Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Cambridge Essays on Education.

If we feel this as respects the internal economic life of our country, is it not true also of the international life of the world?  In the stress and competition of our times, the future belongs to the nations that recognise the worth of Knowledge and Thought, and best understand how to apply the accumulated experience of the past.  In the long run it is knowledge and wisdom that rule the world, not knowledge only, but knowledge applied with that width of view and sympathetic comprehension of men, and of other nations, which are the essence of statesmanship.

[Footnote 1:  This has been clearly seen and admirably stated by the present President of the Board of Education.]

[Footnote 2:  Take for instance this little fragment of Alcman: 

Greek:  Ou m heti, parthenikai meligaryest imerophonoi,
        Gyia pherein dynatai.  Bale de Bale kerylos eien,
        Hos t hepi kymatos hanthos ham alkyonessi potetai
        Neleges hetor hechon haliporphyros eiaros hornis.

What can be more exquisite than the epithets in the first line, or more fresh and delicate and tender in imaginative quality than the three last?  A modern poet of equal genius would treat the topic with equal force and grace, but the charm, the untranslatable charm of antique simplicity, would be absent.]

I

THE AIM OF EDUCATIONAL REFORM

By J. L. Paton

High Master of Manchester Grammar School

The last century, with all its brilliant achievement in scientific discovery and increase of production, was spiritually a failure.  The sadness of that spiritual failure crushed the heart of Clough, turned Carlyle from a thinker into a scold, and Matthew Arnold from a poet into a writer of prose.

The secret of failure was that the great forces which move mankind were out of touch with each other, and furnished no mutual support.  Art had no vital relation with industry; work was dissociated from joy; political economy was at issue with humanity; science was at daggers drawn with religion; action did not correspond to thought, being to seeming; and finally the individual was conceived as having claims and interests at variance with the claims and interests of the society of which he formed a part, in fact as standing out against it, in an opposition so sharply marked that one of the greatest thinkers could write a book with the title “Man versus the State.”  As a result, nation was divided against nation, labour against capital, town against country, sex against sex, the hearts of the children were set against the fathers, the Church fought against the State, and, worst of all, Church fought against Church.

The discords of the great society were reflect inevitably in the sphere of education.  The elementary schools of the nation were divided into two conflicting groups, and both were separated by an estranging gulf from the grammar schools and high schools as the grammar schools in turn were shut off from the public schools on the one hand, and from the schools of art, music, and of technology on the other There was no cohesion, no concerted effort, no mutual support, no great plan of advance, no homologating idea.

Follow Us on Facebook