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But the fact that the deepest influence in a true teacher's
character is a sense of vocation must not obscure from
our eyes the need both for exact and careful preparation
for his future duties on the teacher's part, and for care on
the part of governing bodies and the State lest anxious
fears for the future and the dread of want or dependence
in old age should harass the teacher's mind and overcloud
the cheerfulness of his disposition. Possible failure to
secure and to retain the services of a sufficient number of
the best type of men and women as teachers is perhaps
the gravest danger which threatens the future of our
elaborately organised systems of modern education.

xxxiv Introduction

(2) Next in importance after the personality of the
teacher as a factor in moral education is, if it be healthy
and inspiring, the corporate life of the school Such a
corporate life is in essence a spiritual thing, fed by spiritual
influences and expressing itself in subtle and often un-
noticed ways. But it can be furthered by wise organisa-
tion, fostered by well-planned buildings, and refined by
dignified and beautiful surroundings. 1 Especial import-
ance is attached by many of our most experienced
witnesses to the influence of healthy physical conditions
(light, air, suitable diet, easy clothing, and plenty of sleep
and exercise) upon the moral tone of a school. Organised
school games, if they do not play too exclusive a part in
fixing the standard of personal distinction among the
pupils, are of proved value in keeping the corporate life of
the school fresh and wholesome. Again, the corporate
life of a school gains vigour and continuity of tradition if
the pupils are trusted to bear such part in the control of
school discipline as will train them, by bearing responsi-
bility, to rise to further responsibilities afterwards. The
higher secondary schools in England have influenced the
educational thought of the world by their success in
developing suitable and practical forms of self-government.
In Germany and America alike we find proofs of this
influence. But Arthur Hugh Clough, one of Dr. Arnold's
own favourite pupils, reminds us in Dipsychus that you
may do lasting mischief if you overstrain the moral
thoughtfulness of sensitive, and still more of morally
over-ambitious, young people. It is not in this direc-
tion, however, that our evidence, so far as this country is

1 The evidence shows that good pictures and other works of art may, if
skilfully used, be made important factors in education. It is satisfactory
to note that the development of artistic power and of the love of beautiful
things is beginning to take a more fitting place in educational thought
and practice.

Introduction xxxv

concerned, points to present danger. And there is reason
to think that the headmasters and headmistresses of our
public elementary schools and of the newer secondary
day schools, have greatly strengthened the character-
forming influence of English education by wisely adapting
to new conditions the spirit of those methods of self-
government which Arnold of Rugby developed out of
the traditions of Winchester and which in turn Dr. Per-
cival developed at Clifton out of the traditions of Rugby.

In this short analysis of the chief factors which influence
the corporate life of a school, mention should be made of
three other things. First, the growth of a distinctive
tradition depends in great measure upon the school en-
joying some degree of legal autonomy. To take an extreme
case, Thring could never have created the Uppingham
spirit if Uppingham had been a Council school under an
ordinary local education authority. The constraints, the
necessary and unavoidable restraints, of official organisa-
tion would have made his particular achievement impos-
sible. But it is not often that such a revolution as Thring
brought about is expedient or salutary. No national
system of education, unless it were Tolstoyan in its denial
of organisation, could sanction many such cases of school
development without falling into chaos. Yet, short of
this, there is a degree of moral independence which, if
individuality of tradition and variety of method are to be
encouraged, should be permitted to the responsible
managers of every school. There is a mean between
over-starched organisation and demoralising disorder. It
is to be hoped that, in their supervision of the new
secondary schools, the County and County Borough Edu-
cation Authorities may incline to the precedents set by
the comparative freedom of our higher secondary schools
rather than to those furnished by the traditions of our

xxxvi Introduction

public elementary education. If we want to attract men
and women of strong personality and good position to the
teaching profession, we must be prepared to put up with
the inconvenience of dealing with people who will not
always trot tamely along in front of an official holding
the reins. But it should in fairness be added that our
evidence records a very considerable degree of freedom in
English elementary education at the present time. Some-
times, indeed, this freedom is made illusory by the con-
flicting claims of two sets of inspectors. And cases have
been reported to us in which the teachers seem hardly
prepared to avail themselves of the freedom actually
allowed to them in the organisation of the courses of in-
struction in the schools. But the evidence before the
Committee points to the conclusion that, in the selection
of their assistants, the head teachers of our public ele-
mentary schools should as a rule be allowed to have a
more effective voice than is now generally granted to them.
Secondly, it would be a great help to the corporate life
of our public elementary schools if vigorous associations
of old scholars were more habitually organised in con-
nection with them. The helpful influences of school
comradeship and the happiness of school loyalty can well
be carried forward beyond the close of the period of
school life. The success of many of the numerous Old
Scholars' Associations which have already been formed
in connection with elementary schools through the keen
interest of the teachers shows that a large field of potential
school loyalty is as yet imperfectly tilled. 1

1 In many parts of England and Wales the majority of children still
leave the elementary schools at an earlier age than fourteen. Public
opinion, however, is showing itself increasingly unfavourable to such a
premature close of day-school education. It is also felt by most experi-
enced observers that, under present conditions, the half-time employment
of children under fourteen in factories and workshops leads to deplorable
results. Further, the fact that so large a proportion of young people re-

Introduction xxxvii

Thirdly, to not a few Public School boys the influence
of the Chapel services and the beauty of the buildings and
playing fields mean much, both during school days and in
retrospect The real depth of this influence is not to be
measured by the dry way in which alone most Englishmen,
habitually reserved on such matters, permit themselves to
allude to it. But our evidence reminds us that there is
danger in requiring too frequent attendances at religious
exercises, and that the moral efficacy of preaching is not
always as great as is supposed.

(3) Hardly less important in moral training and instruc-
tion is the influence of the curriculum, through which
indeed the personality of the teacher must, in part at any
rate, make itself felt. In the course of our inquiry, pains
were taken to find out which parts of school work appear
to have the greatest influence upon character. Experi-
enced witnesses are disposed to agree in putting literature
first after the right study of the Bible. 1 After literature,
most teachers are inclined to place either history or
mathematics or natural science. There is much striking
testimony to the moral influence of good music, and
especially of singing. Drawing, too, and other forms of
expression through the hand are found to be important
elements in the curriculum, as well from this as from other
points of view. The best educational practice of the
time attaches high value to well-directed activities of
various kinds. Practical occupations, whether pursued as
hobbies or planned in the service of the school community,

ceive no systematic moral, intellectual or industrial training during the
years of adolescence is one of the most serious obstacles to the effective
moral education of the rising generation.

1 In this connection stress should be laid upon the value of well-chosen
school libraries and of effective co-operation between the public libraries
and the schools. Much can be done by teachers to cultivate a preference
for what is wholesome in literature.

xxxviii Introduction

are found to conduce to the healthy employment of leisure
hours a side of school life which is put to singularly
good use in some of the schools connected with the
Society of Friends. 1

Of course, if the teaching is good and the course of
study well planned, the intellectual work of the school
cannot fail to have an influence upon the character, at
any rate upon that of an industrious pupil. It must, how-
ever, be confessed that keen intellectual interest about
their school work is not the distinguishing mark of the
rank and file in the English Public Schools for boys. But
it is absurd to talk of English Public School education as
if it were an intellectual Sahara. There cannot be many
secondary schools in the world in which there is a keener
intellectual life than in some sets at Eton, Winchester and

A bane to the intellectual vigour of many English
secondary schools is our intemperate use of the stimulant
of competitive examinations. But the danger of over-
pressure i appears to be less in the English secondary
schools for boys than in the corresponding schools on
the Continent. It exists, however, in the case of some
of the girls who are preparing to be teachers. And
experienced witnesses have impressed upon us the view
that, in the school life of a growing and conscientious
girl, times of " recollection " are physically beneficial and
intellectually profitable, as well as necessary to the quiet
growth of character.

Systematic and practical instruction in social and
economic questions seems to be still surprisingly infre-
quent in our great Public Schools, although the older

1 Reference may also be made to the account given, in Mr. Baldwin's
paper in volume 2, of the life at the Hyannis Normal School in Massa-

Introduction xxxix

boys are admittedly well able to make good use of it. 1
In view of the responsible duties which lie before them
in after life, such instruction, if given in a suitable form,
would be especially appropriate to their needs. Head-
masters and governing bodies might with advantage en-
courage some of those whom they propose to appoint to
their staff of teachers to undertake a special course of
preparation (practical as well as theoretical) for the work
of giving accurate and stimulating instruction on the
methods of local and central administration, and upon the
real working of our social and industrial organisation.
What the pupils want is a course vivid with practical
experience and full of sound history and competent
economics. The important thing is to kindle their in-
terest in scientific methods of social investigation ; and
to make them see that the problem of social reform is
very urgent and very complicated ; that ill-formed or
partisan talk merely darkens counsel ; and that it will be
both discreditable and unfortunate if, through lack of
intelligent study and investigation, the more leisured
classes in England find themselves obliged to leave the
intellectual lead on social questions in the hands of men
and women whose educational opportunities have been
far narrower than their own.


It is desirable to distinguish moral training from moral
instruction, both being necessary to moral education.
Moral training aims at giving good habits: moral in-
struction at imparting moral ideas. Moral training is
secured by watchful care over conduct ; by intimacy with
good example ; by wisely ordered physical discipline ; by

1 Special provision for the teaching of matters bearing on civic duty
is made at Clifton, at Bootham School, York, and doubtless elsewhere.
Similar teaching is given in many of the higher secondary schools for

xl Introduction

a due measure of organised school games ; by the good
influences in the corporate life of the school ; by the
responsibilities of self-government ; and by the effect of
honest intellectual work upon the moral outlook and
judgment. Moral instruction aims definitely at furnish-
ing ideas which may help in giving a right direction to
conduct. In the strict sense of the word, it is always
direct. It may indeed be incidental; or it may be
allusive ; or it may be in the form of a parable, or of an
historical example, or of an illustration from poetry or
fiction. It may appeal to the religious sanction as well
as to the personal and social sanctions, or to the two latter
alone. But however masked it may be in its incidence,
it must, in so far as it is moral instruction, be direct.

Some of the sharpest differences in opinion as to the
way in which moral instruction may be most wisely
given, spring from a divergence, often a hidden diver-
gence, of educational ideals. Among the different views
of what is the right organisation of the work of a school,
two are in strong contrast at the present time. The
first view lays especial stress upon the didactic power of
the school ; the second upon the educative power of the
activities of the school community. The first view finds
its most characteristic expression in the teacher skilfully
stimulating and directing from his desk the intelligence
and the aspirations of the diligent and well-disciplined
pupils who sit before him in the classroom. The second
presents us with a very different picture of the most
characteristic form of effective school life, viz., that of
a more or less self-governing community, occupied with
vital movement of all kinds ; full of freedom and initiative
in a great variety of tasks ; getting experience of the
labours and relationships which lie at the foundation of
all society ; dynamic, self-expressive, educatively practical,

Introduction xli

busy with the effort to accomplish (under due but un-
obtrusive guidance) certain things which its individual
members wish to accomplish and in which therefore they
find a strong motive for effort. The first of these views
is most distinctively expressed in the educational tradi-
tion of France, though it is also noticeable in German
practice, and is not absent from our own elementary
and secondary schools. The other view has found its
most persuasive advocate in Prof. John Dewey, of
Columbia University, and perhaps its most elaborate
realisation in the University Elementary School, Chicago,
and the Normal School at Hyannis, Massachusetts,
though several other well-known schools in England,
Denmark, Germany and the United States bear witness
to the influence of the new doctrine. Thinkers and
teachers who incline to the first of these two educational
ideals, instinctively turn to methods of moral instruction
which repel and even irritate those who incline to the
second. Both may agree in thinking that the kindling of
high ideals is a main purpose of the school. Both may
be persuaded that schools should try to do more to influ-
ence conduct and to impart a higher ideal of life. But
methods of moral teaching which appear appropriate and
even axiomatic to the one, may seem pedantic and pre-
posterous to the other. May we not say, however, that
each of these two conflicting ideals of education holds
part of the truth, but that neither in its extreme form is
really applicable to all the needs of the young ? It is
noticeable that, in England at all events, there is (and
long has been) a marked tendency to combine these two
educational doctrines, and to blend with the more abstract
and didactic part of school work a considerable measure
of constructive occupation and of self-directing activity.
This being the case, it will not be surprising if, in regard

xlii Introduction

to methods of moral instruction and training, English
educators show themselves not unwilling to find guidance
in each of two apparently opposite views.

In all schools, apart altogether from moral training,
there is much moral instruction. Most of it is given not
on a prearranged plan but as opportunities may offer,
which the teacher thinks it wise to seize. This is the
method preferred by the majority of our witnesses who
are engaged in teaching in secondary schools. Among
those engaged in elementary schools, the more systematic
method of moral instruction is increasingly in use. Our
evidence shows that in the Bible lessons and in many
other parts of the curriculum, especially in the teaching
of literature, the opportunity of giving moral instruction,
incidentally and as it were in passing, is habitually,
though (if the teacher is wise) not obtrusively, used.

It will be remembered how numerous and weighty are
the precedents for regarding direct moral instruction as
an important part of education. In schools for children
the teaching of quiet and considerate manners is rightly
considered part of the teacher's duty. But the teaching
of good manners is a form of moral instruction. In
nearly all schools, again, the headmaster or headmistress
attaches great importance to the giving of addresses at
suitable intervals and frequently upon some question of
conduct or of duty. One source of Arnold's and of
Temple's influence at Rugby, of Vaughan's at Harrow
and of Ridding's at Winchester was their power in appeal-
ing to the boys by sermons in the College Chapels.
Those who have read their sermons will recall how
many of them deal directly and plainly with problems of
moral duty. In the secondary day schools and in the
public elementary schools, addresses given to the whole
school on matters of conduct and obligation are potent

Introduction xliii

factors in raising and defining the moral ideals of the
pupils. Apart from sermons and addresses, the private
advice and instruction on moral questions given to boys
or girls individually by experienced and trusted teachers
form, by the general consent of our witnesses, a valuable
element in education. Several witnesses have called our
attention to the deep impression made on many boys
and girls by the classes held in preparation for confirma-
tion. The religious and moral instruction given in the
Sunday Schools (including the Adult Schools) has been
for more than a century a factor of the highest import-
ance in our national education, and remarkable efforts
are now being made by the various religious bodies to
strengthen the influence of Sunday Schools by very
necessary improvements in their customary methods of
teaching. Again, the reader of the reports contributed
to these volumes by Miss Wells, by Miss Ravenhill and
by Miss Forchhammer will observe that many teachers
think it desirable that boys and girls should receive
during their school days skilfully imparted and scientific-
ally accurate instruction about the facts of life. A great
number of our witnesses have urged upon us the import-
ance of systematic instruction in personal hygiene, in the
duty of temperance and in the practice of thrift. Such
instruction is already given in numerous schools, though
in our judgment most wisely when care is taken to avoid
giving artificial prominence to the practice of any one
isolated virtue. But the general conclusion which cannot
fail to be drawn even from this brief summary of well-
established school practice and from the long experience
of the religious bodies, is that there is a general agreement
among experienced teachers that direct moral instruction,
when given at the right time, and in the right way, is a
valuable element in moral education.

xliv Introduction

To what extent such direct moral instruction can
wisely be imparted according to a set scheme and at pre-
viously appointed hours in the curriculum, is a question
which has given rise among ourselves and among our
witnesses to much interesting debate. Upon this subject
the experience gained in the French schools is of especial
value and importance. Four papers in these volumes
those written by Mr. Harrold Johnson, Mr. T. E. Harvey,
the Rev. E. Myers and Miss Jourdain make valuable
additions to our knowledge of what is actually attempted
in the French schools, and help us towards forming a
judgment upon its present results. 1 It will be observed
that some of the principles which underlie parts of the
moral instruction in the State schools of France are
deplored by some and doubtfully regarded by others.
But there is no doubt that the French experiment (for,
at present, it cannot be spoken of under any other name)
is one of great educational significance, though not one
that the Committee can recommend in its present form
for imitation in the very different circumstances pre-
vailing in our own country. Any one, however, who is
inclined to censure (perhaps justly) the French courses
of moral instruction as being too full of abstractions and
too prone to the philosophical analysis of motive, will
find it helpful to recall Mr. Cloudesley Brereton's illumin-
ating observation that, to the French mind, the word
reason, so far from meaning only a cold logical process, has
the fuller significance of" thought touched with emotion ". 2

The moral instruction given in the Japanese schools
is secular in the sense that it has no connection with
Buddhism or ^Christianity. Its purpose is to cultivate

1 See Vol. 2 (Foreign and Colonial).

2 See his paper, " The True Inwardness of Moral Instruction in France,"
in The Journal of Education (3 Broadway, Ludgate Hill, B.C.) for
February, 1908.

Introduction xlv

the moral nature of the children and to guide them in
the practice of virtue. In imparting it the teachers are
required to follow authoritative text-books compiled by
a Commission appointed by Government for the purpose,
though they do not fail to take advantage of the oppor-
tunities afforded by other lessons for incidental moral
instruction. Baron Kikuchi, in the chapter contributed
by him to Vol. 2 of this report, records the conviction
that this organised moral teaching arrested a great
melting away of moral principle at a critical juncture
in national history, and that the courage and devotion
of the Japanese soldiers during the recent war were in
great measure the result of the systematic moral in-
struction given in the schools. But he is careful to point
out that moral education in Japan is based entirely upon
the Imperial Rescript of 1890, and that its effectiveness
is due to an almost religious attitude towards the Emperor
and thus to something closely akin to a religious sanction.

Essays published in Vol. 2 of the report record the
judgment of some experienced American teachers upon
the subject of moral instruction and training in schools.
At the meeting of the National Educational Association
(U.S.A.), held at Los Angeles, California, on I2th July,
1907, it was resolved that "it is the duty of the teachers
to enter at once upon a systematic course of instruction,
which shall embrace not only a broader patriotism but
a more extended course of moral instruction, especially
in regard to the rights and duties of citizenship, the right of
property and the security and sacredness of human life ". x

In a communication to our Committee, President Stanley
Hall, of Clark University, whose work on the Psychology

1 At the Cleveland Convention of the National Educational Association,
held in July, 1908, the question of moral training in the schools was
again discussed, but the terms of the resolution carried had not reached
England when this book went to press.

xlvi Introduction

of Adolescence has greatly influenced the educational
thought of our time, records his conviction that there
should be religious instruction in the American schools.
But, besides this, he would have prepared (as in Japan, by
a Committee) for every grade in the schools a manual of
moral instruction, laying stress upon personal hygiene and
civic duty. On the other hand, the mass (though not the
whole) of American opinion is unfavourable to the intro-
duction of special forms of religious teaching in the public

Online LibraryMichael SadlerMoral instruction and training in schools; report of an international inquiry .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 3 of 45)