Foster Watson.

The encyclopaedia and dictionary of education; a comprehensive, practical and authoritative guide on all matters connected with education, including educational principles and practice, various types of teaching institutions, and educational systems throughout the world (Volume v. 1) online

. (page 63 of 138)
Online LibraryFoster WatsonThe encyclopaedia and dictionary of education; a comprehensive, practical and authoritative guide on all matters connected with education, including educational principles and practice, various types of teaching institutions, and educational systems throughout the world (Volume v. 1) → online text (page 63 of 138)
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necessity of good, cheerful lighting, but great
efforts are now being made to remedy the defect



eye will adapt itself to the fraction of a foot-candle,
it will also adapt itself to thousands of foot-candles
outside; yet for steady work by artificial light in
schools, the light must not fall below 2^ foot -candles
nor rise above three at the level of the desk if eye
strain is to be avoided. Thus the minimum* of
natural light becomes the maximum of artificial
For this reason, the lights require careful con-
sideration not only to avoid awkward shadows,
but so that the light shall be full and constant.
With electric light, it is often arranged that lights
can be raised or lowered, with the result that lights
are brought down, give an intense glare, produce
eye strain, and cause the sufferer to blame the kind
of light. Therefore lights should be so arranged
that they cannot be pulled down below a level at
which safe and proper lighting is obtained at desk
level. In addition to this (and just as important),
is the need for screening the flame or filament from
the eye. There are excellent shades and globes
obtainable, which, by shape and by means of
prisms, direct the light more or less evenly on the
surface to be illuminated, keep the eye from the
actual light, and produce a feeling of restfulness.
No hght should be less than 8 ft. 3 ins. from the
floor, so that children looking at the blackboard
do not have their vision interrupted by the lights.
Moreover, the light illuminating the blackboard



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should have an opaque screen for the same reason,
especially if the schools are used in the evening.
In manual shops and in rooms used for dressmaking,
it will be found desirable to increase the artificial
-lighting up to four foot-candles.

Heating. There are various ways by which schools
may be warmed, chief among these being grates
and stoves, warm air, high-pressure steam, high-
pressure hot water, low-pressure hot water, and low-
pressure steam. Undoubtedly the most cheerful is
the open fire, but it is the least suited, by itself, for
satisfactorily warming a school. A room may be
closed up and the temperature raised to proper
height before the children come, but the few minutes
occupied by keeping the doors open for the admis-
sion of children may be sufficient to dissipate the
heat which it may have taken two or three hours
to produce. The heat being given off in one place,
it follows that those nearest the fire may be scorched,
while those at the back of a class may have their
fingers blue with cold. If windows be kept open
in cold or even cool weather, heating by grates will
also soon be found to be a failure. The same remarks
apply to stoves; and those of the slow combustion
type, especially if improperly designed, vitiate the
air, cause the skin to feel dry, and often produce
headaches. Of the systems of warming by hot air,
one is by natural means governed by the difference
in the weight of the air; the other by mechanical
means where the air is either forced through a
building, or sucked through, or both. In the former
case, there is some difficulty in getting sufficient air
to prevent smell and stuffiness in the rooms, and
alterations in the wind may affect the amount of air
reaching the rooms intended to be warmed. Often
the defect is produced by providing inlets, but no
outlets. It follows, as we have seen at the begininng
of this article, that if air is to circulate properly,
there must be outlets as well as inlets. This S5'stem
may be satisfactory for rooms with few people in
them and where the climate does not vary in the
winter as with us, but in this country one has yet
to find an installation that can be regarded as suit-
able for schools. In the case of mechanical ventila-
tion, there can be little doubt that pure air in plenty
can be obtained where a proper installation is not
only provided, but carefully looked after. In this
system, the air is brought through a screen to
remove the dust, and by means of running water
is washed. It is then heated and passed through
ducts to the various apartments. Now, in many of
these, the ducts have been made so small that it is
impossible to keep them properly cleansed, and one
fears that the screens are often improperly cared
for, the consequence being that, although dust gets
taken out, other dust is churned up, and analyses
have proved that in some of these forced draughts
twice as many microbes per cubic centimetre can
be found as in the ordinary air. For a mechanical
system to work properly, every door and window
must be kept shut, and this must be regarded as a
very serious drawback. It is useless teaching the
children to live and sleep with open windows if they
are to see that teaching flatly contradicted in the
buildings in which they work. It is quite easy to
explain the difference between the school and their
homes, but the children wiU get an association of
ideas, and will not notice so readily when at home
that the windows are shut. If the children are to
learn the value of the open window, they must
learn it at school and look for the same thing at
home. It is sometimes put forward by the advocates



of mechanical ventilation that the temperature
remains constant during the year. One is glad to
see that this is now looked upon as anything but a
blessing, and that, provided the body be warm,
cold air is now regarded at its true value as a good
tonic. This constant temperature, coupled with the
closed windows, produces a confined, unnatural
feeling with a certain amount of depression.

High-pressure steam or high-pressure hot water
are not to be commended. Safety above everything
must be considered in a school, and neither of these
systems may be said to satisfy this test. The Board
of Education have wisely issued a circular pointing
out the danger, and calling upon local authorities
to have periodical inspections made. One county
at least has done the thing thoroughly by removing
these high-pressure systems and installing low-
pressure hot water. In ordinary schools, and more
particularly old buildings, low-pressure hot water
will be found the most practical and economical
method of warming. There is only one fire to be
kept going, and this fire can be regulated; a large
proportion of the heat gets into the hot water, and
the pipes by being carried all round a room give off
heat both uniformly and constantly. If doors be
left open for a few minutes, any excess of heat can
be got rid of, and there is not the discomfort that
attends the heating of classrooms by open fires.
Moreover, if some of the pipes and any radiators
are controlled by valves, it is an easy matter to
turn off these and thus reduce the heat in mild
weather. To realize the change that has taken place
in recent years, one has only to compare the heat-
ing surfaces of, say, fifteen years ago with those of
to-day. Then, 8 to 10 sq. ft. of heating surface per
1,000 cub. ft. of contents were regarded as sufficient,
and heating engineers were fond of assuring their
patrons that a temperature of 60° could be main-
tained in the coldest weather. They did not follow
up their statement by pointing out that this meant
that every door and window had to be kept shut.
Ventilation was regarded as of little moment when
schemes such as these were prepared. Now it is
customary to provide from 30 to 35 sq. ft. per 1 ,000,
an increase from three to four times the heating
surface of old. As we have seen (p. 228), hoppers
can be made to admit of the air being changed
ten times per hour with a breeze of 4 miles per hour.
In a room for fifty children, there will, by the
Board's Regulations, be 7,000 cub. ft. of contents
or 70,000 cub. ft. of air per hour to be warmed.
A British Thermal Unit will raise 50 cub. ft. of air
1° in one hour; therefore the B.T.U. required in

this room will be ^'^''^^cq^ ^^ = 39,200 B.T.U.

per hour, assuming the outside temperature to be

30° and the required temperature inside 58°, a

difference of 28°. A square foot of heating surface

win give off 175 B.T.U. per hour for each degree

(F.) of difference between temperature of pipe and

air. If the pipe temperature be 150°, there will be

a difference of 150°-58° = 92°. The area of piping

39 200
will, therefore, be ^ = 244 sq. ft. This is

equivalent to 35 sq. ft. of heating surface per
1,000 cub. ft. of contents. If the rooms have a
constant height of 14 ft., and the floor area be
10 sq. ft. per child, this may be regarded as requir-
ing 5 sq. ft. per child; or, in other words, the
heating surface required vnU be one-half of the
floor area.

There are two more things to be remembered in



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installing a heating apparatus, one being that if
economy of fuel is to be a consideration, the boiler
should be at least 50 per cent, in power above the
work it is called upon to do. This means that the
boiler will not need constant attention, the fuel
will burn more slowly, and less will be required.
The other point is to see that all boilers are pro-
vided with a dead-weight safety valve. In installing
hot-water systems in old buildings, the greatest
expense used to lie very often in providing a heating
chamber. This chamber is no longer necessary in
schools of four or five rooms, as two firms at least
have brought out boilers which can stand in one
of the classrooms, and one boiler will be sufficient
to heat the pipes for the whole of a school of this
size. By the decision of a Local Government Board
Auditor (Derby Borough Education Committee
Accounts), it is permissible for authorities to con-
tribute towards the cost of a new apparatus in an
old non-provided school, and there is no reason
why the children who are our first care should
not in all cases be properly warmed and provided
with an ample supply of fresh air. The last system
of heating which we will consider may also be
regarded as the latest. The Medical Officer of
Health for Derbyshire suggested that it might be
a good thing if we reverted to the old Roman system
of heated floors. Attempts have been made to heat
rooms from the walls, but with somewhat indifferent
results, because the feet tended to remain cold.
Dr. Barwise suggested that if we could warm the
children's feet, the blood would circulate, their
bodies keep warm, and the children be able to
inhale colder air than would other-svise be the case.
In the experimental rooms at North Wingfield, to
which reference has already been made, it was the
writer's privilege to put this to a practical test.
The difficulty at the beginning was to know what
the surface temperature of the floor should be.
If too hot, the children's feet, not to mention the
teachers', would become tender. If kept low, would
the children be warm enough ? Experience now
shows us that a surface temperature of 75° is
sufficient. As there is a large skylight to these
rooms, a 2-in. steam pipe is fixed round each room
to prevent any possible down-draught; and on a
winter's day, mth outside temperature 38° and
plenty of ventilation, the temperature at 1 ft.
above the floor was 59° and at 6 ft. 57°. All the
heating arrangements being out of sight, the rooms
have a much neater appearance, and there are less
ledges for dust. The construction of the floor is
quite simple, and consists of concrete slabs 2 J ins.
thick, with a space of about 9 ins. below in which
are steam pipes. Below the steam pipes is a bed of
concrete 12 ins. thick. The boiler works -vvith a
steam pressure of 3 lbs., and is fitted with an auto-
matic draught regulator. Thus, the loss of heat
from the surface of the floor is made good with
the heat of the steam pipes ,in the space below ;
these, in turn, take off more heat from the boiler,
the boiler regulator opens, and more heat is gen-
erated. It may, perhaps, be said safely that this
is the simplest form of heating and the neatest in
appearance. The calculation is very simple, as the
air in the trenches is confined and does not lose
heat by circulation. All that has to be done is to
proportion the surface and temperature of the pipes
to the floor area and temperature required. Thus,
1 sq.ft. of heating surface at 212° F. will heat a
floor area of Vr = 2-82 sq. ft. at 75°. The extra
heat above 212° due to the steam pressure may be



regarded as equivalent to the heat lost downward.
The floor paving is made in sections for easy
removal, so that access can be obtained to any part
if required. On another occasion, it is proposed to
adopt a system of trenching for access which will
enable a permanent floor to be laid. It seems more
rational to heat a substance in contact with part
of the body than to warm the air surrounding the
body, which can be blown away almost as quicklv
as heated. From experience, it would appear that
this method of heating is as cheap as low-pressure
hot water, and has the advantage that there are
no pipes to be frozen up in cold weather. It has
also the advantage that rooms are sufficiently
warmed within two hours or so of getting the fire
going in the boiler. One ventures to think that
this system of heating may be of use in buildings
other than schools. We have now considered in
detail the important questions of ventilation, light-
ing, and heating. It is most important that these
should be fully grasped, as upon them hang all
other points. It is useless trying to express our-
selves in plans unless we have a thorough grasp of
the principles that ought to govern us in the pro-
duction of those plans. When these are fully
grasped, there is a directness and definiteness that
at once arrests attention. This can always be seen
in a special manner in a competition for plans for
a school, even those least used to drawings being
able to see and know when the author is expressing
ideas which differentiate him from many others.

Sites. We will now proceed to consider more or
less in detail the various educational buildings,
elementary schools, open-air schools, secondary
schools, technical colleges, etc. In every case, the
most important thing at the start is the site. Too
much care cannot be expended upon selecting a
suitable piece of ground whereon to place the build-
ings. In the case of elementary schools, we hope
that the day has gone by when the main streets
and roads were considered the most suitable.
In these days of fast motor traffic, tramcars, noise
and dust, it is essential that the schools should be
kept away from the main arteries of traffic as much
as possible. When the children come out of school
full of childish energy and spirit, it is well they
should have a space to traverse in which " to let
off steam " before getting amongst the traffic.
Some day we may be able in our towns to plan
our schools in the suburbs, and take our children
to and fro in trams or 'buses, and get them quite
away from the noise. The next point is to select
a site that shall be the most cheerful that can be
obtained. Access of sunlight is, of course, an
essential thing, but there are other points which
add to cheerfulness (e.g., absence of lofty and
grimy buildings, presence of trees and gardens,
wide streets in towns, and so on). In the country,
the difficulty is not so great; but mushroom growths
in colliery villages, and the grabbing of land by
speculators without conscience, present difficulties
almost as great as in towns. Owing to the unreason-
able demands made by these people, it is some-
times hopeless to try to get a site as large as one
would wish. Open spaces around the schools are
the lungs of a neighbourhood, and as they do not
benefit only the children in the school, it is always
desirable to get as much land as possible. The
Board of Education ask for a quarter of an acre
for 200 children, but it is desirable to regard this
as a minimum and not as a counsel of perfection.
A suitable area for school buildings and playgrounds



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has been found by experience to be about 10 sq. yds.
per child. This will give good playgrounds and
enable the buildings to be set well back from the
front boundary line. The space between the front
boundary line and the building ought always to be
given up to Nature. The presence of bright flowers,
trees, and shrubs all properly cared for by the
children themselves, will give a dignity to a school,
make the children feel the school is really theirs
and a place to be loved, and produce an atmosphere
which will as a natural course affect both children
and parents. If the lie of the land permits, it is
desirable that trees and shrubs should be planted
elsewhere, provided, of course, that they are not
so placed as to interfere with the healthy romping
of the children. We need to be always trjdng to
uplift people, and can best do so by uplifting our-
selves and giving those around the school something
to love. If they have trees and flowers in their
midst reared by their own children, the most
hardened of humanity in the slums and elsewhere
may be led to a better life. Love of creation wiU,
we hope, lead to love of the Creator. The specu-
lating builder with his row upon row of houses, and
street upon street all dismally alike, has helped to
crush out nearly all self-respect, and to make people
doubt whether there is a Divine Creator. Let us
see to it, then, that we who have the care of the
children and the production of the children's work-
shops in which their characters are made and
moulded, give them of the best of God's fair earth,
and help to undo the evil produced by the con-
scienceless jerry-builder. There is no need to
pander to the children and wrap them up in the
lap of luxury. Children are natural, and love
simplicity and all that is beautiful in Nature.
Let us see that they get it, and let us help them
to keep their nearness to the divine as long as we
can. Another way in which their characters can be
helped in a right direction is by the provision of
playing fields. A game of cricket or tennis will teach
children to act together and get rid of self. It is
doubtful whether we have yet learned the good
that these organized games can do when properly
controlled and not allowed to become the aU-
absorbing part of the day's work.

In open-air schools there can, of course, be no
doubt that the best possible site should be obtained.
Few laws and rules can be laid down. Those who
take this work in hand almost invariably have good
hearts, and they may be safely left to do what is
best under the special circumstances of each case.
It is sometimes urged that there ought to be no
need for these schools, but one doubts whether this
sentimental view is not the wrong way of looking
at things. The chief thing in education is, or ought
to be, the formation of character. In the present
materialistic age, one fears that this is too often
lost sight of. Character, the development of all
that is best in our inmost being, the merging of the
finite in the Infinite, is too often the last thing and
not the first — if, indeed, at times, it finds a place at
all. In the formation of character, there is no
force, perhaps, more potent than suffering. It uplifts
the sufferer, and calls forth love and self-sacrifice in
those who minister. So we must be thankful that
we have the privilege of ministering to the suffering
and helping their lot by means of these open-air
schools. On the other hand, we ought to see to it
that the causes which produce so many of the cases
are removed. Had our forefathers controlled the
development of land and put the speculator in his



place, many an unhealthy body would now be
sound and would be able to minister instead of
being ministered to. As we have sown, so must we
continue to reap. In secondary schools, owing to
the smallness of classes, the number of special
rooms required, and the attention given to games,
a considerable area is required, which, of course,
must vary vdih circumstances. In a school of
100 children, the Board of Education asks for at
least 2 acres in the playing-field alone. It will
probably be found that for 600 boys, a field of
10 or even 12 acres will be required. All sites should
either be level, or lend themselves readily to level-
ling, if economy is to be considered, and every
attempt should be made to bring out the natural
features of site and surroundings. We cannot give
age and tradition to our modern schools, and we
ought, therefore, to do our best to produce charm
and character, so that each student may ever look
upon his school with love and respect.

Because playing-fields are not necessary at
technical colleges, it is too often the case that sites
for these colleges are of the smallest possible
dimension, with hardly any regard to air and
possibility of extension. These institutes are
invariably in the midst of densely-populated neigh-
bourhoods where land is dear; but we ought to
remember that if a thing is worth doing at all, it is
worth doing well, and that people wiU work better
where there is plenty of air and a feeling of spacious-
ness. Parsimony is not economy, as a rule.

Elementary Schools. In considering an elementary
school in detail, the first and most important thing
must be the classroom ; but, strange to say, there
is little more to be said. We have already con-
sidered the vital questions of lighting and ventila-
tion, and, where these are properly met, the class-
room has practically planned itself. We have also
seen the desirability of having light and cheerful
colours on walls, ceilings, and woodwork, and this
leaves only the dadoes to speak about. The craze
for free-arm drawing seems to be passing away,
but it is still desirable to have the dadoes prepared
for drawing so that both teachers and children may
express themselves in drawings and diagrams. The
most restful colour is perhaps a dark green, but in
this case the colouring has to be upward. Another
colour, and one more serviceable for its purpose, is
a silvery French grey. This being a medium colour,
neither light nor dark, the operator can work both
up and down, that is to say, both light and dark
chalks can be used. At the bottom of this space,
a chalk rail should be provided. It is only a small
matter, but adds much to the neatness of a room.
Where wood floors are in use, it is better to fill up
the pores of the wood as soon as laid with oil pre-
paration, terebine, or one of the wax polishes now
on the market. One of the greatest difficulties to be
faced in a classroom is the furniture. (See Equip-
ment, School.) Desks are admittedly a compro-
mise, inasmuch as one slope has to answer for
reading, writing, sewing, and other handwork,
whereas different inclinations are required for each.
Moreover, desks are cumbersome, and the daily
school cleaning puts a strain on the caretaker,
especially if it be a woman. Possibly we may soon
come to having light folding tables with tops that
can be flat or raised, and a separate chair for each
child. If the tables be numbered where easily seen
and the chairs also, it ought to be possible to arrange
suitable furniture for each child, whether its body
and legs be long or short. It is possible for negligent



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teachers to allow the children to take up wrong
positions when writing by pushing their chairs too
far back, but in this life we cannot expect to get
perfection. With light folding tables and inde-
pendent chairs, the classes can be grouped better
for drawing; and in summer weather, if trees
abound, it ought to be quite an easy matter to
convey the furniture to the shade of the trees and
have lessons in the open. It may be urged that
children are naturally fidgety, and that there will
be much noise from constantly moving tables and
chairs; but one must remember that in secondary
schools it is customary to give separate chairs, and
if it be possible to work quietly there, it ought to be
equally possible to work quietly in an elementary
school. In this, as in much else, a good deal depends
upon the kind of teacher. In the case of movable
tables, there is the drawback that there are neither
shelves nor lockers for the children; but this can be
got over by providing a series of cupboards forming
part of the structure on the wall in front of each class.



that the smell may be carried out and not find its
way into the classrooms. In most schools, and
especially in country districts where the children
have to walk great distances, it is essential that



Online LibraryFoster WatsonThe encyclopaedia and dictionary of education; a comprehensive, practical and authoritative guide on all matters connected with education, including educational principles and practice, various types of teaching institutions, and educational systems throughout the world (Volume v. 1) → online text (page 63 of 138)