We consider that our secondary education has been too exclusively concerned with the cultivation of the mind by means of books and the instruction of the teacher. To this essential aim there must be added as a condition of balance and completeness that of fostering those qualities of mind and that skill of hand which are evoked by systematic work.
In this way would be generated that “sympathetic and understanding contact between all brainworkers and the complete men who work with both hands and brain” so strongly pleaded for by Professor Lethaby who insists that “some teaching about the service of labour must be got into all our educational schemes.”
It must be remembered that the question of vocational training affects chiefly the proposed system of compulsory continuation school education up to the age of eighteen, which has yet to be established for all boys and girls not in attendance at secondary schools or who have not completed a satisfactory period of attendance.
The inadequacy of the period of education allotted to the vast mass of the population and the need for educational reform in many directions can only be noted; both these matters however affect citizenship profoundly.
It is upon the expectation of early development on the following lines, indicated without detail, that our consideration of the possibilities of schools in regard to citizenship must be based:
(1) A longer period of elementary school life during which no child shall be employed for other than educational purposes.
(2) The establishment of compulsory continuation schools for all boys and girls up to the age of eighteen, the hours of attendance to be allowed out of reasonable working hours.
(3) Complete opportunity for qualified boys and girls to continue their technical or humane studies from the elementary school to the university.
(4) A distinct improvement in the supply and power of teachers, chiefly as the result of better training in connection with universities and the establishment of a remuneration which will enable them to live in the manner demanded by the nature and responsibilities of their calling.
The two main aspects of the development of citizenship through the schools which have already been noted may be summarised as follows, and may be considered separately:
(1) The direct teaching of civics or of citizenship;
(2) The development through the ordinary school community of the qualities of the good citizen.
[Footnote 1: Interim Report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education on Scholarships for Higher Education, May, 1916.]
[Footnote 2: See Final Report of the Departmental Committee on Juvenile Education in Relation to Employment after the War, 1917, Cd. 8512. The Bill “to make further provision with respect to Education in England and Wales and for purposes connected therewith” [Bill 89], had not been introduced by Mr Fisher when this article was written.]