Cambridge Essays on Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 229 pages of information about Cambridge Essays on Education.
helpful for members of the Staff to join in all such work and in discussions, the aim of it all is likely to be more fully attained if as much as possible of the organisation and direction is left to members of the school.  So, too, with the question of compulsion.  Not all have so strong a bent as to know what they want to do, and sometimes interests come only by actual experience.  It is well, therefore, to have an understanding that, at certain times, all must follow some one of the possible occupations; but the more it can be left to the individual choice, and the wider the range of choice, the better for the purpose we have in view.  Not all country rambles need have a definite object, nor all time be actively filled that might be left for reading.  But without a definite object few will make a habit of walking, or learn to know and love the country; and not all, especially where there is a multiplicity of other interests, will form the habit of reading unless regular times are set apart for it, times when books must be read and not merely magazines.  How far freedom of change from one occupation to another is desirable is largely an individual question.  The younger need to try many things before they can settle down to one, in order to discover their real interests and to exercise their faculties.  But it is well to have a strict limit to the number of things that may be taken up at once, and a fixed length of time to be given to each before it may be replaced by another.  With the older, this, as a rule, settles itself, on the one hand by growing interest in one or two directions, and on the other by the increasing demands of the school work and approaching examinations.  It is the younger, therefore, who need most encouragement.  In schools where, as said above, there is a long tradition of such free-time work, there is the less need for anything beyond suggestions and general supervision.  Yet even in these it is found helpful to have, at the beginning of the year, talks upon the subject by some member of the Staff, or an old boy perhaps who has devoted himself to some particular branch, in order to explain what can be done and the standard to be maintained.  In several of them prizes are offered every year, either by the school or by the Old Scholars’ Association or by individual old scholars, for good work in many of the categories mentioned above; these in some schools being the only prizes given.  In some cases they are money prizes, as in certain kinds of work the tools or materials used are costly; in others the prizes are not given to individuals, but in the form of a “trophy” to the form or “house” that shows up the best record for the term or year; in others, again, the need of prizes is not felt, but interest and keenness to maintain a good standard are kept up by the public show, held each year, of work done in leisure time.  And, it may be added, a great stimulus in itself is the wider freedom that can be earned by those who follow certain branches of study, in the way, for instance, of expeditions, on foot or by bicycle, to places where they can be pursued.

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Cambridge Essays on Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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