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and heroic valour, and make them hate the cowardice of
doing wrong ". It would be difficult to phrase more finely
the intimate connection between muscle and morality.

It may be fairly claimed for reformatory and industrial
schools that they have proved two things : first, that the
earliest glimmer of reformation in the inmate of a refor-
matory school is detected when he is found to have de-

Industrial and Physical Training 341

veloped a feeling of self-respect ; secondly, that this feeling
of self-respect is easiest aroused by inducing a boy to take
a pride in his physical development. A superintendent of
long experience once informed me that the moment he
detected a boy feeling his biceps he considered that the
boy was trustworthy. He was right with nine cases out
of ten. So soon as a boy has begun to take an interest
in physical drill, in gymnastics, free and applied, in run-
ning, jumping, and healthy field sports, not only does he
begin to exercise self-restraint and to avoid temptations
which he knows may impair his bodily fitness, but his
mind is stored with interests more wholesome than those
which excited his curiosity or inflamed his cupidity in his
unregenerate days. Furthermore, to take the physiologi-
cal point of view, the rigorous discipline of the body in
youth undoubtedly absorbs or dissipates certain humours
of the body which are fostered by, a confined, sedentary,
crowded city life, and which, if allowed to get the mastery,
will not only injure the body, but stimulate the brain to a
noisome activity and poison the very wells of morality.
Religion implies the care of the body and the mind as
well as that of the soul, and it may be doubted whether
in many a case admitted to a reformatory school the
spiritual elements of religion have any influence whatever
until the body has been disciplined, the mind scoured, and
some basis of morality thus established. Some years ago
when there were some schools which did, and others
which did not, pay proper attention to physical .training,
very impressive was the difference in the appearance and
manner of boys or girls in a school where physical train-
ing had its proper place, as compared with the inmates of
institutions where it had not. More delightful specimens
of British boyhood it would be hard to discover than in
the former. Firm flesh, straight bodies, heads erect, hale
complexions, frank and open countenances, straight, clear,

34 2 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

intelligent eyes and a ready smile ; these characteristics
were found nearly always to imply in the doctor's book
an almost clean sheet, and in the record of conduct little
absconding, few offences against morality, next to no
bullying, only an occasional case of pilfering or lying ;
little, indeed, but what is bound to occur and has to be
reckoned with when high spirits explode. As physical
training has improved throughout the whole system of
schools during the past ten years this happy state of
things has become common, and there is no reason, save
the miserable limitations of human endeavour, why it
should not be universal.

What is good for the reformatory and industrial school
boy is good for all. It may be that in some of our board-
ing schools sports and games are overdone, but in the
secondary or elementary day schools of the country there
is not the slightest danger of excess in physical training,
or in organised games. It will take years of enthusiastic
work before we even approximate to a proper state of
things and find ourselves in a fair way to adopt the maxim
of the Frenchman, Nicole, who lived early in the seven-
teenth century, and not only form the minds of our pupils
to virtue but also bend their bodies to it. "We must
endeavour that the body do not prove a hindrance to
their leading a well-regulated life, or draw them by its
weight to any disorder. For we should know that as men
are made up of mind and body, a wrong turn given to the
body in youth is often in after life a great hindrance to




Of the Thrift and Savings Sub-committee of the Charity Organisation


[Valuable supplementary evidence was given on the subject by Mr.
D. RADFORD SHARPE, Secretary of the Sub-committee, who for the last two
years has spoken on thrift and forethought to children in elementary
schools, etc.]

BELIEVING strongly in the importance of thrift to the
individual and to the community, we are very anxious that
something more than the mere mechanical saving of money
and putting it into a savings bank should be inculcated
systematically. We think that the senior scholars, and
particularly the teachers, should be equipped with some
elementary knowledge of the actuarial principles upon
which the safety of friendly societies and other institutions
depend, but not, of course, that they should advocate the
claims of any special societies. If such knowledge had
been imparted, many of the disasters which have happened
in institutions of that kind would never have occurred.
The difference between a dividing society and a perman-
ent society, in the case of friendly societies ; the difference
between a ballot and sale society and a permanent build-
ing society, in the case of building societies ; the difference
between a productive and distributive society and credit
society, in the case of co-operative and industrial societies :


344 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

all these are subjects on which it would well repay the
State to give information to the older children before they
leave school, and necessarily it must first be given to the
teachers. Our object is to get these things adopted as
part of the ordinary curriculum, not as an addition to it.
It is quite possible to teach this subject as part of the
arithmetic lessons, but we wish it to be adopted as a
necessary incident of the teaching, both in the training
colleges and in the upper standards of the schools. I
think it should be given during the year before the children
leave school. A boy ought to be equipped with it before
he begins to earn for himself, and he ought to be told the
best way in which he can employ his earnings, both in
respect of the judicious expenditure of them by means of
co-operative societies, and by storing them up in a build-
ing or friendly society, or some institution of that kind.
We do not recommend special societies ; we merely give
particulars about them, adding a strong caution against
any one joining any branch of them without adequate
inquiry into its condition. If a boy of fifteen is old
enough to be a member of a society, he is old enough
to know the condition of its solvency. I think we
should all of us know the conditions with which any
sound individual scheme must comply. It must be valued,
and the valuation will either produce a surplus or a defici-
ency. In every case measures must be taken to set the
thing straight. That amount of elementary knowledge
may be given to the young. We have to deal with a
state of things of which the general public is absolutely
ignorant. It is one of the most important questions that
affect the life of the working-class, that their friendly
societies should be sound. Even if we do not succeed
generally in instilling this knowledge into each member,
yet if we instil it into a sufficient number and equip a few
boys with the needed actuarial knowledge, we have done

The Economic and Social Value of Thrift 345

a great deal to secure the solvency of these bodies. Our
lectures have been, so far, confined to elementary schools
and to training colleges, but it would be a great advantage
to the boys in secondary schools if they were provided with
the same kind of knowledge.


By Mr. JOHN SHAWCROSS, University College, Oxford.

[What follows is an excerpt from a valuable report prepared for the
guidance of the Committee by Mr. SHAWCROSS, after an extensive inquiry
in which he was assisted by Mr. HENRY HERBBRT, Headmaster of the
Godwin Road Council School, Forest Gate, London, E.]

THE question of religious instruction in elementary
schools is closely bound up with that of moral instruc-
tion. On the ceaseless controversies which rage round
this question I do not propose to enter, chiefly for the
reason that the issues which they raise are as a rule any-
thing but educational issues. As regards the Bible teaching
given in Provided schools, I would only say that whatever
the outside world judges of its desirability, those most
nearly interested in it (both teachers and parents) accept
it, almost unanimously, without demur. But the question
which concerns us here is whether, as an instrument of
moral education, this teaching is sufficient, or whether
actual moral instruction is needed to supplement it or
take its place. Those who assert this necessity ground
their arguments partly on the inefficiency of the present
instruction, partly on the inherent difficulty of adapting
the ethical teaching of the Bible to meet all the needs of
our complex modern life.

That the teaching of the Bible is, as a rule, far from
satisfactory, few who have had experience of it will (I
believe) deny ; and this because it fails to rouse not only
the ethical but even the historical interest. But this in
itself is no argument for supplanting it by moral instruc-


Bible Teaching in the Elementary Schools 347

tion, which is equally ineffectual in the hands of an incom-
petent teacher. As to the difficulties of using the Bible
as a text-book on which to append direct moral lessons,
I have found much difference of opinion among those
whom I have consulted ; but the majority inclined to
think that there were few lessons of importance which
could not be introduced in this manner. But my own
experience did not confirm me in the belief that such ap-
plication is at all systematically made or that it can always
be made without difficulty. There is some danger of the
teacher missing the true ethical significance of the story
he is narrating in order to fit in the particular truth
which he wishes to enforce, as when the entertaining of
the angels by Abraham is made the point of departure
for a lesson upon manners. And, as in all moral teach-
ing through narrative, the teacher is confused by the
double aim of appealing to the imagination and to the
moral judgment of his hearers. Add to this the dis-
crepancies which must often arise between the moral
standards and conceptions of a primitive race (I am
speaking of the Old Testament) and our own, and we
can understand why, in actual practice, the Bible is not
always made an efficient instrument of moral instruction.

But against these difficulties must be set great, indeed
unique, advantages. Of the loss which moral instruction
must necessarily suffer if it is dissociated, not merely from
any special religious doctrine, but from any religious or
Divine sanction whatsoever, I have spoken above. There
cannot surely be a stronger stimulus to right action than
the sense that in such action we are fulfilling a larger than
human purpose, and acting in concert with a more than
human will. And nowhere is this intimate and essential
connection of religion and morality, of right action and
true devotion, so forcibly, and at the same time so simply,
proclaimed than in the history of the Jews as told in the

348 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

Bible ; in no book could the teacher find the conception of
Duty as the " stern daughter of the voice of God " presented
so impressively, or in a manner so calculated to appeal
to the heart and understanding of children. 1 In a book
of this unique character, a book moreover towards which
there exists an untrained almost innate sense of reverence
in the mind of every child, the teacher possesses a lever of
moral stimulus which he cannot afford to dispense with.
But the more valuable the instrument, the more essential
is it that the conditions of its right use should be fulfilled.
The teaching of morals directly, by a graded and
systematic course of instruction, is, with a few exceptions,
a novelty in English elementary educational practice, and
must, as yet, be regarded more or less as an experiment.
This fact should be taken into account in judging of its
possibilities from experience of what actually has been
done, and also from the attitude which the body of
teachers as a whole adopts towards it. This attitude is,
I think, unfavourable among those who have had no
practical experience of it, while among those who have I
have found much variety of opinion. Many were sceptical
as to its value, many doubtful, a few enthusiastic ; often a
teacher thought that he could trace beneficial effects to the
lessons, but it should be added that these effects extended
as a rule to manners only. The antagonism may no
doubt in great measure be referred to a not unnatural
prejudice against a new subject added to a crowded curri-
culum, a subject moreover in which it is difficult to produce
examinable results, and which needs long and careful
preparation. Hence we should be unwise to attach much
importance to the present state of opinion on the subject.
As to its practical success, I cannot, from the experience
I have had of it, speak wholly favourably.

1 See The Permanent Religious Value of the Old Testament, by Prof.



Communications from

(1) Mrs. MACKENZIE, Professor of Education, University College, Cardiff.

(2) Miss BARBARA FORTH, Vice-Principal of the Salisbury Diocesan Train-

ing College and a member of the Executive Committee of the Inquiry.

(3) The Directors and Staffs of the R.C. Training College, Mount

Pleasant, Liverpool.

(4) Mr. H. E. W. PHILLIPS, Master of Method, Oxford University Day

Training College.

(5) Miss GRAVESON, Vice-Principal of Goldsmiths' College, New Cross,


(6) Mrs. WOODHOUSE, Clapham High School for Girls, Clapham Common,


(7) Miss M. SCAMPTON, member of the Coventry Education Committee.

[Reference should also be made to Chapter VII. (Prof. Muirhead).]

THE questions circulated by the Committee were as
follows :

(i) What steps are taken in training colleges to prepare
intending teachers for the work of moral instruction and
training in schools ? Please mention especially courses in
ethics, theoretic or applied.

(ii) What steps are taken by Education Committees to
train teachers for this part of their work ?

(i) By Prof. Millicent Mackenzie (condensed) :

To make the training course of real ethical value to the
students, so that they may in due time share in promoting
the moral life of the community through their work in the


350 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

schools, the change needed is rather one of emphasis than
of substance. The value of the study of child psychology
can hardly be overestimated. There is grave danger lest a
too enthusiastic teacher should try to force the process of
moral growth unduly, and to foist on to a child adult ideas
of life and morals.

It is also of the first importance that students in training
should be led to reflect upon the problems of life and con-
duct, and to this end a series of lessons on practical ethics
and civics should be instituted.

Again, in dealing with the theory of teaching, the place
and respective importance of direct and indirect moral
instruction should be noted and some insight gained into
the best ways of familiarising the minds of children with
moral ideas suited to their age, through the study of
history, literature, etc., as well as by special moral
lessons. More difficult to arrange but not less important
would be opportunity for seeing some such teaching
properly carried out and even for taking part in it.

Unfortunately it is this aspect of training that is in great
danger of being neglected. Students must have time to
assimilate new ideas. But we are so anxious to turn them
into teachers in the shortest possible time so " greedy of
quick returns" that we attempt short-cuts in training,
and "bad is our bargain".

In our training colleges for elementary school teachers
the real difficulty in the way of laying sufficient stress on the
ethical side of the course is to be found in the fact that
academic work and professional training have to be carried
on side by side. Both the academic course (whether for the
Board of Education Certificate or for the University Degree)
and the professional course suffer. If the moral side of
the training of teachers is to be made of any real effect,
the first step must be to separate the professional training
from the academic preparation which should precede it.

Preparation of Teachers for Moral Instruction 351

(2) By Miss Barbara Forth, Vice-Principal, Salisbury
Training College for Women Teachers.

The students in the Salisbury Training College are
given no special preparation for teaching " Morals " in
systematic lessons divorced from other subjects.

For character-formation the College depends chiefly on
its atmosphere and traditions, and on the personnel of its
staff. All students are in residence in the College, its
extension or its hostel, and thus matters of hygiene, social
behaviour and relations, as well as the deeper issues of
moral life, come under the ken and guidance of the College
authorities. There is a large freedom in the discipline and
a good deal of personal responsibility, especially in the use
of free time ; of perpetual supervision, in and out of doors,
there is none, and cases of the abuse of this freedom never

The highest factor in our training consists in the regular
daily chapel services and occasional addresses, and to these,
and to the lectures, which touch on the higher aspects of
their personal life and work, Salisbury teachers most often
refer as accounting for success in their vocation.

Though the moral training of a Church of England
training college is thus more dependent upon habits formed,
and influences, especially religious ones, brought to bear on
the daily life of its students than upon specific, systematic
moral instruction, yet much actual instruction both in
morality and in the methods of inculcating it is given.
The divinity lessons, those in the principles of teaching,
English literature and history, nature study and elementary
science, especially hygiene, open out almost every field of
moral inquiry, and give large opportunities for moral
teaching. The intimate relations and close personal
touch existing between staff and students, the atmosphere
of the Residential College, the friendships formed there, and

352 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

the connection kept up by the Old Students' Associations
and College reunions are strong forces in moral education.
The ideals of the College, its traditions and sympathies are
the most potent factors in a student's own moral training,
and on such training a teacher can build the methods by
which she will form the characters of her pupils. More
regular and systematic teaching as to the basis, vitalising
principles, standards and methods of moral education are
necessary, but, divorced from their right relation to the
students' own training, would have little value.

The Board of Education has, by its requirement of the
study of morals under the subject " Principles of Teaching,"
shown a desire for such instruction to be given, but an
overcrowded syllabus and minute detailed questions on
subjects of minor importance prevent the subject of
character-building having full and systematic treatment in
this section of the work.

Throughout all history, morals have been evolved as
duties correspondent to religious privilege, and, with the
advance of religion, morality has advanced and reached
its climax in Christ's teaching of the sanctity of body,
mind and spirit, and of universal brotherhood ; thus
bringing the whole of life and its relations personal,
family, civic and religious under the Gospel.

The same principle displays itself in individual life ; the
minds and spirits which have been moulded and developed
by religion are those capable of forming in themselves and
others a moral life in theory and practice. A sense of
right and duty, of privileges and responsibility, of a per-
fect standard to be aimed at is the basis of the true educa-
tion of every Church child and the right beginning of all
morality. It is the training and fostering of this sense
and of the power which it develops that give a teacher a
true moral outlook, and such training is the aim of Church

Preparation of Teachers for Moral Instruction 353

While I would advocate the further training of teachers
in the methods and principles of moral education, I would
strongly urge that, to be effective, it must be in its true
setting that its natural root and vitalising principle are
religion, and that, divorced from it, moral instruction will
degenerate into mere dry bones, and morality will be
hindered, instead of helped, by it. One way in which I
believe that moral teaching would be made concrete and
practical, and could be set in its true connection, is by
affording full opportunity for due observance of festivals
and ceremonies of the Church, State, and College, ac-
companied by proper teaching on the traditions, the
inspirations, and the great lives and forces which have
founded and animated all worthy institutions. English
people, at the present time, are largely realising the value
of such teaching from the stimulation they have received
from the recent historical pageants, and the best element-
ary school teachers are striving to make the corporate
life and tradition, which have so strongly moulded our
Public Schools, to live and grow on humbler ground.
Lessons and discussions on these and kindred subjects,
with practice in the presentation of them to children, are
most helpful in enabling teachers to realise in the outset
of their career the true means by which a child develops
as a member of a community.

Another way of moral training is to make the religious
lessons more practical and spiritual, and less matters of
historical detail. Many of them should be so arranged
as to systematically give moral teaching, and form a
developing scheme of it.

As an economic force, the State cannot afford to dis-
pense with religion and definite religious teaching. Les-
sons in personal hygiene, in behaviour and propriety, as
well as those dealing with deeper matters, such as truthful-
ness, obedience, self-control, gain force and reality from
VOL. I. 23

354 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

a teacher, who with Divine insight can see the " ideal "
child, the eternal possibility lying within each individual
soul and body, such as they can never gain from a teacher
whose view is limited to the " actual " child and this
present life.

The movement of to-day, in respect of moral education,
is opening up in schools and training colleges a great
opportunity of setting forth the practical side of Christian-
ity, but it is also giving birth to many crude attempts
at teaching moral subjects in a disconnected, ill-balanced
way, which must be productive of harm to the cause. I
have been greatly perplexed by a specimen list of lessons,
devised in lieu of Scripture lessons, for a large London
school. Rights were prominent ; duties, except civic ones,
very subordinate ; omissions glaring ; connections puzz-
ling. There was no teaching on reverence, obedience,
humility; kindness to animals came in as an after-
thought ; there was little realisation of the rights of
others over us, while two lessons, labelled " Bigotry " and
" Fanaticism," were the only proposed references to reli-
gion. If such schemes are to replace the teaching of reli-
gious faith and practice, the standard of morality will be
lowered. It is not, however, by placing more adequate
moral schemes in the hands of students that such crude
mistakes can be guarded against, but rather , by centering
their whole work on character-formation, and inspiring
them with true and high ideals of the teaching and disci-
pline of school and of all human life.

As to the results of such training on moral teaching, my
experience has been that the devotion and self-sacrifice of
Christian teachers has produced excellent effects in raising
and improving the tone and standard of morality in the

Online LibraryMichael SadlerMoral instruction and training in schools; report of an international inquiry .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 45)