as for life, or, in other words, 

we must train the average man to be a producer as well as a citizen. 

'Two other important impressions of the author's visit were the 

t training of the American boy in the art of self-expression, with special 

'-reference to the mother-tongue, and the kindred fact that the 

'..American school seeks to develop an individual, while we are too 

' often concerned with turning out examination products whose 

learning, alas ! speedily evaporates after leaving school. 


!i Ilii I! |!i 



. ! 

liilil hiliiPi 
ill! Si^iilii