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impossible to arrive at general conclusions respecting the state of popular instruction, while the particular data on which those conclusions are founded are only matters of conjecture or hasty calculation. The whole cannot be better or truer than the parts. Until every schoolmaster and mistress in the kingdom shall have learnt to keep accounts of their daily school-work, as accurately as a merchant or a banker keeps his ledger, all educational statistics will be, to some extent, delusive and unsound; for they are all founded on the assumption, not only that the teacher tells the truth, but that he knows the truth, in relation to the attendance of his scholars, and to their several stages of progress. It is surprising to observe how easily a teacher may, without intentional misrepresentation, utterly deceive himself and the supporters of his school on these points, so long as he relies merely on rough computations or general impressions instead of simple arithmetic. We wish, therefore, very strongly to urge upon British teachers the importance of keeping accurate School Registers both of attendance and progress. As more and more of public attention is directed to the subject of elementary instruction, the need of such book-keeping will become greater; and the fallacies and mischief to which a neglect of it may lead will become daily more serious.

The Committee of Council on Education have, of late, been taking steps to secure increased attention to this important branch of school management; but, as the matter is one which affects all schools alike, whether they are connected with the Government or not, we reprint, in extenso, a circular letter which has recently accompanied some more specific directions on this subject addressed to the authorities of the various Training Colleges :

SIE, — The enclosed copy of a circular to Her Majesty's Inspectors refers directly to a point of detail, but is connected with a subject of much importance, to which I have been directed to request your attention, viz. :-the service to be expected, at no distant time, from certificated teachers in furnishing statistics of education. Such statistics, if trustworthy, are of the utmost possible value, being some of the safest guides in the preparation of general measures.

The Special Report upon Education in the Census of 1851; the appeals which have been made to it; the attack and defence of which it has been the subject; the confessed difficulty which attended the collection of its materials ; the prospect of legislation, and, not many years hence, of another census (in both of which education is sure to occupy a prominent place)-all these circumstances make it apparent that the students who are now in training for the office of teacher should be made conversant with the principles and practice of (what may be called) Scholastic Book-keeping.

In the earlier stages of the Committee of Council's proceedings, the greatest difficulty was experienced in obtaining even the simplest returns. A change, however, has occurred greatly for the better in respect of most of those schools which have been, for any considerable time, in the receipt of annual grants. Indeed, those grants depend now, in so many instances, for their amount upon accurate calculations of attendance, age, and payments, that a school, in which no exact record of such matters is kept, cannot obtain its share in the public aid without a somewhat discreditable substitution of guesses for facts. No one would believe, who had not made the experiment, how great is the difference of the result, in average and other particulars, when taken from general impressions, and when calculated from actual entries. It becomes, therefore, an indispensable part of the business of a certificated teacher to be thoroughly expert in such registration.

The report upon every school inspected is now comprised in two forms, IX. and X., whereof the former is filled up entirely by the managers (i. e., in most instances, is left to be filled up entirely by the teacher,) and the latter by Her Majesty's Inspector, by the way of check.

A certain number of the entries in the form IX. are confined to incidents affecting individual
teachers and apprentices, from year to year; but there is much besides which can only be supplied
from complete and well-kept Registers.

The form of Register appended to the Minute of 2nd April, 1853, may now be procured in a shape
for use, at trifling cost, from the office of the National Society; from Mr. James Martin, of 9, Lisson
Grove, Marylebone; or (unbound) from Messrs. Spottiswoode, Queen's Printers, New Street Square,
Fetter Lane.

You will observe, in the form No. X., that Her Majesty's Inspector has to report specially upon
the state in which he finds the Registers of every school inspected by him; you will also see (Minutes
1852-3, Vol. I. p. 55) that this part of the Inspector's Report may affect the payment of an Augmen-
tation Grant, as it will enter also into the considerations henceforth attending the settlement and
revision of Certificates, pursuant to the Minute of 20th August, 1853, y XI. Professor Moseley, in
Minutes 1853-4, Vol. 1. p. 45, in pointing out statistical information which it would be desirable to

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obtain, dwells, at the end of his letter (p. 48,) upon the right which the Committee of Council would have to expect the assistance of Certificated Teachers in collecting such returns.

I am to state that the Papers (Examination) of the second year, on School Management, to be pro. posed in December next, will contain questions upon the mode of keeping School Registers, and of making returns from them. I am, therefore, to suggest that the set of Registers above indicated, together with the statistical portions of the form No. IX., should be made the subject of a few lectures, in which the headings of the several columns may be gone over one by one, and the rationale of each, as well as the mode of filling it up, and of carrying it to the general account, explained. At the same time, the Registers actually in use in the Practising School should be referred to for illustration, and each student should be set to make some return or other from them, the accuracy of his work, and his mode of setting about it, being carefully revised and corrected.

My Lords are so deeply impressed with the importance of this question, and the comparative ease with which the necessary instructions may be given in the Training School, that I have been desired to express the strongest wish on their part for your co-operation.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,

R. R. W. LINGEN.

We strongly advise all teachers who have hitherto overlooked this duty to make speedy arrangements for securing the following desiderata :

I. An accurate daily register of the attendance of each child, morning and after

noon.

II. Exact computation of weekly, quarterly, and annual averages.
III. A record of the movements of each child from one class to another.

IV. Precise information respecting the cause of each scholar's leaving school, and the employment to which he is sent.

We hope, on a future occasion, to give some hints as to the manner of computing averages, and of economizing labour in school book-keeping. Meanwhile we may remark, that however formidable the task may appear at first sight to a teacher who has not yet been accustomed to it, no real difficulties are involved in the fulfilment of the duty. With a little system and forethought the accurate registration of these particulars will scarcely occupy more than ten minutes per day, even in a large school; at all events, the end is sufficiently important to justify greater effort, if in special cases it happens to be needed.

RENDU ON CONTINENTAL EDUCATION.*

It will be within the recollection of some of our readers that M. Eugene Rendu, a distinguished French writer, spent some time in England a few years since, with especial view to making inquiries into the state of popular education among us. The result of those inquiries was afterwards embodied in an elaborate work, which is still, we believe, regarded as one of the most valuable contributions to the history of education which the literature of France possesses. M. Rendu has recently been engaged in the prosecution of similar inquiries in the North of Germany, and he has brought to his important task the same skill, industry, and fairness which characterised his former efforts in this country. We advert to his new work, not so much on account of its intrinsic merit, as because its publication at the present crisis in our history is singularly well-timed, and calculated to furnish important aid in the solution of some of the questions which are much debated among ourselves.

The work commences with an historical review of the progress of education in the Protestant states of Germany since the time of Luther. It offers a summary of the

* De l'Education Populaire dans l'Allemagne du Nord, et de ses Rapports avec les Doctrines Philosophiques et Religieuses, par Eugène Rendu. Paris: Hachette.

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statutes relating to education which are in force in the several states, details the measures which are taken to provide a succession of qualified teachers, and proceeds to investigate, at great length, the influence which has been exerted on popular instruction by the Governments, by the Protestant church, and by theoretical writers and teachers, respectively. From the author's careful statistical comparison between the proportions of children under instruction in England, France, and Protestant Germany, we learn that the condition of France is less satisfactory in this respect than Germany, and that of England less than either. The facts he has been enabled to bring together and marshal with so much skill and power, in this and his former volume, have led M. Rendu to inquire carefully into the reason of this difference, and he attributes it mainly to the compulsory laws which exist in Germany. In fact, he concludes that it is the duty of the State to make the education of the children a legal obligation binding on their parents.

Herein lies the main significance of this important work. It is an elaborate argument in favour of compulsory education. All the author's experience (and it would seem that he is devoting his life to the scientific investigation of data upon this one subject,) all his facts, and all his reasonings tend one way. We cannot follow him into the evidence by which his conclusions are supported; but we think our readers will be interested to know that at the moment this important question is attracting the serious attention of thinkers and philanthropists at home, a large number of public men in France are endeavouring to procure a legal sanction to this obligatory principle. The memorial recently presented to the Emperor, and supported by many persons of great influence, urges upon the Government the duty of enforcing instruction on the children of the unwilling or the negligent, and of rendering it penal to employ an uninstructed child. One section of this work (De l'obligation d'enseignement) is devoted to a consideration of the moral and social effects of such restrictive legislation, and forms an admirable resumé of the arguments on this subject.

The concluding portion of the work consists of a body of hints for the improvement of the educational system in France, most of which are the results of very wide, as well as recent experience. The subject of pupil-teachers (élèves-maîtres) receives particular attention, and plans are recommended for extending the time spent by those young persons at the Normal Colleges, and for increasing the inducements for entering the profession. The author specially urges upon the Government the importance of securing some months at least, at the end of the period of training, for recapitulation and practical application of former lessons, rather than for the acquirement of new information. The evils of crude, undigested knowledge appear to have been severely felt among the young schoolmasters both of Germany

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It is a noteworthy circumstance that the subject of “common things” is just now receiving the attentive consideration of the promoters of education on the Continent. Much stress is laid in this volume on the need for practical instruction in the familiar arts of life, especially garden and field husbandry. The need of such acquirements on the part of teachers is illustrated by arguments such as have recently become familiar to English ears, besides other evidence which tends greatly to confirm the views now so generally entertained on this subject at home.

On the whole, the publication of this work is not without its interest to the friends of education in England. The high-standing and the cosmopolitan character of its author, and the semi-official nature of bis inquiries, would alone suffice to give the

a reputation beyond the limits of the French empire. But, in addition to these circumstances, the inquiries are curiously analogous to those which are occupying our own minds just now, and the whole investigation is marked by singular acumen, right feeling, and good sense.

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statutes relating to education which are in force in the several states, details the measures which are taken to provide a succession of qualified teachers, and proceeds to investigate, at great length, the influence which has been exerted on popular instruction by the Governments, by the Protestant church, and by theoretical writers and teachers, respectively. From the author's careful statistical comparison between the proportions of children under instruction in England, France, and Protestant Germany, we learn that the condition of France is less satisfactory in this respect than Germany, and that of England less than either. The facts he has been enabled to bring together and marshal with so much skill and power, in this and his former volume, have led M. Rendu to inquire carefully into the reason of this difference, and he attributes it mainly to the compulsory laws which exist in Germany. In fact, he concludes that it is the duty of the State to make the education of the children a legal obligation binding on their parents.

Herein lies the main significance of this important work. It is an elaborate argument in favour of compulsory education. All the author's experience (and it would seem that he is devoting his life to the scientific investigation of data upon this one subject,) all his facts, and all his reasonings tend one way. We cannot follow him into the evidence by which his conclusions are supported; but we think our readers will be interested to know that at the moment this important question is attracting the serious attention of thinkers and philanthropists at home, a large number of public men in France are endeavouring to procure a legal sanction to this obligatory principle. The memorial recently presented to the Emperor, and sup. ported by many persons of great influence, urges upon the Government the duty of enforcing instruction on the children of the unwilling or the negligent, and of rendering it penal to employ an uninstructed child. One section of this work (De l'obligation d'enseignement) is devoted to a consideration of the moral and social effects of such restrictive legislation, and forms an admirable resumé of the arguments on this subject.

The concluding portion of the work consists of a body of hints for the improvement of the educational system in France, most of which are the results of very wide, as well as recent experience. The subject of pupil-teachers (élèves-maîtres) receives particular attention, and plans are recommended for extending the time spent by those young persons at the Normal Colleges, and for increasing the inducements for entering the profession. The author specially urges upon the Government the importance of securing some months at least, at the end of the period of training, for recapitulation and practical application of former lessons, rather than for the acquirement of new information. The evils of crude, undigested knowledge appear to have been severely felt among the young schoolmasters both of Germany and France.

It is a noteworthy circumstance that the subject of “common things” is just now receiving the attentive consideration of the promoters of education on the Continent. Much stress is laid in this volume on the need for practical instruction in the familiar arts of life, especially garden and field husbandry. The need of such acquirements on the part of teachers is illustrated by arguments such as have recently become familiar to English ears, besides other evidence which tends greatly to confirm the views now so generally entertained on this subject at home.

On the whole, the publication of this work is not without its interest to the friends of education in England. The high-standing and the cosmopolitan character of its author, and the semi-official nature of his inquiries, would alone suffice to give the book a reputation beyond the limits of the French empire. But, in addition to these circumstances, the inquiries are curiously analogous to those which are occupying our own minds just now, and the whole investigation is marked by singular acumen, right feeling, and good sense.

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