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reckoned on this circumstance being so taken into account, that his words would not be understood in a more stringent sense than he intended to give them. But we assure him we had not the remotest suspicion of this circumstance, until we read his letters.

On the other hand, those letters are calculated to convey a very mistaken notion, on the amount of our sympathy with the recent Act. In his third letter indeed, he actually ascribes to us the opinion, that "if we [Catholics] have not gained, at least we have not lost, by the changes which the Act has made.” We will therefore briefly remind our readers of what we really did say in April. We gave an opinion (p. 413) that “since that Act has been passed, most earnest and selfsacrificing efforts may be necessary, for the purpose of averting, not only grave violations of principle, but grave practical calamities." We did not dream of contending, that the recent Act has not in some considerable degree interfered with the means which a Catholic teacher has at his disposal.” (pp. 419-420.) “Catholic children will suffer grievous spiritual evil in non-Catholic schools.” (p. 413.) “It is urgent that Catholics shall strain every nerve” against “the evil influences with which they are now threatened.(p. 422.) It is no social progress, but much the reverse, that children of the lower orders be imbued with that degree and kind of secular instruction which is now proposed. (pp. 422-3.) “ Seldom has there been a more anxious prospect

than at the present time.” (p. 427.)

Still we do not wish to understate the divergency which exists, between Canon Oakeley's language on one hand, and our own opinion on the other. We heartily agree with him indeed, that the attendance of Catholic children at Anglican or secularist schools is a grievous calamity; but he has said --so far as his words go-that true education is impracticable, even in Catholic schools which receive support from the State. If this were so, it would follow that no clear-sighted priest could accept Government help, and that no clear-sighted Bishop could permit his priests to accept it. But, as we have said, Canon Oakeley shows by his acts how far his language is from expressing his true mind. And for our own partlamentable as has been the injury inflicted even on Catholic schools by the recent Act,—we think nevertheless (p. 420) that a Catholic teacher “has still full power, through proportionally increased efforts, of making his school thoroughly Catholic in spirit and in tendency." So far as Canon Oakeley dissents from this statement, he mainly defends such dissent by reciting various evils introduced by the new Act, on which


he thinks we have not laid sufficient stress. We think he has done excellent service in drawing attention to those evils; and we hope that, by reprinting his letters, we may have done something towards giving his comment even increased circulation. But to our mind no one of the evils, nor all of them put together,--however seriously some of them may impede a Catholic teacher's work-make that work by any means impossible or hopeless. Let our readers judge.

There is one positive mistake indeed, though only one, into which he thinks we have inadvertently fallen. He doubts the truth of our statement, that the Catholic teacher is at liberty to inculcate Catholic views of history during the two twohour periods of secular Instruction. If we could mention however, without impropriety, the source of our information on this head, Canon Oakeley would see that there cannot be more irrefragable authority, as to what was intended by the framers of the act. Then the Report of the Poor School Čommittee speaks expressly on a matter, whereof that committee must of course possess certain cognizance. “So far as history is taught at all in the secular instruction of the school” --so speaks the Report—the State “does not require that the books used by the school should set forth particular views as to history. To do so would at once destroy its neutrality.” And lastly the anecdote, told by Canon Oakeley for the purpose of invalidating our statement, on the contrary confirms it. The “distinguished Protestant Government inspector," to whom he sent his pamphlet, says that it may possibly be necessary hereafter to proscribe history during the period of secular instruction: thus implying, by his very form of speech, that no such proscription at present exists.

On the other hand Canon Oakeley mentions a case, in which a book (as we understand him), used as a reading manual, was proscribed by the inspector because of its indirect Catholic teaching. If this decision were even final, it seems to us (we confess) a matter of small importance. Our own notion is, that a child's intellectual faculties are so engrossed by the mechanical difficulties of the art he is learning, that no religious lesson of any great moment can be simultaneously imparted by his book. But if Canon Oakeley means that the book in question was actually used as a text-book for historical lessons, we are confident that the prohibition would be reversed on appeal.

In his second letter Canon Oakeley recounts several facts of great importance, which illustrate the different interpretations placed on the new Act by different inspectors. In the same letter he also raises a question of much practical interest, as to

VOL. XIX.—NO. XXXVII. [New Series.]


the most suitable course to be adopted under present circumstances by Catholic school managers. Our own feeling is entirely accordant with his; except indeed on that particular detail of which we have just spoken, the study of history.

In his third letter Canon Oakeley says most truly, that great weight should be accorded to the recent Report of the Poor School Committee, which we just now mentioned. That document indeed throws light on the subject in so many different ways, that we are confident our readers will thank us for reprinting that portion of it which relates to our present theme, notwithstanding the many pages of our number which it will occupy.

We must explain however, that there are one or two somewhat important particulars, in which, for our own part, we are unable to accept its implied lessons. In the first place, unless we entirely misapprehend its bearing, it is worded throughout on the theory,-against which we protested in April (pp. 422-3),that what now goes by the name of popular education is a social advance, and not (as we conceive) a social retrogression. In the second place (consistently enough with its assumption of that theory) it does no kind of justice (we think) to the standpoint of those, who gravely doubted, before ecclesiastical authority had given its judgment, whether Catholics would act wisely in uniting their schools on any terms with the State, and promoting in any way that high-pressure secular education of the masses which is now in vogue. But these are at present mere matters of abstract speculation; and in regard to what is immediately practical, our readers will find (we think) that the view we took in April is fully sanctioned by this high authority. Here then shall follow the passage in question; and all who peruse it will be struck with its lucidity and completeness of statement :

A year ago a wave of the tide, which everywhere in Europe is striking against the Church in Her relation to the School, passed over England. In what position has it left us? It is of importance to consider, in this matter of primary education, exactly where we stand,—whether it is in the same position which we held before, or in another one; and if another, in what the change consists. A review of the past is often the best mode ut understanding the present, and therefore of putting it to the best account. It oftea likewise supplies a warning, and sometimes a preservative, against evils which threaten the future.

The period which elapsed, from the commencement of the union of Catholic primary schools with the inspection of the Privy Council down to the Education Act, may be termed the past. This period commenced for us in December, 1847,-when certain minutes of the Privy Council admitted for the first time Catholic, like other schools, to the public grants administered by it,-and terminated on the 31st of March, 1871, when the Act began to take effect. The inspection of Catholic schools thus inaugurated was confined to secular instruction only; and the inspectors were not to be appointed without the concurrence of the Catholic Poor School Committee, which was thus acknowledged to represent the Catholic body. What we have especially here to note is, the attitude of the Government in respect to the union of religious with secular instruction. During the whole of this period this union was a condition of all grants ; though the mode in which it was carried out differed in the various religious communities with which the Government had to deal. Thus in Anglican schools the inspector was appointed with the concurrence of the Archbishop of Canterbury or of York for their several provinces ; and this concurrence was a larger one than that given in the case of Catholic schools, and in virtue of it the inspector exercised supervision over both religious and secular instruction, and both obtained marks for participation in grants. But in Dissenting, as in Catholic schools, though there were no marks for religious instruction, and though the inspection did not deal with it, yet the religious community was credited with having given it. In the Anglican schools, indeed, the Privy Council determined, by the examination of the inspector in the schools, and by the questions given in its papers to teachers who wished to obtain the certificate, how much religious instruction it would require, and what should be its quality. But in Dissenting schools, as in Catholic, it left the religious community to determine both the amount and the quality of the religious instruction. Thus greatly as both amount and quality might differ in the British and Foreign Society schools and in Catholic schools, yet the one and the other received grants at the same time from the Government, on the same condition of supplying what each considered fitting religious instruction. During all this period the Government repudiated practically, by giving it no grants, the notion of what has now come to be called secular education. It said, in fact, by its acts, there is no education without religion ; but as you, with whom we have to deal, are at issue as to what religion is, we do not enter into your differences, but require of each of you to educate your child in religion as you understand it. It followed, of course, that the inspection was more thorough in the schools of the Established Church, as it embraced both religious and secular instruction; while in the case of the other two classes of schools just mentioned, the religious community was more free; so much so, indeed, that it could neglect, if it chose, the religious instruction left to its care. But this was not the meaning of the system, nor the intention of the Government. On the contrary, from the beginning to the end it recognised religion as forming part and parcel of education. In the case of the Established Church, it saw by its inspection that this condition was fulfilled. In the other cases, it credited the religious community with the fulfilment of the condition.

What has been just said of the Government in its attitude towards the Church, defines likewise the position of the Church during this period. The Government gave its money grants in return for a certain amount of instruction and efficiency in teaching, of the existence of which it satisfied

itself by its inspection. As to all the rest, the freedom of the Church was complete. There was no interference with the books used; no limitation as to the times of teaching various subjects ; no time-table relegating religious instruction to one time and secular instruction to another. A great increase in the severity and precision of the inspection took place when the Revised Code was introduced; and the payments which at first were made to teachers and for pupil-teachers were gradually merged in a capitation grant. But all this did not affect the perfect liberty of religious teaching which existed in the schools of the various religious communities, in virtue of which British and Foreign schools and Catholic schools, which hold principles as to the mode of conveying religious instruction in absolute contradiction to each other, were enabled to share the same grants. The efficiency of each was supervised ; the conscience of each was respected. The yearly inspection was a guarantee to the State, that a certain standard of instruction was reached. If the school fell short of this, it was fined accordingly; but the State did not say “ You shall give so much, and at such hours, to secular instruction.” Year after year attention was drawn in the Reports by this Committee to the liberty thus enjoyed, and to the great opportunity left to the Church to leaven the child with its own spirit. Perhaps this liberty and this opportunity will be more deeply appreciated, under the less favourable state of things which has now been introduced.

The advantages derived from this joint action of Church and State may be thus briefly alluded to. And first, when the Privy Council began to administer the public grant in support of primary education, anything like a system of primary education, or a class of qualified teachers in either sex, can hardly be said to have existed. Gradually, and as the result of many tentative efforts, came the recognition that there is such a thing as an art of primary teaching. In the preceding chaotic period it was often seen that men and women, who had succeeded in nothing else, betook themselves to teaching; and pretended to impart to children what they had either not at all, or very insufficiently, learned themselves. It is more remarkable that managers were reduced to allow teachers of this sort in their schools. We cannot wonder that it soon became apparent to those who then directed the public administration, that it was necessary to create a race of teachers. This was done by the formation of the class of pupilteachers, and the founding of training-schools to carry on and perfect the work so begun. By and by it was found further, that the training-school involved the necessity of practising-schools in immediate connection with it. All this was the work of years,—a work continually growing, correcting itself, and expanding by the lessons of daily experience. Much of it was already done and in operation, when Catholic schools were admitted into the system ; and there can be no doubt that, as a general rule, our schools needed these improvements as much as any others. The recognition that there is truly an art of primary teaching, and the formation in training-schools of young teachers who have already passed several years in preliminary pupilage, were the necessary bases of all future improvement. Next came the application of the best method of teaching in

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