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necessarily occupy a separate place on the time-table.
The suggested programme refers to the formation of
personal habits and to duties to others. Teachers are
enjoined to " enforce the principles of moral conduct by
examples taken from history, biography, poetry and fiction,
and by anecdote, allegory and fable ". By the terms of
the Education Act the teaching within the regular school
hours must be entirely secular (a remark which applies
also to the public high schools, i.e., nearly all the secondary
schools in the Colony). This is generally held to exclude
the use of parts of the Bible, either as literature or for
the illustration of moral principles. Personally, I do not
think that this position can be logically defended ; in-
deed, I do not think that the use of Biblical passages,
as literature or for the ethical lessons they contain, can
be said to transgress the principle of strict secularism.
But the strength of sectarian feeling in New Zealand
is unfortunately still so great, that the average person
appears to be unable to distinguish between the use of
the Bible for these purposes, and its use for influencing
the religious emotions or for teaching theological doc-
trines. The so-called secular solution has, therefore, been
adopted in New Zealand, and, probably on grounds of
expediency, may be the only solution for some time to

But I wish that, in the definition of secular education,
there could be included the use of materials drawn from
the Bible from its biographies, its poetry, its allegories,
and its parables. Were this done, I should be distinctly
in favour of having a graded course of moral instruction,

Moral Instruction in New Zealand 315

the subject-matter and illustrations of which would be
drawn from Biblical and other sources.

The parents should be kept informed of the moral in-
struction given in the school, and an effort should be made
to correlate the work of the school and of the home in
this respect.

4. For ten years, when I was headmaster of a secondary
school, it was my habit to give each Monday morning a
short motto for the week. This was announced to the
whole school, boys and girls being assembled together.
Once a fortnight this was followed by a short address of
five or ten minutes' duration, enforcing the subject of the
motto by means of anecdote or fable, or by allusions to
current events in school life or outside. In alternate weeks
the same course was pursued, but the address was given
only to a section of the school, e.g., to the boys only or to
the girls only, or to the elder boys. Testimony of parents
and pupils showed that considerable interest was taken in
the announcement of the mottoes, and in the addresses by
which they were followed. But the actual result is ex-
tremely difficult to judge.

5. Our primary schools would 'gain immensely, if a
larger number of them developed among the pupils the
corporate life and the sense of personal responsibility,
which are to be found in most good public secondary
schools. This development is taking place, I am glad to
say, in an increasing number of primary schools in New

6. The disadvantages (if any) of the co-education of
boys and girls of all ages are to my mind far outweighed
by its advantages. But care should be taken that boys
from twelve to nineteen years of age come for a consider-
able part of their time under the influence of masters, and
similarly that girls between the same ages come under the
influence of women.

316 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

7. I do not think that military exercises are of much
value in themselves as moral agents ; but, if the boys oi
either elementary or secondary schools are organised into
cadet corps, the gain in increasing the sense of civic re-
sponsibility is very great. The acquiring of the habit of
obedience, somewhat mechanical though it be, has value.

8. The greatest obstacle of all to moral education in
the schools (as distinct from that imparted by home life
and social environment) is the unreality of much of the
school teaching. In the primary school, this is chiefly the
fault of the uninspiring way in which the subjects are
taught. In the secondary schools, both the subjects studied
and the methods of instruction are at fault (I am speak-
ing of the majority of schools actually known to me in
Great Britain and the Colony). The consequence is that
the thought of the classroom is dissociated from actual
life ; the pupil has only a partial interest in much of his
work; the standards of thought and ethics tend to be
distinct, and the influence of a teacher is reduced to that
personal element alone, which has practically nothing to
do with the lessons he teaches. Reform in the subjects
and methods of our schools would lead to the identification
of the classroom with the average boy's life as much as
the playing-field is now. It is to be lamented that the
average boy should forgive himself so easily for the sin of
habitual inattention or working at half-power in the class-
room. If the schools do not fit their pupils for the needs
of their future lives, theorists may talk about the culture
of this study or that as much as they like, but the schools
will have failed, because to the vast majority of their
pupils the lessons of the classrooms have had no relation
to the facts of the universe, moral or otherwise. In this
respect, I consider the best American schools in advance
of any I know elsewhere.



By the Rev. A. C. HOGGINS.

I. THE nature of the experience on which I venture to
base the following conclusions is as follows : I have a
fairly intimate knowledge of the public elementary schools
of the province of Canterbury, New Zealand, derived from
frequent visits to the schools and from annual examina-
tions, during five to seven years, of some 8,000 of the
scholars in religious knowledge ; I have for nine years
past examined the scholars of the (public) high schools of
Christchurch in religious and ethical knowledge ; I have
a specially intimate acquaintance with the infant schools
of the same town ; and I have, since my return to England,
spent the greater part of my time in visiting the elementary
and higher elementary schools of London and the pro-

2. Religious teaching is forbidden in all New Zealand
schools : moral instruction is required, but is practically
at the discretion of the teaching staff; moral training,
therefore, in practice depends entirely upon the personal
influence of the teachers, rather than on their formal
teaching. The results can hardly be said to be anything
but disastrous. In individual cases the personal influence
of the teacher makes itself felt I have two or three strik-
ing instances of this but in most cases the teacher's in-
fluence is rendered negative by his conscientious endeavour


31 8 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

to keep his own ideas in the background, and not to
transgress the regulation requiring the schools to be strictly
"secular". The gradual dying out of the instinct of
worship is admitted by all and regretted by most. It is
true, that the general high character of the schools is
imparting an external culture and an intellectual knowledge
of the higher ideals of life to their pupils ; but that this,
however much to be esteemed in itself, rests upon no
permanent foundation, and is unable to bear the strain of
the struggle of life, is proved inter alia by the enormous
growth of every kind of gambling, and by the constant and
portentous increase of sexual offences, even in very young
children, which, while it certainly is not caused by the
system of secular instruction, is equally certainly in no
sense hindered by it. 1

1 See also " The Bible and the Schools in New Zealand " in The East and
the West for July, 1908, by Dr. Neligan, Bishop of Auckland, N.Z.




Minister of Education in Japan for two years, 1901-3 ; educated partly in
England at University College School, London, and at St. John's
College, Cambridge ; Professor of Mathematics in Tokio University
for twenty-four years.

As Japanese education, especially moral education, is
based entirely upon the Imperial Rescript on Education of
1890, I cannot, in explaining the spirit of our education,
do better than begin by quoting that noble document. It
is as follows :

" Iknow pe, ur subjects :

" ur Imperial ancestors bave founoeo ur
Empire on a basis broao ano everlasting ano bave
oeeplv. ano firmly implanted virtue ; ur subjects
ever uniteo in lopaltp ano filial piets bave from
generation to generation illustrateo tbe beauty
tbereot Ubis is tbe Qlorp. of tbe funoamental
cbaracter of ur Empire, ano berein also lies tbe
source of ur eoucation, l^e, ur subjects, be
filial to pour parents, affectionate to pour brotbers
ano sisters ; as busbanos ano wives be barmoni-
ous; as frienostrue; bear yourselves in mobestp
ant) moderation; extent) pour benevolence to all;


320 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

pursue learning ano cultivate arts, ano tberebs
develop Intellectual faculties ano perfect moral
powers; furtbermore, advance public aooo ano
promote common interests; always respect tbe
Constitution ano observe tbe laws ; sboulo emer-
gencs arise, otfer yourselves courageously to tbe
State; ano tbus auaro ano maintain tbe prosperity
of <S>ur Imperial Ubrone coeval witb beaven ano
eartb. So sball v.e not onls be ur $000 ano faitb-
ful subjects, but renoer illustrious tbe best tradi-
tions of sour forefatbers*

" TTbe Was bere set fortb is inoeeo tbe teacbina
bequeatbeo bs ur Imperial Hncestors, to be ob-
servebalifte bgUbeir2)escent)ant8 ant) tbe subjects,
infallible for all aaes ant) true in all places. 3t is
ur wisb to las it to beart in all reverence, in
common witb sou, ur subjects, tbat we mas all
tbus attain to tbe same virtue.

" Ube 30tb oas of tbe lOtb montb of tbe 2sro
sear of /l&eiji*"

(Imperial Sign Manual. Imperial Seal.)

Now the message that this Rescript conveys to a Japanese
must, to a large extent, be different from what it does to
one who has not inherited the same traditions and been
brought up from earliest childhood on these traditions;
the very words of the Rescript have associations beyond
their simple connotations that can only be properly ap-
preciated by such: I may perhaps say that our whole
moral education consists in instilling into the minds of our
children the proper appreciation of the spirit of this
Rescript. I must therefore endeavour, however inade-
quately, to explain something of the feeling with which we
regard this Rescript.

Moral Instruction in Japan 321

There is, to begin with, the relation between the Im-
perial House and the Japanese people : that relation is
something peculiar, and it is contained in the words " the
fundamental character of our Empire," or Kokutai in the
original, literally, "the national constitution". Since the
foundation of the Empire by Jimmu Tenn5, down to the
present Emperor, there has been one unbroken line of
descent for over twenty-five centuries : 1 the words " the
prosperity of our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and
earth " recall to us the words with which, according to our
traditions, the first ancestor of the Imperial House, "the
Great Goddess of Celestial Light," sent down her grandson
from "the High Heavenly Plain" to rule over "the
Land of Luxuriant Rice-Ears," i.e., Japan : ''This is the
land of which my descendants shall be the lords. Do thou
proceed thither and rule the land. Go ! The prosperity
of thy dynasty shall be coeval with heaven and earth?
These words are looked upon as " the charter of the land "
and are sometimes referred to as "the Imperial Destiny" :
as they have been no empty boast in the past, so the
Emperor calls upon the present and future generations of
Japanese to " guard and maintain " this prosperity by
observing certain precepts, which he points out, not as
anything new, but as the teaching bequeathed by his
ancestors. This unique continuity of the Imperial dynasty
must be taken together with our ancestor worship, or, call
it rather, our reverence for ancestors, to obtain a complete
idea of the relation between the Imperial House and the
people. It is a relation, not simply between the present ?
Emperor and the present generation of the Japanese
people, but a relation which has existed continuously for
generations, between his ancestors and our ancestors,

1 It has been pointed out by later historical criticism that this is not
correct by some four centuries, but a few centuries more or less makes no
difference in our present point of view.
VOL. II. 21

322 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

going back to the first of the Imperial ancestors, "the
Great Goddess of Celestial Light," the centre of our
national worship, and to Jimmu Tenno, the Founder of
the Empire. Throughout all these centuries the Japanese
people have held the Imperial House in a reverence which
may be called almost religious. Never in the whole
course of our long history has there been a single instance
of a subject presuming to attempt to place himself on the
throne. We have had many changes in our system of
/government ; twice we have introduced an altogether alien
/ civilisation, and made complete changes in our adminis-
trative system, in our laws and institutions ; in the case of
Chinese civilisation, we have adopted their literature
bodily almost as our own. But amidst all these changes
the Kokutaior " the fundamental character of our Empire "
the peculiar relation between the Imperial House and
the people, the almost religious reverence of the people for
the Imperial House, and the ancestor worship or rever-
ence for ancestors has persisted unchanged ; even the
introduction of Buddhism, an alien religion, has had no
effect upon this; rather, Buddhism has accommodated
itself to this national characteristic, and made it a part of
its own teaching.

It is true that for over 700 years, from the close of the
twelfth century to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, a great
deal of the Imperial authority had been usurped by the
military class, whose heads, under the title of the " General-
issimo of Forces for the Subjugation of Barbarians" were
practically rulers of the land. Nevertheless, during all
these years, the reverence of the people for the Imperial
House had never changed, the military class and the rulers
themselves never losing this feeling of reverence. The
office of the Tai-Shogun (the Generalissimo) could only
be given by the Emperors, as also many honorary offices
and ranks, which, although nominal, were much coveted

Moral Instruction in Japan 323

by the members of the military class ; in fact, the Im-
perial House was always the fountain-head of honours
throughout all these times. Hence in all the struggles
of military chiefs for power, it was always most important
to hold Kyoto, the seat of the Imperial Court, and it
was the objective of their tactical and strategic move-

The first paragraph of the Rescript describes this re-
lation ; on the one hand, we have a line of the Imperial
ancestors, remarkable for their virtue and love of the
people, ever mindful of duties devolving upon them as
head of the State, with which they identified themselves
entirely, " sorrowing before the people and rejoicing after
the people". On the other, we have the people, ever
loyal, ever filial, united in their anxiety to perfect them-
selves in these virtues, and shine forth in their beauty.
" Such," says the Emperor, " is our Kokutai, our glorious
national constitution, and this must be made the basis of
our education."

This Kokutai then is the basis on which our moral
education is based. And hence with us loyalty to the
Imperial House is regarded as the prime virtue from which
all others are derived. Loyalty and filial piety are two
cardinal virtues, but with us the former is, if anything,
predominant, differing in this respect from the Chinese,
although we have been so largely influenced by the system
of ethics of the ancient Chinese philosophers.

As to the relation between the duty of the individual
to the State and his duty to the Emperor, in the Imperial
Rescript there is no mention among the precepts nothing
is said about loyalty. The Emperor says : " And should
emergency arise, offer yourselves to the State with courage " ;
then he says; "So shall ye not only be our good and
faithful subjects, but render illustrious the best traditions

of your forefathers". Loyalty is assumed, it is not

,, . _

324 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

mentioned among the precepts at all. The Emperor
and the State are one and identical.

It must be very difficult for the Western nations to
realise our feeling towards our Emperor. The moral
teaching in our schools the effectiveness of that moral
teaching is very largely based upon the almost religious
attitude towards the Emperor, and it is effective because
the moral instruction in Japan is based upon something
very similar to what you would call in England a religious
sanction. Our moral teaching is entirely secular, in that
it has no connection with Buddhism or Christianity, or any
other system of religion ; but reverence for the Imperial
House is something religious in itself. Our reverence
for our ancestors is something religious surely. As to the
reverence for a man's own ancestors, I do not know
whether you would call it religious. Spiritual, perhaps,
rather than religious. For example, if you will excuse a
personal instance, the last thing I did before leaving Japan
was to go to my fathers' tombs and say good-bye. Also,
when I had time a few years ago, I went round to the
tombs of my various ancestors, which I found scattered
about the country, and paid my respects. I do not think
I am religious, in the sense of believing in any dogma ;
but I believe that the spirit of ancestors is something
that is alive in us. There are different people, and
different kinds of people look at the matter in different
lights. The very poor ignorant people have no real idea
of what their worship is.

I must now speak briefly of this influence of the Chinese
philosophy. Although in ancient days of Imperial rule
there was a university in the capital for the purpose of
teaching Chinese literature (including philosophy, history,
and other branches of literature and learning), laws
(mostly derived from the Chinese Code), etc., to the sons
of court nobles and officials, besides provincial schools,

Moral Instruction in Japan 325

and semi-private institutions for students of great noble
houses, they fell into decline with the loss of their power,
and for centuries before the establishment of the Toku-
gawa Shogunate in 1603 Buddhist temples were almost
the only places where learning was kept up or could be
obtained, even the sons of military chiefs being taught in
these temples or monasteries. And they continued to be
schools for common people till long after. Towards the
close of the sixteenth century a man named Fujiwara
Seikwa was the first to teach Confucian philosophy, as
distinct from the Buddhist teaching and as interpreted by
Chu-Hsi, or Shu-Shi, as we call him, a Chinese scholar of
the twelfth century. lyeyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa
Shogunate, was a great admirer of Seikwa, and under his
encouragement the teachings of the Shu-Shi School of
Confucian philosophy began to be largely taught among
the military class; in 1690 a private school of the House
of Hayashi, which had been made directors of studies by
lyeyasu, was transformed into an academy for the study
of Chinese literature by the fifth Shogun. His example
was followed by the daimyos or the feudal lords, and
schools for the study of Chinese literature were established
in every clan. The education of the samurai, or the
members of the military class, consisted almost entirely of
the study of Chinese literature, and training in military
arts, such as archery, fencing, use of spears, riding, etc.
^Education in those days meant moral training, rather than
the acquiring of knowledge, the latter being regarded
merely as a necessary means to the former. Even the
teaching of military arts did not mean simply making ex-
perts in them : masters in these arts held themselves, and
were regarded by others, as not mere instructors, but as
responsible for the moral and mental training of their
pupils, in inuring them to hardship and privation, and
cultivating in them the habit of strict obedience to their


326 Moral Instruction and Training in Schools

superiors, tenacity of purpose, readiness of resources, cool-
ness in danger, and like qualities deemed essential in a

The Chinese literature was studied for moral and
mental culture ; its system of moral philosophy was
studied for practical guidance, that the youths might
thereby be better fitted for the regulation of their own
individual conduct, and be better prepared for the task of
managing the affairs of their house or family relations ;
of taking a share in the government of their lords' terri-
tories; and even of helping their lords in the wider
sphere of national administration. Lectures on books of
Confucius and others often consisted as much in moral
sermons hung on to these texts, as in their exposition.

With the other classes it was somewhat similar ; their
education was generally elementary, and consisted in
learning to write and read common Chinese ideographs,
and to calculate on the abacus ; as they learned to read
these ideographs by learning how to write them, reading
went hand in hand with writing. Here, again, the main
object of education was moral, and copy-books or readers,
for the same books were used for both purposes were
usually books inculcating practical morals.

Such was the education in the days before the Restora-
tion of 1868. By the Restoration of Meiji old institutions
were swept away ; radical changes were made in every
branch of administration. The military class lost all its
privileges. The new Code of Education, promulgated in
1872, established the educational equality of all classes ;
at first everything was tentative, but gradually a new
system was worked out. The greatest danger was in the
loss of the basis for moral teaching ; the respect for old
Chinese philosophy seemed to be lost, it was deemed
unfit for the new conditions of things ; and nothing had
been found in its place : but old traditions had not been

Moral Instruction in Japan 327

lost, and amidst all the changes the reverence for the
Imperial House, so deeply implanted in the hearts of the
people, had never diminished ; and when, in 1 890, the
Emperor issued the Rescript on Education, it was received
by the whole nation as the complete and adequate solution
of the difficulty; in fact, it was a clear and explicit enuncia-
tion " of the teaching bequeathed to us by the Imperial
Ancestors," and thenceforth it has formed the basis of all
our moral teaching.

As to. Bushido, or " the Way of Samurai," that is quite
a different thing from the Imperial Rescript, I mean in
form. The Rescript is usually called the "Edict" or
" Imperial Words ". " Bushido " is the general name for
the ethics of the Samurai class. (Bushi = Samurai, d5 =
Way.) It is not put down in any code or a special book ;
it corresponds to something like your ideal of an English
gentleman. In fact, my successor in the Presidency of
Tokyo University gave an address during the war to the
students, pointing out many points of resemblance be-
tween the Bushido and the ideal of an English gentleman.
In Japan we talk of duty, of what we have to do, and we
talk very little of rights. In the elementary schools,
when they are just about to leave school, we teach them
a little citizenship. We teach voting as a duty ; they are
taught that they must, as a duty, vote for whom they
think best.

From what I have said it will be clear that we have
had direct moral teaching,! entirely free from any form
of religion, for a long time ; indeed that was always
taken to be the principal aim of education. It must,
however, be repeated that the reverence of the Japanese
people for the Imperial House is something almost re- ~ z z^

Having thus stated the basis of our moral education,
and how we have always believed in the efficacy of direct

Online LibraryMichael SadlerMoral instruction and training in schools; report of an international inquiry .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 27 of 32)