Cambridge Essays on Education eBook

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All these trust to their hands:  and every one is wise in his work.  Without these cannot a city be inhabited ... they will maintain the state of the world, and all their desire is in the work of their craft[4].

The times are different and the needs of people have changed, but the true test of a citizen may be more in the healthiness of dominating purpose than in the possession and satisfaction of a variety of desires.  To “maintain the state of the world” is no mean ambition.

If it is difficult for a man to become the good citizen when employed on work for which he is unfitted, it is even more difficult for the man to do so who is set to shoddy work or to work which damages the community.

The task laid upon the school is heavy, but it does not stand alone.  The family and the Church are its natural allies in the modern State.

All alike will make mistakes, but, if they clearly set before them the intention to do their utmost to free the capacity of all for the accomplishment of the good of all, wisdom will increase and many tragedies in life will be averted.

Thus lofty ideals have presented themselves, but they will secure universal admission apart from the immediate practical considerations which bulk so largely and often so falsely in the minds of men, and which are frequently suggested by limitations of finance and lack of faith in the all-sufficient power of wisdom.

It is in the consecration of a people to its highest ideals that the true city and the true State become realised on earth and the measure of its consecration, in spite of all devices of teaching or training however wise, determines the true level of citizenship at any time in any place.

[Footnote 1:  Wisdom of Solomon, vii. 24.]

[Footnote 2:  Interim Report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education on Scholarships for Higher Education, 1916.]

[Footnote 3:  J.R.  Green, A Short History of the English People.]

[Footnote 4:  Ecclesiasticus, xxxviii. 31-34.]


[1]American Political Science Assoc.  The Teaching of Government. 1916.  Macmillan. 5s. 0d. net.

[1]BAKER, J.H.  Educational Aims and Civic Needs. 1913.  Longmans. 3s. 6d. net.

[1]BALCH, G.T.  The Method of Teaching Patriotism in Public Schools. 1890.  New York:  Van Nostrand.

[1]BOURNE, H.E.  The Teaching of History and Civics. 1915.  Longmans. 6s. 0d. net.

[1]DEWEY, JOHN.  Democracy and Education. 1916.  Macmillan. 6s. 0d. net.

[1]DEWEY JOHN.  The School and Society. 1915.  Chicago Univ.  Press. 4s. 0d. net.

[1]DEWEY, JOHN and EVELYN.  Schools of To-Morrow. 1915.  Dent. 5s. 0d. net.

FINDLAY, J.J.  The School. 1912.  Williams and Norgate. 1s. 3d. net.

[1]HALL, G. STANLEY.  Educational Problems. 2 vols. 1911.  Appleton. 31s. 6d. net.  Ch. 24.  Civic Education.

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